I give a surprising amount of f____s about the new Lagunitas six-pack

I no longer order the beer at the grocery store where I work, so I am occasionally capable of being surprised on delivery days. Not too long ago, I went a little nuts when I saw Moonlight Death & Taxes in 4-pack cans. (Moonlight? At the supermarket! We live in the future! ). Last week, I freaked out because the latest Lagunitas rotating “one hitter” six pack SKU was a collaboration (excuse me, “joint session”) with Moonlight called Secret Agenda. And it’s a BOCK.

Pardon my wine backstock

Pardon my wine backstock

Quite exciting to an old-fashioned continental beer lover in this weird era. (The last one-hitter release was mango. Nope.)

First off, I had to explain to some coworkers what bock is (tl;dr: traditional German strong lager). Then I had to remind myself, oh yeah, Lagunitas bought a 50% stake in Moonlight. To be fair, the average local beer drinker doesn’t know Lagunitas has itself been bought by Heineken.

Side tangent: When we were all boycotting Goose Island almost a decade ago, I never thought I’d get to the point where I’d literally forget about beer acquisitions like this. And by now, some of you die-hards are like “JEN MUEHLBAUER IS A COP” and have blocked me on Twitter. Don’t worry, I still hate AB InBev. But if Moonlight’s Brian Hunt is happy — and it sounds like he is — then I’m happy. I predict we’ll see more succession plans like this as beer’s founding fathers (and mothers) approach retirement age.

Anyway, Secret Agenda is good! It seems to mostly salute tradition while adding some newer-school hop flavors. And it’s not a hop bomb! Though I haven’t tasted it against an authentic German bock, because I have better things to do than go find one. That’s part of the problem. Breweries of all sizes are making light lagers these days, so I know lagering isn’t the obstacle. I’m ready for bock to be trendy for a minute! When I was in Alaska last year, bock was so prevalent I even encountered 2 eisbocks for crying out loud.

The Lagunitas one-hitter six packs generally disappear pretty quickly, so grab this one soon if you’re curious. For the record, Lagunitas/Heineken had nothing to do with this post and I bought this six pack with money. Told you I was old-fashioned.

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Happy belated beer week!

This SF Beer Week recap is late, but not as late as last year’s! I’ll spare you the rambling intro, let’s get to the good stuff.

Working a block from Ocean Ale House does not suck
…and coincidentally, I got off work early in the day all through beer week. Can I still say “winning!” or is that too 2012? Monday, I was able to get a seat at the bar a bit before Ocean Ale House’s  brut IPA event/podcast with Kim from Social Kitchen. I still have much to learn about brut IPA — I’ve had some good ones and some bad ones — but I’m not totally sick of them yet and it’s nice to see the previously underrated Kim getting his props for something. Saw some old beer buddies, met a nice stranger on her way to SFO, had some cool conversation, and it hailed. Two beers, done, happy Monday.

Recipe for happiness: secure a Church Key barstool right at 5pm
In this topsy-turvy timeline, sometimes you just want a safe bet. And so, Marin Brewing night at Church Key. Add cheese and soul music and I am not going to miss it. It was hard not to drink Arnebrau (a.k.a. “Munich in June”) all night. I was also impressed by the South Merken double porter with Chilean spices, a collab with a brewery from Argentina.

You can go home again, sometimes
I used to live walking distance from Triple Rock. Since I moved I rarely go, but they had me at “saison night with Sante Adairius.” Sante beers without a 2 hour drive? 3 saisons on tap? Open tables at dinnertime? Yes please. I should probably put Triple Rock back in rotation. Two beers, done, happy Friday (I’m sensing a theme here.)

Behold the one new bar I discovered. 
I know, one whole new bar. And I didn’t pick it. But when a friend suggested LA night at Holy Water, I said “LA beers without driving to LA!” and then I said “where the f is Holy Water?” The answer is Bernal Heights, a short bus ride from work through the Excelsior, which on a superficial riding-a-bus-through-it way reminded me of the Mission 15 years ago. Must investigate. But Holy Water was great, with ample seating and likeable music at just the right volume and half pours. I had a couple good LA beers and they had Younger by the ounce with no fuss so I actually tried it this year. And it’s near Old Devil Moon, where I still haven’t been. Pub crawl?

My year+ overdue Sacramento epiphany 
Thursday. No beer week plans. I decide to treat myself to a solo beer back at Ocean Ale House. After consultation with the bartender, I settle on a Bigger on the Inside DIPA from some outlet called Urban Roots. Within a few sips, I am googling. A few more and I am texting my husband that we need to go to Sacramento because of this brewery downtown I just discovered. Digging deeper, I learn this is the latest venture from Peter Hoey (always great, but most fondly remembered by me for Odonata saison) and Rob Archie who founded the delicious Pangea. Oh my god! Where the hell was I last year? Ugh. Don’t answer that.

Everyone’s favorite beer week festival
The print edition of Celebrator is dead, but long live the Trumer fest. It feels the same and still comes with dinner, huzzah. First thing I did was try all the Urban Roots (see above). Lots of fun stuff here, but my standout this year was Sante Adairius pouring Little Engine and Beauty Sleep. Hooray! Thanks to the California Craft Brewers Association for hooking me up with a ticket.

Let’s do this again before 2020. If you got this far, recommend me a bar and I’ll go to it and write a post. Cheers.


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The one where Jen goes to the gala and says nice things

As you age, your goals change. I’ll never run another marathon, and that’s okay. I could still probably ride a mechanical bull, but I no longer want to, and that’s okay too. But what about the less quantifiable goals, like “be less negative?” After a certain point, you have to wonder what’s improvable and what’s baked in. Can I still change my attitude when I’ve been salty for so long they used to call it “snarky?” I know negativity is not a healthy lifestyle, so believe it or not, I try. Evidence: not wanting to shit in the beer scene’s cornflakes (in writing) is one of the reasons I’ve been so quiet lately.

Then in walks beer week. A time to celebrate our local creations, not the time for an airing of grievances (Don’t worry, there’s plenty of time for that later this year). And — sorry if I’m jinxing it — local beer trends seem to be turning a corner I once again like.

Therefore, it was a good year for the opening gala, an event that seems to want me there since tickets have come my way for the last 3 years even though I’m barely a “beer person” anymore. (Call it Bacchus ex machina.) I approach large events with apprehension, but — and this is true — I realized within 10 minutes there that my face felt weird and it was because I was smiling. As I said about this event the year I didn’t drink at it, “Any one of us is capable of buying some good beer and drinking at home, but you go to these things to see your people.” It’s like a class reunion, but with better booze and people you’re actually happy to see again.

While I heard some grumbling about bad beer (there is bad beer at almost every festival, every year) *I* personally had a bunch of great beer, probably because I took this fest as an opportunity to reacquaint myself with breweries I already like. But I’ll keep that brief. Do you need to hear yet again how much I love Berryessa, Henhouse, Marin, Freewheel? And if “Moylans” makes you think “Kiltlifter, whatever” then you should visit them at a festival or in real life sometime soon.

When I felt like doing something other than standing at one table trying the whole line-up while talking to someone I haven’t seen in a year, here’s what I discovered:

The 21A/Brooklyn/Funkwerks triple threat: Okay, so Brooklyn Brewing is another old favorite, but it’s new to us here. As a casual but multidecade fan, seeing them arrive in the market where I’ve acquired gray hairs and a mortgage makes my grinchy beer heart grow two sizes. I’m hoping to revisit their Belgian-style beers soon, but in the meantime: Chocolate Stout and Black Ops at the gala, yasss. Funkwerks is new to me but I’ll be back for more of their saison.

Seismic: Shatter Cone IPA is a nice six-pack beer that’s been out since 2017 and which I only recently discovered, because of course. Their festival-only barrel aged imperial stout supplied further evidence that this brewery is worth seeking out. They’re opening a tasting room in Sebastopol soon. I will be paying attention.

Floodcraft: I work at Whole Foods, so I figured I’d try it. And I’m usually open to *trying* more hazy IPAs, especially in small quantities and at no additional cost. I surprised myself by not dumpbucketing this one. Further proof that I’m helpless in the face of Citra — and it’s good to know my employers make good beer.

Temescal Brewing: did you know they have a new brewer? And his pilsner is fantastic? I also really like the sound of the events they put on for beer week, which give voice to underrepresented beer groups (women, people who aren’t white) without the usual “hey look a lady brewer” tone all us actual underrepresented folk are real tired of. And they have a monthly queer night. I’ll be revisiting this Bart-accessible spot.

So, against my brain and liver’s better judgment, I’m excited about local beer again. I’m going to go to more events and breweries this year. I’m also going to go to wineries and creameries and obscure Chinese restaurants and state parks. “We live in a beautiful and delicious place” might deserve to be a more daily affirmation.

Stay tuned for more on how I spent my week.

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I’m alive and ready for beer week (maybe)

Hello, my four loyal readers. It’s been a while. I went to a beer media thing recently and no one actually said “I thought you moved away,” but I could hear them thinking it.

I’m not the only one. How many beer bloggers from 10 years ago are still writing? Yeah. Full disclosure, I probably wouldn’t be writing this now if I wasn’t somehow still getting beer week media freebies based on my past ramblings. It’s hard to write about something that doesn’t inspire you, and I’ve not been particularly psyched about the beer world lately. I’ve got thoughts as to why not (and why this may be turning around) that I’ll be pondering further for the next 10 days.

It’s also been a rough few years, and it’s hard to rock at frivolous unpaid pastimes when you’re struggling with the day-to-day. The good news is, we live in a beautiful and delicious part of the world, and I’m both healthy enough and financially solvent enough to enjoy a glass of cold beer, and we’ve all got little pocket computers on which to immortalize our bullshit thoughts while riding BART. It’s not exactly the upper echelons of Maslow’s hierarchy, but it’s enough to get at least a little excited about.

Beer week is as good a time as any to get boots back on the ground and see what brewers are doing these days other than milkshakes and wine coolers. First, I’ll be at the opening gala to get the lay of the land. Next weekend, I’m taking my annual AC Transit trip to Trumer. It’s not the Celebrator anniversary party anymore but I’m guessing it’s still good. In between, I dunno… I’ll do some stuff, which I’ll figure out when I have the patience to fight through more of the beer week website with my 5-year-old phone.

See you out there. I hope 2019, beer week and otherwise, has some neat tricks up its sleeve.


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If you can’t have the first SF Beer Week recap you might as well have the last

SF Beer Week is like walking into a bar and seeing a rare beer on tap: you can choose to participate or not — and maybe if you’re jaded you roll your eyes a little — but deep down you admit it’s kinda neat to know it’s there.

This clumsy analogy brought to you by going to Toronado the week after beer week, seeing Younger on tap, and not ordering it. I did do beer week though. I can even sort of remember it. This was the year I recalled how many ways there are to approach this beast.

Drink the leftovers

This has long been one of my favorite ways to enjoy beer week: skip the crowded event that will keep me up past my bedtime, and hit the venue ASAP the next day. The taplist will usually still have some unique stuff on it and there may even be a “kick the keg” special to clear room for the next event. Sure, you miss the most limited beers that way, but you know by now I don’t care.

On the Thursday of beer week, I wandered into the closest beer bar, Ocean Ale House, for a glass or two of get-right after a job interview. It was a good sign that I sat down at the bar then turned to my left and saw I was sitting next to beer pioneer Dave McLean (more on him later). Ocean Ale House seemed to be recovering from events with Drake’s and Propolis. I grabbed a Drake’s pin for my work apron and a Tiberius barleywine, because if you’re going to have a beer this early in the afternoon you might as well go big. Co-owner Miles was enthusing about the 2-year-old barrel aged beer that was somehow still on tap despite its delicousness, Propolis Prunus, and I’m not dumb so I stayed for one of those. Dave’s burger looked amazing but I had to get out of there before I drank the whole taplist.

Ocean Ale House is a hidden gem in a city that isn’t supposed to have any hidden gems left. Oh yeah, I got the job, so I’ll be back.

Treat it like a road trip

I have some friends who like use beer week as an excuse to hit corners of the Bay not normally on their radar. Which is how I found myself playing Skee Ball at a Chicago tap takeover in SF.

My first question was, how did an arcade bar I’ve never heard of get a taplist full of Pipeworks and Off Color? Well, it turns out Emporium is part of a small chain of barcades based in Chicago. Cool. And bonus points for the indoor street art.


After a couple of beers and middling games of Burger Time, we got back in the car and headed to Ale Arsenal in San Carlos. I’d been there many a year ago, by Caltrain I think, with the Bay Area Beer Bloggers. (Remember blogs? Oh wait…) They treated us well then and this return visit was also a win. It’s a great place, even though I kind of hate their logo. These folks had a mighty fine all-stout taplist going. This event, had it been in SF or Oakland, would have been slammed. In San Carlos, I got a seat. And that $20 Reuben next door at the Refuge actually was $20 worth of delicious. Damn.

Look at this epic shit

Look at this epic shit

Keep it super low key/educational

If geeking out about malt at 4pm on a Monday in a homebrew shop doesn’t already appeal to you, nothing I say will change that. But I am the type of nerd (with Monday off) who greatly enjoys any trip to Oak Barrel even though I haven’t brewed beer in years. Oak Barrel was hosting Ron Silberstein and Dave McLean, who opened 2 of SF’s earliest post-prohibition breweries — Thirsty Bear and Magnolia, respectively — before their latest gambit as co-owners of Admiral Maltings. Malt talk, beer samples, a low-key homebrew crowd, and bites of Oak Barrel’s Homer Smith’s legendary BBQ…that was a good Monday.

Much has already been written about Admiral Maltings, and you should go read it. I will add that I too am pumped to have a malting operation in the Bay Area! As Old Kan’s Adam Lamoreaux pointed out at Oak Barrel, nothing beats brewing with 2-day-old malt.

Revisit the classics

What is there left to say about the Celebrator anniversary party? Everyone loves this bash, except breweries grouchy that they weren’t invited to pour. But it’s refreshing, after a week of hijinks, that you could fit several Celebrator parties inside an opening gala in that “how many _________ can you fit inside Texas” way. It’s a lot of people’s favorite beer week event, and once inside it’s easy to remember why. And I can take the #72 bus to Trumer, so there’s that.

Usually I love any festival where Russian River is pouring, because then queues for other sought-after breweries are shorter. This time, as long as Younger was pouring, there was no line for the geniuses at Beachwood (all great, and yes, I *may* have tried them all). By the time the masses were crowding Beachwood, I was able to walk right up to the Marin Brewing table and get my mind blown by their Redwood Kriek. 

However, my peak Celebrator/Trumer moment may have been when Russian River tapped Supplication…and because they were out of Younger, no one cared. My crew and I quickly realized this situation was as perfect and rare as any beer, and gorged on no-line Supplication like Romans at an orgy. A fine reminder that things are always changing, but as beer lovers in the Bay Area we do still live in the promised land.

Maybe just a little ecstatic about the multiple glasses of Supplication

If there’s anything better than all the Supplication you can drink, it’s all the Supplication you can drink with good people

Posted in Road trip, SF Beer Week | Comments Off on If you can’t have the first SF Beer Week recap you might as well have the last

The holy cow TENTH opening gala?

How is SF Beer Week 10 years old? Also, how is SF Beer Week only 10 years old? Maybe it’s an occupational hazard of living past 40, but that “seems like just yesterday”/”can’t remember life before it” cognitive dissonance applies to more and more subjects.


I’ve been somewhat blowing off beer week for the last couple years, but this year, life conspired to bring me back:

  • It occurred to me that this would be my first SF Beer Week working in…SF. Hmm.
  • I went to a beer festival outside SF and had a really good time
  • My boss scored me a free ticket to the opening gala
  • A Trumer rep walked up to me in the beer aisle at work and gave me 2 tickets to the Celebrator anniversary party

So, all of a sudden, through a combination of free shit and actually feeling up to it, I guess I’m doing beer week.

Though Celebrator doesn’t close it out anymore, the opening gala is still the opening gala. Last year, I poured for work but didn’t drink. Year before was 2016 and even though it was only February I was already deep in 2016 “fuck everything” mode and not attending many events. In 2015 — what innocent prehistory was that? — apparently I had a good time. Ok, let’s do this. I worked my shift, grabbed a couple slices of pizza and some $3 hippie orange soda claiming to be an energy drink, and walked out of the Whole Foods on Market right onto the type of old school F train you always hope will come when you’re showing an out of town visitor San Francisco.


F train to Pier 39 by way of old timey Italy

F train to Pier 39 by way of old timey Italy

My Instagram feed, by this time, was almost exclusively populated by beer industry people posting photos of the increasingly-iconic SFBW lighted sign.

Yeah, this sign. 2015 photo by Ann Niemczyk.

Yeah, this sign. 2015 photo by Ann Niemczyk.

Outside the train, the sun was setting and I was having a peak tourist experience even though I’ve lived in the Bay for 9 years.


First pleasant surprise? This party has figured out how to move people quickly through the line and into the building. (Remember the year the fire marshall came?) I was inside pretty quickly and ready to run the gauntlet.

The East Bay section of the festival was close to the entrance, so for me, the gauntlet was not so much “drink MF drink” as “Jen Muehlbauer, this is your life.” I feel like within 15 minutes I saw everyone I’d ever worked with, bartended for, or had a drink with. But that’s impossible because for the rest of beer week I kept hearing “you were at the gala? I didn’t see you!” This thing has gotten big, folks.

(And expensive. $90 this year? My theory is that it has to keep getting pricier for paying customers because a growing beer industry means more and more people getting in for free. And I’m sure these enormous San Francisco venues are more expensive than my West Contra Costa County-based brain can conceptualize.)

Some thoughts:

Festivals like this have always been about crazy stunt beers, but what does that mean in an environment that’s already full of beers that artfully imitate the entire grocery store? I’ve long said I appreciate the brewing talent involved in these magic tricks but I don’t actually need my beer to taste like creme brulee or s’mores. Still, in the spirit of unlimited sampling, I did try some gimmick beers and even enjoyed a few. Sierra Nevada Otra Vez with blue agave and lime was basically a session margarita…bring me a pitcher of this and an enchilada, please. And Danville Brewing’s oatmeal raisin cookie beer — I fondly remember brewer Matt Sager’s homebrew version from before he went pro — is still way better than it should be. And my Richmond neighbors Benoit Casper and Catahoula collaborated on a tasty coffee stout, heavy on the coffee. 

That being said, I’m still a curmudgeon who tires quickly of beers that taste like the cocktail menu at TGI Fridays. In an existential moment, I stared deeply into a glass of opaque fruit “IPA”  from a very popular local brewery, and asked myself, “Should I embrace this?” I took another sip and answered: Nah.

Believe it or not, I saw glimmers of hope for beer-flavored beer. I tasted three bocks. Three! Is German beer coming back? Please tell me German beer is coming back. I also noticed more English beers than I expected. Alameda Island must have changed brewers or something, because their Admiral’s Best Bitter is better than anything I ever recall trying from that outfit. (Tasting note: “I’d drink a warm pint of this!”) And Henhouse wowed me not with anything I had to wait in line for, but at the end of the night, with a non-flashy but perfectly executed hoppy blonde.

I gotta say, this event might truly have something for everyone, if even my grouchy ass walks away happy. And since dump buckets were plentiful, I was happy the next morning, too!

Oh yeah, just pretend I took some pictures of beers to add relevance to this rambling nonsense. Cheers.

Posted in SF Beer Week | 2 Comments

The posts I haven’t been writing

There used to be a recurring debate in the beer community about the value and ethics of negative commentary. There was always some curmudgeonly old dude who’d forgotten more about beer than most of us ever knew, and he’d be complaining about how bloggers/whoever only cheerlead for the industry in exchange for free beer. And then there’d be some enthusiastic youngster who discovered beer, relative to this codger, last Tuesday. And the enthusiastic youngster would basically say, Do we really want to be the type of humans whose actual hobby is to talk shit about other people’s hard work?

I came down somewhere in between. Surely we needed more in-depth beer journalism, more calling out of bad beer and bad beer people. But I’m conflict-avoidant, so it’s not going to be me.

So when people have been asking me if I still write about beer and didn’t I used to write about beer and am I ever going to write about beer again: yeah, sure. But I’m also drinking less beer than I used to and feeling less excited about it.

Here is an incomplete list of posts I have not written in the last 10 months

  • Hazy IPA was fine (and in the hands of certain breweries, even good) until somewhere along the line it became the default “IPA” at many bars and for many people, and that makes me want to stab all of Vermont.
  • Beer is in its “beer for people who don’t like beer” phase.
  • Why does every place have cornhole now? Who started this?
  • The Shitty Beer Men List (someone else needs to actually start this whisper campaign)
  • The devolution of  the local beer community as people move away, quit drinking, or die
  • Remember the olden days when local beer news was NOT extensively covered by the East Bay Express, East Bay Times, Berkeleyside, and all the hip SF listicle-making machines?
  • Who is the user Eastbaybeer on Instagram because it’s not me
  • Let me tell you my theory that since Trump’s election beer sales are suffering because beer drinkers are increasingly turning to harder drink, legal weed, and probably opiates.
  • The obligations of normative middle-class American “adulthood” are really fucking up my ability to keep up with the local beer scene with anything approaching promptness or completeness.
  • The East Bay had a golden age of beer. Pretty sure it ended in 2014.

Okay. I’m going to keep not writing any of those. But I did just reluctantly re-embrace SF Beer Week for the first time in years, so I’ll tell you about that in the next post.

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Booze labels from the Wayback Machine

I know I’m not the only beer person who also digs local history. Thus, I can’t be the only one who’d enjoy the California Historical Society‘s Vintage Beer, Wine, & Spirits Labels exhibition. The exhibition opened in December, but I live under a rock so I just went last week. It’s not really beer-focused, but there’s some beer in it. (Kind of like this blog lately.) If you plan on being in San Francisco at any point in the next two weeks, it’s an inexpensive, quick trip to the 1930s.

It turns out the California Historical Society has an absurd collection of alcohol labels, including many from the focus of this exhibit, Lehmann Printing and Lithographing Company of San Francisco. A journalist called Lehmann “the printer who hasn’t heard about the depression” due to the company’s rapid expansion and its products’ festive aesthetic.

There are definitely some signs of the times that times have changed since the ’30s. Several beer labels contain selling points like “less than 1/2 of 1% alcohol” — it must have been Prohibition — and “high in extract.


When you’ve seen the exhibit, if want to explore further the California Historical Society’s library could easily take up the rest of your day. Patty from CHS (a fellow beer lover) suggested I go in there and ask for some more labels to look at, because they don’t have room to exhibit most of them. The librarian returned with three giant boxes of wine labels, out of a total of eight boxes they have. Talk about drinking from the firehose. I was overwhelmed, but it’s good to know someone’s keeping track of this stuff.


I’d never been to the California Historical Society before and I’m glad I went. It also has a cute gift shop where you can buy, among other things, books of the spirits and wine labels on display. If you want to check out the exhibit, you have until April 23 (not the 16th as it says on their website). There are a whole bunch of other museums nearby and it’s convenient to public transit. Not to mention it’s near Bartlett Hall, Mikkeller Bar, and Thirsty Bear. Cheers to drinks, design, and history! :)

Thank you Patty Pforte for making sure I found out about this exhibition.

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Farewell, Speakeasy

Speakeasy Ales & Lagers, one of San Francisco’s first post-prohibition breweries, has “ceased operations indefinitely.” I’m sad to see it go. I feel for the people who worked there. I’ve drank a lot of Speakeasy at a lot of bars, and this brand will forever evoke a more optimistic, new-to-Norcal time in my life. And if you don’t think Payback Porter was a good beer, I’m not sure what to tell you.

Here are some photos from a trip to Speakeasy in 2010.









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On not drinking beer at SF Beer Week

If your beer blog post does not contain any beer, is it still a beer blog? An existential question of our time. Regardless, I am here to report on my unique experience of attending the SF Beer Week opening gala without consuming a single drop of beer, because I was on the clock at the Whole Foods booth. I do these things so you don’t have to!


  • With or without beer, it’s hard to top a beautiful, sunny day in San Francisco. It reminds you why we put up with the cost of living and the rich douchebags.
  • I once again confirmed that Whole Foods Market hires some very cool people, many of whom I feel instantly comfortable and social with, which really is an oddity for me.
I still love tourist crap like this

On the train approaching the gala. I still love tourist crap like this


  • Could not consume tasty beverages. Well, many of my colleagues snuck beers anyway, but I’m a goody two shoes. (Cue the Adam Ant song)


  • I didn’t have to care/strategize/stress about which beers to try since I wasn’t trying any of them
  • I got to see a lot of people I don’t see enough of, including some I haven’t seen in months or (!) years.
  • I exercised what I like to call “teacher bladder” (when I was a teacher I wouldn’t pee between 7am and 3pm) and did not have to run the disgusting and time-consuming gauntlet that is the opening gala bathrooms. This is impossible when drinking.
  • I didn’t bother braving the dinner lines, but because I wasn’t drinking it didn’t really matter. Kudos to Betsy from Churchkey and Chad from Benoit-Casper for sneaking me snacks, though :)
This has nothing to do with anything but I admire anyone wearing this contrarian opinion to a beer festival in 201

This has nothing to do with anything but I admire anyone wearing this contrarian opinion to a beer festival in 2017


  • Drunk people are funny when you’re not drunk, until they’re annoying, but then you’re just glad you’re not a bartender anymore and anyway by then it’s almost over.
This was funny to someone after 97 short pours of IPA

This was funny to someone after 97 short pours of IPA


  • I did not wake up in the morning and have to make sure I didn’t lose anything, check outgoing text messages for incriminating evidence, or unsubscribe from Facebook groups I don’t remember joining. I don’t normally drink like that but the opening gala is a burly beast and I know how things usually end.
  • At no point at the event or the next morning did I have to wonder if I sounded stupid or had been stupid or was going to be stupid. That happens even after a beer and a half.
  • Because I was the lone Sober Suzie in a sea of drunkasses I was the one who noticed the dollar bill on the sidewalk on 3rd street, which turned out to be a $100. Protip, if you’re going to an event with unlimited pours of alcohol, don’t just have a hundo in loose in your pocket.


  • Feeling like the odd man out with your water bottle is easy for a night, but I can see how the struggle is real for my friends who have, for health or personal reasons, given up beer entirely.

In short, I still got to socialize, which believe it or not even anxious turds like me can do without alcohol, and it didn’t cost me any money or liver function or shame. I guess I finally understand how people tolerate the free/cheap designated driver option at festivals. Any one of us is capable of buying some good beer and drinking at home, but you go to these things to see your people. And that — no matter how much the cost of living or the rich douchey neighbors may seem to be taking over — is what makes our beer community still worth being part of. Maybe we should all do something without alcohol once in a while, since we don’t actually need it to have fun?

That said, I’m going to go have a beer now :)

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