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...New Yearly Tradition!

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Mar. 11th, 2012 | 03:31 am
mood: bouncybouncy
music: "Marry the Night" Lady Gagax

My city is known for its fabulous brews, and Michigan is one of the top beer states in the nation. Our main brewery, Founders, is ranked as the third best brewery in the entire world. It's really no surprise that this year's Beerfest Celebration sold 6,000 tickets at $40 a pop in just under two weeks.

At the time the tickets originally went on sale, I had no one to go with. Some friends said they didn't have money, some said they didn't have time, and most were using it as dates with their significant others. I could have gone by myself, I guess, but I decided not to go if I didn't have anyone to go with.

But four weeks ago I got a message from my college friend, Keith:

Eric bought 15 tickets a couple weeks ago and he's looking for devoted beer lovers to go with him. I told him you were the best recipient. Do you want to go?


Um, YES. And I'm surprised Eric didn't ask me earlier than that because we've known each other for a couple years, and he really helped me get into the microbrew game. Anywho, I told Keith I WAS IN, and I'd meet them in the parking lot that day.




The Michigan Beer Guild has four festivals a year. Spring is in the UP, Summer in Ann Arbor (easily known as the best beer festival in existence, according to several reports I've seen online and from friends), Fall is in Detroit, and Winter is in my city. It's held at the minor league baseball field's parking lot. Yes, Michigan, mid-February, in the open. Hats, parkas, boots, bonfires. I was stoked, even though I can't deal with the cold very well. Something just told me this was the best festival because you KNOW you're with beer die-hards if they're willing to spend HOURS in below freezing temperatures to drink beer.

It took me forever to get to the field because taxis were taking THREE HOURS to get to the park. They were so busy that all of the taxis in the city were running (from what I heard) and they still had that much traffic. I ended up hitching a ride with a guy who called a taxi at 9:30 in the morning....it arrived at 11:30.

Eric was enough of a diehard he got to the park earlier than almost anyone. Anyone who was apart of the Michigan Beer Guild (I MUST JOIN) got into the park an hour earlier than everyone else, but we were still up in the front. I tried to keep myself warm as I talked with everyone...but it wasn't that hard because I was literally jumping around in excitement. BEER. EVERYWHERE. PEOPLE WHO LOVE BEER. EVERYWHERE.

I was literally within the first ten people to enter the field once they finally opened to general admission. I skipped to the token tent (which is how you paid for your 4 oz samples; every person got 15 tokens).

I spent basically my entire day with Keith because...well...when everyone's getting that drunk it's hard to keep a group of any size. Eric was on his third sample before Keith and I finished our first (mine was a rather pine-tasting stout while his tasted like banana bread) and the group split suddenly. We chatted with men dressed like Hopsquashes (SEE THE PIC, HA), women close to freezing, people who enjoyed Michigan's hoppiest beers (my kind of people), and those who liked ketchup on their perogies.

Keith and I had a ton of fun trying beers neither of us had tried. A lot of fun. A lot of cold fun, perhaps, but a lot of fun. We each ran through 10 tokens before we were too tired/cold to care whether we used the last five. We went home at 5:30, 4.5 hours after the event started. That's pretty good for the 23 degree day in southern Michigan!




THE HOPSQUATCH, RARGH
















Every couple minutes, someone would cheers with their buddies. This would cause a chain reaction. The brewery next door. The brewery two doors down. The brewery at the end of the tent. The brewery directly across the parking lot. The entire fucking crowd. 6,000 people raising their glasses in the air and screaming. It was kinda magical.

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Comments {4}

relentless optimist

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from: the_odd_one
date: Mar. 11th, 2012 01:32 pm (UTC)
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HAAAA that's so awesome! Jake loves the hopsquatch. I'm partial to the guy with the horns-hat. Great shot, and I'd like to steal said hat XD

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I got a fever and the only prescription is more ZQ

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from: forthisreason
date: Mar. 11th, 2012 10:02 pm (UTC)
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That dude had a friend there with a similar hat, but his horns weren't as cool.

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the girl who shares needles

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from: daffodelias
date: Mar. 11th, 2012 04:06 pm (UTC)
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DUDE I want a necklace made of meat and pretzels! I wish I liked beer more because there's a great little microbrew culture here and I just... don't like the taste. The people are amaze, though!

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I got a fever and the only prescription is more ZQ

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from: forthisreason
date: Mar. 11th, 2012 10:07 pm (UTC)
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Microbrew people are always incredible. They're so much fun.

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