The World Beer Festival is coming to Brown's Island on June 12. You're probably saying to yourself, “Wait, Jack, we have some half-assed, alcohol-based jubilee every weekend in Richmond.” Well yeah, we do. But this one is more national in scope and is being put on by the group of beer elitists behind All About Beer magazine, making it slightly more high-profile than the latest Malt Liquors' of Chesterfield show at the Southside Speedway.
This event, like almost all events that use a charity as a beard, has an entrance fee for the four-hour tasting: $40 for general admission and $75 for a VIP pass. Some beer geeks may disagree but I think these are exorbitant amounts. Either All About Beer Magazine is making a mint or its local charity, Fetch A Cure, is going to be able to save about 3 million puppies from cancer afterward.
Profits and intentions aside, I attended two preliminary media events so that I could drink for free [Full disclosure: Style Weekly is a co-sponsor of the Fest]. One thing was undeniable: These guys are demented in their devotion to the brew, more specifically, craft and home brews.
Just so you're informed, craft beers are defined as beers that are brewed in limited amounts by smaller breweries, thus making these beers more special. Home brews are brewed in basements by guys who have given up on their lives.
I am not a craft beer guy. When I think of craft beer I think of a dude wearing Teva sandals in a field somewhere having intolerable conversations with other Teva wearers about hops, barley and the latest Blues Traveler CD. I think I'd rather endure a bunch of wine snobs discussing tasting notes, bouquets and the latest John Mayer CD (Which was his best effort since “Room for Squares,” in my opinion. Mmmm, this Meritage has a vegetative finish, although I detected a bit of almond also.)
I don't doubt All About Beer's sincerity with this festival. Beer is a passion for its employees and readers as well as millions of other people on this planet. Incredibly they're holding their “World” Beer Fest in Richmond, and wait for it ... the Carolinas! That's, uh, very worldy of them. I suppose there's a large-enough contingency of hippies in the mid-Atlantic to support these types of things.
OK. Now I'm just being a jerk. Notify me when the World Liquor Fest comes to town.
The Siege Of Shockoe Bottom (Update):
Early Saturday afternoon, May 15, rumors abounded that Petersburg gangsters were coming to Richmond that evening during Chris Brown's Shockoe Bottom Shutdown to retaliate for the recent killings of two Petersburgers. My fellow bartenders and I wondered if our 4 a.m. trash run would turn into a bloodbath. Leading up to the night local pundits (not me) pontificated about morals and shutting down clubs and other uppity suburban bullshit. Well guess what, nothing happened. The cops stepped up their game, the clubs handled their business, and the “urban” masses had fun without spraying bullets everywhere. I don't care if it was only one night. It was a win for Richmond.
In a month or three some drunk woman will run over a pedestrian out in Short Pump after leaving Kona Grill. We won't care though. She's white and rich.
Richmond bartender Jack Lauterback consumes and slings drinks at a number of local establishments. He also writes a surly blog at jackgoesforth.blogspot.com. Find him on Twitter @jackgoesforth. Have a question or comment for the bartender? E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org.