Brewfest 2015

Another year, another beer(fest). This was my fifth year going to the Vermont Brewer’s Festival and each year I feel like it gets better in one way or another. Here are some of my thoughts from this year’s festival.

The weather in Vermont is unpredictable

Leading up to Brewfest it was looking like it was going to be a rainy session on Saturday. I compulsively checked the weather all week hoping for a change but none came…until Saturday morning. About 10 minutes before we left to get in line the chance of rain for 12 PM to 4 PM changed from ~60% to 0% and the sun came out. It ended up being a beautiful day which makes me 5 for 5 for good weather.

The volunteers are the real heroes

People like cold beer. Where I grew up there’s a store that advertises ‘coldest beer in town’ so it’s gotta be a thing, right? The volunteers at Brewfest not only bring the kegs around to supply us with beer but they keep that beer cold with bags and bags of ice too. They also handle stuffing tickets into glasses, selling merchandise, and overall helping to make the festival run smoothly. Every year I want to thank every single volunteer for dedicating some of their weekend to make the event what it is. Next year I’m hoping to hop on the volunteer train and see the festival through their eyes while doing all I can to help out.

Sunscreen is a must

Each year I leave Brewfest with a pretty intense sunburn and each year I think ‘next year I’m gonna be smarter about it and wear more sunscreen’. Well, I didn’t listen to myself again and guess what, I have two big red patches on my feet where the sandals didn’t protect and my neck is a completely different color than the rest of my body; I would identify it as some sort of late stage rust color. I think what threw me this year was that the potential for rain diminished my thoughts on sunscreen so much that I just wrote it off. Big mistake, but next year I’m gonna be smarter about it and wear more sunscreen.

Water is important

Vermont Brewer’s Festival teams up with the Vermont Community Garden Network to provide a big truck of water that is pretty much all-you-care-to-enjoy water. Regrettably for me, I did not really enjoy enough water this year, only making one trip to fill up my tasting glass. Liz brought in a water bottle this year and was able to keep very well hydrated and the VCGN was selling bottles as well. Next year I’ll follow Liz’s lead and bring a water bottle in or buy one from the VCGN to be a lot smarter about my non-beer hydration.

What was/is your favorite beer?

That one question seems to be one of the most popular questions during Brewfest and I tell you what, it gets old quick. With the wide variety of styles of beer, it’s almost impossible to pick a ‘favorite’. It is nice to get recommendations or to hear a good review about the beers available but I feel like picking a favorite beer is like picking a favorite child; you might want to do it but you probably shouldn’t.

Closing thoughts

This year Brewfest weekend felt especially fun due to to all of the other events going on in the Burlington area. From tap takeovers to special beers, bars and restaurants in town seemed to really embrace the beer drinkers flocking from all over. On top of that, we had a really big group of people this year and even though we didn’t all move together as one big blob, we kept running into each other throughout the afternoon. I know I’m looking forward to next year already!

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