Fair warning: this post is heavy on the pictures, as I have 27 loaded up and ready to go. Here’s the first:
Of course, there’s much, much more after the jump.
If you drew up a plan for the event and got to select the type of weather you desired, you probably couldn’t have gotten your wish any better than this last weekend. Just check out the crowds.
These shots above were taken Saturday around 1:00 (a half-hour after the GBF opened), 2:30, 3:30, and 6 p.m. (a half-hour before close.) And even the Sunday crowd was respectable around 2:30 and 3:30 when I took the two shots below.
I will say that the Saturday crowd seemed to be almost exclusively a 21 to 35 crowd, while Sunday’s seemed a little grayer. Perhaps that’s due to the musical selections of the two days – something I’ll explore in a future post.
But I’m getting ahead of my story here. The Second Annual Good Beer Festival opened with a ribbon cutting featuring a number of local and state officials, including our Congressman.
Among the dignitaries in the above photo (from left to right) are Congressman Andy Harris, County Council President Gail Bartkovich, County Council member Bob Culver, County Public Information Officer Jim Fineran, Director of Tourism Sandy Fulton, and County Council member Stevie Prettyman on the extreme right.
It was up to Fineran, representing County Executive Rick Pollitt, to officially welcome us.
At last, the ribbon was cut and a growing line of people could begin to enjoy the day.
The glasses were all ready to be taken.
Something unique about the Good Beer Festival, as opposed to its older brother the Autumn Wine Festival (held at the same venue this coming weekend) is the number of other activities available to those who come. Sure, you can sit and listen to the music at both venues, but the GBF also has a place where you can catch the ballgames on the big screen.
If you’re more into physical activity to go with your good beer, you could toss the football around and see how good of a quarterback you might be; well, at least you could on Saturday.
For some reason they didn’t put this up on Sunday. But the cornhole players were still tossing.
Maybe this was beginner’s luck – look how my tosses stacked these up. (Just kidding.)
In truth, I threw those eight and hit the board once. It’s harder than it looks.
Maybe this would have been more my speed, literally. Hey, I can win Mario Kart once in awhile.
And if you really wanted speed, you had a shot to win this. There were quite a few revving this bad boy up.
Needless to say, you could grab a bite to eat – after all what’s good beer without good food? There were choices aplenty, although I liked the pulled pork I had Sunday the best.
Some might have even invested in a good cigar. There were a few booths selling cigars as well as other wares like spices, apparel, or even home improvement.
But there was an interesting political element to the cigar seller, at least the one next to our space. This pamphlet declared they have rights too, and you know what? They’re right. Hundreds took the opportunity to light up.
By the way, the reason I was there was to help man this table. It was supposed to be under a tent, but if you’re going to have a tent mishap this was the weekend to do so.
Surprisingly our competition was there too, but without signs. Who wants an Obama sign anyway?
I still resent the implication that goes with having the county flag there. Maybe we need an American flag for next week.
Oh, by the way, did I mention there was good beer there? Here were a couple of my favorites.
16 Mile is perhaps my favorite local brewer, particularly the Blues Golden Ale. The Philadelphia Pale Ale was good, too.
Magic Hat #9 also seemed to be a crowd favorite, and I can understand why.
But perhaps my two favorites that I didn’t get a picture of were the Longboard Lager and the 312 Wheat Ale. (If I’m not quite right on the names, I think you can figure it out if you were there.)
So as the sun set on and the harvest moon rose over the second Good Beer Festival last night, the organizers could look back at a great event, and hope for the same next year.
We will even have another local brewery to try, if this sign proves correct.
Over the upcoming weekend I’ll revisit the Good Beer Festival with another edition of Weekend of local rock. There were some good bands to go with the Good Beer!