Thursday, September 17, 2015

Sapidity at Snally

On Saturday, I drove down to Emily's house in DC to leave my car, and an overnight bag in case I stayed the night. We were volunteering at the Snallygaster Beer Festival and it was a long 8 hour shift. I wasn't quite sure how we would get much beer drunk if we were working all that time but we'd obviously work something out.
Emily and I walked the 3 miles down to the Navy Yards where the festival was being held and by the time I'd walked one mile I cursed my stupidity at not choosing better footwear. I had on my 'trustworthy' Tractor Supply shit kicker boots that I usually live and die in, but these were an extremely poor choice to spend a good 11 hours in. Plus I hadn't checked them before I slipped them on and for some reason there was some fine gravel in the bottoms, which I did empty out after a while, but the bottoms of my feet were sore before I even got to the gates.
Snallygaster is named after a mythical beast and hosts around 300 beers and ciders, plus some great food trucks. The weather was miserable but nobody's spirits were dampened. We were a little soggy by the time we arrived but the line to collect shirts moved quickly and before long we were sporting very cool festival worker t-shirts. Unlike NOVA Brewfest, you don't get to choose where you work and I was given Alewerks, along with another lady.
 Alewerks is from Williamsburg and we had 4 of their beers to pour today. Their representative was a crusty old git who never bothered to introduce himself to us, and when he was laying out coasters and koozies, I asked if we would be allowed to have one, to which he grunted, 'if there's any left at the end'. He really was a horrible unsociable person, and my partner and I looked at each other sideways with big grins. We'd just ignore him.
 The VIP's started lining up ready for the festival to officially open, and then suddenly it was! Having worked a couple of NOVA brew fests, I wasn't daunted and got stuck in. The crowd was great, everyone excited and happy to be drinking beer this morning. The heavy dark clouds and fine rain didn't put anyone off and I was impressed with the turn out, the crowds just kept getting bigger.
There were some awesome t-shirts and the owners were all happy to pose for a photo. I just kept smiling, it was wonderfully to be among such great upbeat people. Except for Crusty Crab, who kept hovering behind us. I noticed the other beer companies left their staff to pour, trusting them to their task, but our old geyser wasn't having any of that.
 Emily was lucky to be in a group so had time to sample more than me, entering every sip and gulp on her Untapped app.
We weren't given an actual lunch break per se, it seemed we just had to grab an opportunity when we could, so it was after 1pm when I ran, or rather hobbled, off to find something to eat. We'd been given a $10 voucher and I added some cash to mine and ordered a sumptuous lobster and apple smoked bacon roll.
It was delicious and I munched happily under the truck's awning while watching the guests walk about. I still didn't hear one word against the weather and it really was chucking it down while I was eating my lunch.
Taking on board the crowd's great attitude I sauntered back towards my area, stopping off on the way to photograph some folks and sip a few beers.
My English friend Brian turned up, he had a VIP ticket so had sampled quite a selection of ales by the time I saw him. I suggested a fabulous pumpkin sour from the brewery next to us, and Crusty glowered at me.
Despite my poor tootsies and the ominous dark clouds that dumped rain on us frequently, I had a whale of a time, and it really was the punters that made it so. Whether the lines were long or whether they had to wait with raindrops running down the backs of their necks, everyone was smiling and happy. Isn't beer wonderful?
I had no idea why he was carrying a blow up bear with him, and I asked no questions...
Our crusty old codger couldn't handle the pace, and was finally tuckered out by about 5pm, having to take a snooze, sleeping, propped up on a cart for a good hour or more. We didn't mind, we relished the freedom. But when he awoke, he announced that he was packing up and needed the tablecloth. I helped him take it off, lifting the heavy kegs, and he snatched it with no word of thanks or even a goodbye. We waved him off ecstatically and enjoyed the last half hour or so until the festival closed.
Absolutely loved this girl's skirt.
Richard had manged to snaffle some leftover glasses for us, since they weren't given to volunteers, so I got them to strike a quick pose with our trophies before we headed off to find a bar where we could enjoy one more beer and where I could rest my weary feet. It had been an awesome day!
Click here to see the fine beers and fodder that was available at the festival.

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