Monday, September 18, 2006
It was a beer snob's dream. I got to re-experience my days as a bartender with all the fun and free beer and none of the drunken sloppy nastiness (except on my part!).
The event: the 11th annual "How Berkeley Can you Be" festival. It took place on an exquisite Bay area summer day - the skies were clear, the sunshine bright, and the beer icy cold.
It was a real treat to hang out in the beer garden with fellow beer appreciators & freaks, the kind that can only be found in... Berkeley. Never mind that I live in Oakland.
The breweries represented were Trumer Pilsner, Jupiter, Triple Rock, Pyramid and Bison. Holy crap, that's a lot of good beer to come out of one city! There was double IPA, smooth, golden hefeweizen, crisp pilsner, smoky pale ale, spiced porter that was like biting into a slab of gingerbread, and a cocoa spiked stout, which was kind of like, the mole of beers. I can't remember them all. Just go take your own damn beer tour and try 'em.
Besides being such a treat to be able to freely swill this embarassment of riches, it was a sweet opportunity to remember how much I still enjoy pulling the perfect pint. I mean come on, you can hardly fail to make people happy when you serve 'em up a tall cool glass of hops with a big old grin (and perhaps a wee bit of cleavage), now can you?
An added bonus was that I got to talk to several people about the fine art of homebrewing...and I learned that it isn't too costly to buy your own beer making equipment...and I'm afraid a new obsession was born. Guess I better get busy collecting hops, eh?
One of the musical highlights was a great performance by B-town hip-hop/funk group Live Audio Explosion. If it was a little challenging pouring those perfect pints with my booty shaking the whole time, you can blame it on these cats. Except you'll listen to their music and then you'll be too busy shaking your own ass to complain, and you'll probably be ready for a beer...so ya might wanna head towards Berkeley.