Sorry I left you hanging there for a few days. Or a couple weeks. But I’m back now! Last Tuesday saw me neglecting posting because I was in Chicago. One of the reasons I was in Chicago was to attend the annual Beer Hoptacular festival! And, my God, let me tell you. It was cool to attend a beer festival out of state because Hoptacular featured a number of smaller, regional breweries I had never heard of. There was some downright delicious beer, like 5 Rabbit Brewery. Their 5 Lizards sour beer ended up winning the night and my group agreed wholeheartedly with this honor. A surprising hit was Sam Adams. Yes, the not small, not regional mega brewery Sam Adams. They brought this crazy sampling of beers that I’ve never seen in stores including a gingerbread beer that smelled like cake, a Chocolate Cricket beer that was reminiscent of Tootsie pops (but in a good way), and a couple light, floral, herby beers that made November in Chicago taste like summer.
There were also great winter appropriate beers with names like Christmas Ale, and Flannel Pajamas. And, as all homebrewers know, it’s a lot of pressure to name a beer! Therefore I was grateful for the suggestions. Now, I know you’re thinking, ‘Kelsey! I want flannel pajamas beer! Share the name of the brewery!’ And I would love to. But, I simply don’t remember! There were a lot of breweries, and there was a lot of beer, and the careful notes we were taking in our programs kind of went by the wayside as the three hours wore on.
Which brings me to my next point: Beer Festival Survival! Wow. I am pushing thirty, and I need to prepare for wanton drinking in a way I didn’t used to. So, take my advice: Eat a couple good meals before you go. Bring water! I don’t know if this was a unique oversight at this particular festival, but we were dying of thirst halfway through because there was no immediately accessible water at the event. And the best, most unusual, final point- carb necklaces. My pal Gretchen, who brought me to the event, had clued me in that we would be making pretzel necklaces to wear to the event. This was brilliant, amazing, and, since we strung our pretzels on sparkly ribbon- fashionable! The necklaces were a delicious way to hold ourselves over until our post beer-fest grilled cheese sandwich bonanza. Should you find your self preparing to attend a beer festival, don’t feel the need to limit yourself to just tiny twists. String some bavarians! Add a bagel or two! You name it, we saw it at Hoptacular. Gretchen’s brother-in-law wants to start wearing pretzel necklaces just in the normal life. I say, cheers to new (and practical) fashion statements!
Happy American Thanksgiving to you!