Beerfests, from the other side of the table

20 June 2019 Published in Haas Style Blog
Our Festival Crew Ready to take on Snowbird Our Festival Crew Ready to take on Snowbird

 Sun is shining, you have a tiny cup in your hand and a pocket full of wooden chips - you are ready for a day of beer drinking.  

 Who doesn’t love a beer festival.  The sampling of new beers, the friends, the pretzel necklaces - what a great time!  

 Well, we are full steam in to Festival season - so I thought I would give you a peek in to these festivals from the other side of the table - the events coordinator, and beer server side.  Not to bring things down, but just to allow you to see what it takes to make your great day - just right.

 First, the planning for any event starts several months ahead of time.  So in February - we are mapping out what beers we will serve to you in June for any given event.  What kinds of beer, how much will we bring, draft or packaged beer.

 Then we get registered and figure out who will be setting up, serving, and breaking down the event.  The week of the event we go through all our equipment and get it pulled together. The long list of items that are needed to make it look and feel like a great festival to you - beer, schwag, tent, jockey box, CO2 tank, ice bin, bucket, hoses and all the shit that has to be stacked and piled in to our cars to bring to the scene.

 The gates open at 2 pm, so we arrive about 11 am, to schlep all this gear in to our spot - and race to set it up.  Find where the beer is stored - go get it. Who is in charge of ice - we need some!

 Tents up, tables out, beer is connected and pouring, just as the gates fly open at 2 pm.  You race in, not thinking much of what it took to make beer, pour from these taps, out on a grassy field, on a Saturday afternoon.  Phew, you get to your first tent, and you say “What’s your best beer”

 The server smiling on the other side of the table, calmly says “Oooh, I love our American Ale” and pulls the tap handle forward to fill your tiny mug.

 As you pull that tiny mug to your face, and have your first sip - all your thinking is, Aaah, I love a beerfest.  You didn;t think for an instant that this kind face that just served you your first cold beer of the day has been working their ass off for the past three or four hours to make this happen.  That smile they flashed, is genuine, as they too, are excited to finally be pouring beer - rather than racing around to set up.

 So you drink your way through this five hour festival.  That smiling server behind the table, can have none. No beer if your serving beer.  

The end of the day crowd is exceptionally enjoyable to the sober side of the table.  In a slurred careless voice - the patrons say “Just give me whatever” and so the smiling server, pulls forward that Back Porch Pale Ale handle to enrich your life with some hops.  That careless patron, dumps it down their throat in one slug, and sends the cup back across the table, and says “One more” We oblige.

 The festival clears out at 5 pm, and now the real work starts.  That beertender has been at it for seven hours or so, and all there is left to do is undo - all that setup and put it away.  Dump the ice, clear the beer lines, pull down the tent and table. Schlep all this gear back to those cars and run them back to the brewery.  Haul them inside, and put them away.

 Phew, now and only now, can this hard working, smiling, beer server sit down for a pint.  Our beertender says - “what can I get for you” This stinky, sweaty, servers says “Just give me whatever”  and a pint is plopped down in front of them. Aaaah.

 So this summer - we encourage you to get out to the festivals, bring your tokens, drink our beer, and have a great time!  But, when you reach across that table and grab that tiny cup full of beer, smile back at our beertenders - and say “Thanks, thanks for the hard work that I know it took to get all this set up”  

 We will be out all summer long - slinging beer at festivals!