September 19, 2009
250 brews to sample ... what's not to like?
Festival Hall park was beer lovers' Heaven Saturday, as more than 100 brewers from all over the country offered samples of nearly 250 different brews.
A sell-out crowd of 4,000 showed up -- Imagine that! -- for this year's Great Lakes Brew Fest, a benefit for the Racine Kilties Drum and Bugle Corps.
Admission bought them four hours of as many beers as they could sample -- and as you'd expect there were lots of happy party-goers. This year's theme was "Talk and Walk Like a Pirate," and many were dressed in pirate garb of some sort -- Arghh, matey! -- but many more wore their favorite beer-centric t-shirts, of which there seem to be an almost infinite supply.
Brewers present sported names like Buffalo Water, Dogfish Head, Flying Dog, Grumpy Troll, Horny Goat, Jolly Pumpkin, Mickey Finns, Smuttynose and Tommyknocker Brewing, among the more colorful. Of course, mainstream brewers like Anchor, New Glarus and Leinie were also represented. My favorite was the Left Hand Brewery, but only because its promotional car had two beer taps mounted in the trunk -- you can take it with you!
Here's what the party looked like: