Clay and I decided to go up to Fredericksburg and check out their beer fest. I didn't have any expectations just vague notions of the fizzy sort. Upon arriving in or around the city, we picked up Clay's brother-in-law. He's an affable beer lover who was happy to be picked up and delivered to the beer. After an oddly efficient carding/wrist band process there was a small mix up over tickets with the admission staff. Some small bit of consternation later we were in the beer fest.
This fest was all outside and the weather was perfect. The sun was shining, breeze was gentle, and the temperature was moderate. There are few things about outdoor events that are noticeable straight away: accommodating or fest-wrecking weather, attraction layout, and adequate restroom facilities. The first two were good. The last one was an issue. There weren't enough port-a-johns. I recall the line being about 20 deep most of the day. Not a big deal to me, but important to note in general.
The beer representation was impressive. There were native and national breweries mostly offering their year-round staples. Beers that I actually recall without the aid of my camera: Lickinghole Creek's Goochland Quad and Blue Mountain's A Hopwork Orange. Both of these beers were delicious and worked well in the atmosphere of the festival. The full list you can check out the Fredericksburg Beerfest website.
During our meandering, boozy jaunt around the fairgrounds we met a few characters. We met a guy and gal who both loved beer and seemed to be having a good time. We ran into them a few times and their condition had progressed each time. The last time we crossed paths the young lady was ready to leave and seemed to be experiencing an individualized earthquake. They were nice, and I forgot to take a picture of them. I really enjoyed talking to them, and I was especially impressed at the gal's appreciation of fine craft beer. Not to say women don't appreciate beer, it's just beer advertising, marketing, and attitudes are as such that women don't always feel welcome in the scene. I'm glad to frequently see this is changing.
The booths whirred by as we consumed tiny cup after tiny cup of mostly delicious, golden suds. I ate cheese fries and fried pickles from Legend Grille, and Clay sustained himself on tornado chips and an Italian sausage sandwich that took a lifetime to be ready.
Other beer stand-outs were Isley's Choosy Mother Peanut Butter Porter (worn in well for me, as it's local), Adventure Brewing Co.'s Backpack Wheat, and Rusty Beaver's Roy's Big Bad Brown Ale. Rusty Beaver is a new one for me. I've definitely had their beer before, I've just not liked it until now. The brown ale was chocolately and malty. There were no apologies to crisp or hop flavors here. I really enjoyed this brew.
After hours of strolling and drinking we noticed people were starting to close up their tents and patrons were leaving. We started drinking water and rousing ourselves from our beercation. We ended up going to Wawa to get some grub for the drive back home. We both got the Buffalo Chicken sub. After drinking all day, that sub tastes like ambrosia made real. The festival left me satisfied and happier, and made my weekend something to talk about at work. I think that's what you want from a beer festival.