Wow, what a weekend! I turned 24 (happy birthday to me) and got to go to a beer festival in Gardiner, MT (the north entrance of Yellowstone National Park). This was a great beer festival because the locals close up shop early and show up to PARTY. They also all have dogs, and all brought their dogs. It was kind of a combination of beer festival with dogs running and playing everywhere. Here is a nice shot of a thirsty puppy stealing our keg ice.
Our beer festival volunteers were great this time! We ended up not having to serve much of our beer at all, and instead playing horseshoes and drinking heavily with all the other brewers in attendance. The way that Montana does beer festivals is quite screwy: Someone who wants to host a beer festival has to get a permit to distribute the alcohol. Then that person can only use their employees and volunteers to dispense the beer. So essentially us brewers end up driving all over the state, setting up our shit, and then watching someone else pour foamy cups of our beer while botching questions about what we are serving. I heard someone the other day serve our pale ale, and then say "you are going to love this WHEAT beer"... WHAT THE FUCK!
The other cool part of the beer festivals is the free food (usually). I took full advantage and ended up eating 3 hot dogs, 2 brats, and 1/2 hamburger. Of course after drinking beer all day and eating all that "healthy" food, Sunday was not fun for my stomach. Kelly and a few local friends took me rafting on the Madison River for the day. It was great but I wish that I could have had a few more beers...
My stomach has finally recovered and I'm off to work. I'll be back into the brewing routine for a few days this week, then on thursday I am leaving town. Look forward to two more posts and then I'm gone until Monday!
Cheers, Prosit, and Skoal