Jul 19, 2009

the 17th vermont brewers' festival

two weeks ago, andrea asked if i'd be interested in going up to burlington for the annual vermont brewer's festival. does a dog have fleas? lisa drove up from connecticut and we left on friday afternoon. after traffic miscellaneously up 93 and 89, we stopped for dinner in downtown burlington. it was dark when we got to the campsite, but we sat under a tent canopy intended for small trucks and drank rum and coke and i poured surreptitious shots of basil hayden's for people who would appreciate it. more than two inches of rain fell on friday night; by 1am, the gradually rising water level at my end of the tent drove me out into the back seat of the car where i eventually fell asleep on top of a pile of cd cases.

we camped with people who care about food. (photo by brennan guerriere.)

next morning, there were stacks of bacon and ziploc omelets, and i made a batch of sourdough pancakes with the starter that's been doing its thing for two weeks, massive blueberries andrea picked at home, a half cup of bacon fat, and dark grade B maple syrup we got from the bulk bin at the local co-op. they were stunningly delicious--softly-crisp outside, tender and fluffy within. the next pancake sunday, east coast edition, is way overdue. it was noon by the time breakfast was over; i got an extra large cup of chuck's home brewed ryePA (a stunningly good, crisp, floral, dry-hopped rye IPA) and we went down to the lake to doze on the sand before grilling burgers for an early dinner before beer.

when we got to the fairground, there was already a line stretching at least 300 yards. we got our beer tickets (15 tickets, each redeemable for a pour) and a glass to drink beer from. after this, my memory begins to haze over. i vaguely recall an abundance of really beautiful dogs, having a seagull do a small poop on my arm, and having many excellent beers, including (but probably not limited to)
  • dogfish's chicory stout and raison d'etre
  • harpoon's munich dark
  • allagash's tripel
  • dieu du ciel's route des epices, rosee d'hibiscus, and aphrodisiaque
  • north coast's pranqster
  • ommegang's rare vos and hennepin
  • magic hat's brown rice lager
  • long trail's blackbeary wheat
  • rock art's belgo-american ipa and the sunny and 75
  • vermont pub and brewery's epinette and forbidden fruit
  • trout river's double time and whitewater
i had 5 tickets left when they announced the imminent closing of the festival, so we cut a couple of lines and pounded our last beers--this was a crime, especially for the double time and white water. the skies were clear by the time the police kicked us out. we walked back along the lakefront trail with fireflies glowing in the bushes and the milky way a bright sash across the sky.

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