I find beer fests messy drunken things. Most people seem to remember the first or second hours when folk are still noticing how good this beer or that one is. I seem to remember the final hour as much as any. Well after someone started talking in too loud a voice. The hour with sore feet and wondering if that guy over there is going to be OK, the one who fell. When the ugly side of Bruegel peeks out. The loutish table bawling over the earnest presenter at the front suffering due to the badly thought out, under performing sound system. I like talking with the folk working the fest. The security and servers. But only when they have a moment away from the lineups, the married guys hitting on them like a blank eyed fish looking at bait. One of the best things is getting a moment with cops. I work with cops and enjoy their company, always scanning over your shoulder at the same time as carrying on a proper conversation. Fests smell good, too. I will give you that. Like a well kept barn, sweet and fresh even if active. The spilled beer has yet to turn.
in this the 96th edition of The Session, the eighth anniversary edition, Joan of Blog Birraire explains how in Spain there are beer fairs and beer festivals. Sounds lovelier that what I've experienced. But that's Spain and this is a Saturday by the Great Lakes under another winter weather warning. In a month - in a few weeks nearer spring - I may well be attending what could be called a fair and not a fest. I was invited to attend to flog books and meet NY brewers at an Albany hotel out by the airport. I have hope but have also already considered my early departure apologies. Yet... I will linger if surprised.