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Wyoming Brewers Festival

June 28, 2010

I had to take my vehicle to the dealer last week. The shifter cable was hanging up and causing a non-starting problem, which can be disconcerting when you’re alone in rural Sioux County outside of cell phone range.

For anything other than simple oil changes, you have to take the vehicle in M-F, so I had to take a day off of work to travel 100 miles to the closest dealer . . . in Cheyenne. Ah well. I had to take a day off work that week anyway to make up for my Saturday hours. Decided to make it productive. Husband took a day off work, too.

Come to discover, that Friday night kicked off the Wyoming Brewer’s Festival.

Beer is proof that God loves us and wants us to be happy. -Ben Franklin, with a little help from creative editors.

I first learned of the festival when I saw their logo embedded in the floor of the old UP depot downtown.

It's gotta be a classy event if they have their logo imbedded in marble (?) in the floor of a venerable historic landmark, right?

I kinda wanted to go, so the car repair thing worked out pretty well.

It was confusing to find the festival. I thought it would be easy. How could I miss it on the plaza in front of the depot? But apparently every Friday night in the summer, they have bands and a (cheap) beer tent. We had to work our way through the lawn chair crowd back to the white tents, and then find the entrance. I got carded. (Heehee.) The gal couldn’t find my birthdate on my Nebraska license.

We were each given a commemorative plastic mug and a voting sheet. We could try as much of as many of the 50+ beers as we wanted. (Whoa, Nelly!)

Here were all (I think) of the breweries represented: Alaskan, Juneau, AK; Altitude, Laramie, WY; Anheuser-Busch, St. Louis, MO; Blue Moon, Golden, CO; Boulevard, Kansas City, MO; Coors, Golden, CO; Del Norte, Denver, CO; Deschutes, Portland, OR; Grand Teton, Victor, ID; Leinenkugel’s, Chippewa Falls, WI; The Library, Laramie, WY; Margaritaville, Jacksonville, FL; New Belgium, Fort Collins, CO; Odell, Fort Collins, CO; Pyramid, Seattle, WA; Redhook, Seattle, WA; Samuel Adams, Boston, MA; Shadows, Cheyenne, WY; Snake River, Jackson, WY. Plus some random imports: Kirin, Smithwicks, Guiness, Dos Equis, Tecate.

I was a bit disappointed that some of the big-gun breweries where there. Seriously? Who’s gonna go for Bud Light when there’s such delectable variety available? The Bud Light girls looked rather bored, despite the fact that they were giving away bead bling.

But I suppose if a brew fest has its name in marble in a venerable historic landmark, it got some money from somewhere.

Also a bit disappointed that there were only 4 Wyoming breweries. Not surprising, I guess, given that the entire population of the state is less than that of Denver. I didn’t mind the Colorado breweries in attendance. Western Nebraska, Wyoming, Colorado . . . we’re all the same people. But it seemed odd to have breweries from the coasts in attendance.

It quickly got crowded and a little . . . muggy . . . under the tents.

Thankfully, it was a BEAUTIFUL night, and the cops didn’t seem to care that people with beers were wandering all around. As long as you behaved yourself.

The stone of the depot clocktower was beautiful at sunset.

I didn’t try any beers from this brewery because they weren’t listed on the voting sheet, but I liked their banner.

Altitude Brewery got props because they were from Wyoming and their staff seemed to be having a lot of fun.

Deschuttes had probably some of my favorite beers of the evening.

Tickets to the event also included food. There was Pizza Hut and Papa Johns . . . meh . . . and some appetizer-type bar food . . . meh. And then there was Mitchell’s Bar-B-Que and catering. You could tell where the real food was, ’cause there was a long line for Mitchell’s all evening. If I recall correctly, there was a choice of pulled pork or turkey (or was the non-pork option beef? I forget) sandwiches (though by the end of the evening, the buns were gone and people just got meat on their plates), coleslaw (yay, vegetable matter!), and some of the most amazing baked beans. That was my favorite part, the beans. They had meat in them (ground hamburger?) and the sauce was yellowish, like it had turmeric in it. Yum-eee!

I *loved* the smile of the lady handing out the plates.

The evening made for pretty interesting people watching, too.

There were tons of Harley riders.

Who included among their ranks a candidate for “biggest mullet west of the Mississippi.”

If you didn’t have a Harley, a tricked-out bicycle would do.

The little girl really seemed to be enjoying her special perch.

As darkness settled over downtown Cheyenne . . .

. . . its “wild west” started to show.

Have no idea what happened here, but Lincoln Way was blocked off for quite awhile.

We saw one arrest after what I thought at first was an outrageously drunken hug. A woman ran out of her high heels, flung her beer and cell phone to the ground, and flew at a blonde woman, encircling her with her arms and throwing her to the ground. Only when the blonde’s head was repeatedly slammed into the pavement did I realize this was a fight and not friendship. Luckily, the cops were faster thinking than I was, and tackled the attacker within seconds.

Husband and I decided it was time to call it a night and retire to the hotel. After all, I had to work the next day. (For the record, I felt fine, but was reeeely tired. Four hours of sleep is just not enough.)

Well, Wyoming Brewer’s Festival, I came, I saw, and I drank beer. I don’t really think I need to return. There are a thousand other things I could do with a weekend in June.

Copyright 2010 by Katie Bradshaw

2 Comments leave one →
  1. June 28, 2010 5:46 pm

    So–it now is a “been there, done that” thing!

    • Katie Bradshaw permalink*
      June 28, 2010 10:10 pm

      Yeah. I like beer and all, but it just wasn’t all that exciting. And I’m not real fond of crowds. I enjoyed my time at Vedauwoo that same day much, much more.

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