My family have long been fans of the MN Craft Brewers Guild‘s annual beer fests. Twice a year, autumn and winter, they gather brew pubs in one place and charge fans money for “all you can drink” beer.
It’s awesome. I love going and look forward to it. My favorite one was the first, when it was just me and my dad. It is rare that the two of us do anything “just us” but it is one of my favorite nights with him.
At any rate, now we have a flexible group that gets together to do it. However, each year, the Guild raises the prices. When my dad and I went in 2004, it was $25. Now, in 2011 it is $50 a person. There is not more beer or more time or more anything, it just costs more money.
The downside to all this is, it is insanely popular. IN-SANE-LY. This year, tickets sold out in something like 2 minutes. 700 tickets. We did not get any. I’m glad that it is popular, but really?
Well, my sister and her husband decided that it was too expensive anyway and we should have our own home party. We set the date for March 05 and my parents hosted in their garage. We were just going to have everyone throw in $5 and get pizza, but my mom said she’d rather cook, so we let her. Obviously, any event is better when Mom cooks. She made tacos, which is (probably) my favorite meal that she makes. Tacos are awesome. Who ever gets tired of eating tacos?
It wasn’t a huge gathering, Mom, Dad, me, Em, Chad, Ryan (Chad’s brother), Zack, Kim, Frank, & Kathy.
I guess that’s plenty, since we had every person bring a 6 pack of some varietal beer. I brought two six packs. (My favorite liquor store offers mix and match six packs! You can choose from many varieties and create your own custom six pack. How awesome is that?)
This was the set up for beer:
Now, mind you, my dad has three refrigerators in his garage. Three. And they were filled with beer as well, but we needed more space, so thank goodness for snowbanks. This was right outside the garage door, so it was easy to poke your head out and grab a beer or two.
When you go to the “real” beer fests, you get a commemorative tasting glass. I thought we should have those as well. So I bought pilsner glasses for everyone and then went to the craft store and spent more on pens (to write on glass) than on the glasses themselves. Seriously.
Then I spend an entire night creating these amazing glasses.
Aren’t they so pretty?
Each one says “Moris Beer Festival”. They are rimmed with snowflakes, to denote that this was our Winter festival. They have the year at the bottom, flanked by hops. I drew HOPS on every glass. Then, the back of the glass had each persons name, so they wouldn’t have to keep track! These were amazing works of art.
So you can see my name on the back.
Unfortunately, the night before, I wanted to wash them to get rid of the fingerprints from creating them. So I washed one…and every bit of paint/marker came right off! I was heartbroken. The glass paint/markers did not work.
I repainted the glass I ruined and then brought them anyway and we still used them. However, once the night was over, people took them home and washed them and they became ordinary glasses again. I was so sad. I worked so freaking hard on them for absolutely nothing at all.
But, in spite of the glass mishap, we had a good time.
My dad, especially!
That red thing he’s dancing with? That’s his shoe horn. Yep, a shoe horn. Do you even know anyone who uses a shoe horn? My dad does. Every single day. He taught my nephew how to use it and now Simon “has” to use a shoe horn to put on his shoes.
We even included trivia tests at our party! This was the Wonderlic test, which they give to all NFL players to determine if they’re stupid or not. (Ok, not really, but pretty much).
This is one of my favorite shots. How intent do they all look? So determined to get the right answer. (Visual clue…)
And, finally, here we are, the whole Beer Fest gang:
It was a fun night, I can’t wait to do it again this fall!