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Beer vs. Sultry Latin Tongues

Two weekend festivals excite the senses — and may provoke outbursts of dance.


Shockoe Craft Beer Festival

1. Almost two dozen breweries, from such locals as Richbrau and Legend to farther-flung Virginia varieties such as Starr Hill and Mobjack Bay, celebrate the free-market economy of the tongue.

2. Beer and music, when mated, produce beautiful, smiling offspring (who often sing along and hold up lighters). And so, the bands: The Yokels, Moossa, The Atkinsons and Modern Groove Syndicate.

3. Beer can create a relaxed and sensual mood, perfect for contemplating the Canal Turning Basin with a paramour whose name, for the life of you, you are unable to recall.

4. Even the most left-footed Caucasian can be moved to dance where good beer has visited.

5. Boat rides and brewing seminars! Can this be legal? Absolutely not! No, of course it is. But bring your ID.

¨Qué Pasa? Festival of Virginia

1. Cuisine and music from Cuba, Mexico, Brazil and beyond celebrate the free-market economy of international culture.

2. Latin music and hips, when mated, produce wiggly, gyrating offspring (often concealed beneath tight black pants or short skirts). And so, the bands: Latin rock outfit deSol, Bio Ritmo and Son Quatro.

3. Latin music speaks a sensual language, perhaps best received while sitting on the grass at Brown's Island trying to think of all the dirty words you know in Spanish.

4. Even the most arrhythmic wallflower can learn to stamp feet and shake hips where salsa music has staked its claim.

5. Witness the joining of Richmond to its new sister city, Zacatecas, Mexico, in a special ceremony. Will they share? Will they pull hair?

In truth, no one should be forced to make such a decision. Nor do you need to. The ¨Qué Pasa? Festival of Virginia is Sept. 17, from noon to 6 p.m. Tickets are $8-$10. 378-4099. The Shockoe Craft Beer Festival is Sept. 18, noon-7 p.m. Tickets are $12. 249-9123. — Brandon Reynolds

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