Apr 5, 2013

Time to play a little catch up.....this passed weeks events.

First off, let me start by apologizing to my readers. Nothing makes you realize how many people enjoy reading your blog then when you fail to update it for over a week! I thank you all that reached out to me to make sure all was "OK". Have no fear, I am just fine, albeit a tad busy. Between various beer events, my oldest daughters basketball schedule, and a job that seems to be expanding weekly, I have found myself with  very little time to write any updates, till now!!! So, here we go...

Great American BBQ and Beer Festival...
So good!!!
Let me start with the Great American BBQ and Beer Festival. Held back on March 23 in Historic Downtown Chandler. This event, put on by San Tan Brewery, was, shall I say, fairly awesome. To be clear, it was much more a BBQ festival then a beer festival, but that really isn't an issue here at all. San Tan was providing the beer, and just a TON of BBQ vendors took part in providing the food. My wife, and my oldest daughter and I made our way down there, had some AWESOME brisket from Up in Smoke BBQ. Enjoyed a Mr Pineapple and Sex Panther, and walked around, enjoyed the beautiful weather, checking out the sites and sounds and smells,
The weather was perfect!
 and even got to say hello to my friends from Craft Brewed Clothing!! We went early, soon after the gates opened, so it wasn't too busy, but from some of the pictures I saw, it was packed later that evening, and for good reason. The sights, and smells of this festival were just amazing. Everyone was having fun, and were friendly, and polite. There was plenty to eat and drink (even for the kids) and lots to learn, and even some free swag to collect (I scored 3 free t-shirts!) A hat tip to San Tan Brewery and HDE Agency for putting on a spectacular event! Can't wait till next year!

Pitcher of Nectar Distributors Rare Beer Festival
Up next, was the Pitcher of Nectar Distributors Rare Beer Festival, held at Whole Foods. This festival, although small, had an amazing line up of beers! I got 15 tickets, and used each one on a beer I had never tried before, and in many cases, never even heard of! We spent a good 3+ hours making our way through the crowd, visiting with friends, making some new ones, and just having a great time doing it. Now, if I had one knock on this festival, is that it was a little starved for space.
Lots of beer lovers!
If you have ever been to The Watering Hole at Whole Foods, you know its not a huge place, and it seemed every beer lover in the east valley was filling the place up for this event. That being said, it didn't really detract from the event at all. I normally hate tight crowds. I get grumpy, and short tempered normally. Not this time. Maybe it was because of all the amazing beers to be had, or all the friendly beer lovers enjoying themselves, or our gracious host King James Swann, making the rounds making sure everyone was happy. Maybe it was all these things. It was a great event, and hope next year, you can procure a little more floor space (maybe even in the parking lot?), as I am sure there will be an even larger crowd next year.

Play Ball!!!!
This brings me to one of my favorite days of the year, Opening Day! As is my tradition, I attended the D-backs Opening Day with my mother, and her friend Andrea, and her husband Rich, as we have done for the last half dozen years or so.Growing up a huge fan of the sport, watching my beloved Red Sox every chance I could get, or playing in as many leagues as our short Maine summers would allowed, I have always loved the game of baseball. The fact that beer and baseball go hand in hand is just a glorious coincidence. Now, craft beer and baseball, well that is still a young relationship, but one that is maturing with each passing season. Currently, a majority of the beer available at most ballparks is comprised mainly of macro American lagers. However, if you know where to look, Chase Field, and other ballparks do offer a few tasty brews. A few Sam Adams seasonal are available, as is a few of Phoenix Ale Brewery's offerings. I enjoyed an $11 Cambleback IPA, while I watched as the D-backs raked up 15 hits, and 6 runs to win their 5th (?) straight opening day, this time against the Cardinals of St Louis.
On a side note, I was just reading that our beloved local brewery Four Peaks is in discussion with the D-Backs currently to provide their brews at Chase Field for next season, which would be WONDERFUL news if you ask me! I can see myself enjoying a Hop Knot while taking in a ball game!!!

OK, I promise, I will not take so long before I post again, as I have a list of things I want to write about, or share with you. Again, I appreciate those that showed concern in my absences, nice to know I have some faithful readers out there!

Thanks again, and until next time
Bottoms up my friends!

The Beer Czar

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