Saturday, April 12, 2008

Beer volunteers

One 'unintended consequence' of the repeal of Prohibition (the 75th anniversary of which we celebrate on 5 December of this year) is the potpourri of laws and regulations concerning alcohol and its sale, different in each of the 50 states (and often within those states).

For example, Georgia law forbids me as a representative of a brewery from pouring my own beer at festivals.

I may stand at the brewery's table and expound, but it's a hefty fine for me if state agents catch me pouring a 2 ounce sample for a festival attendee

I must rely on volunteers to pour the beers. And when the caliber and excitement of that volunteer is palpable, the brewery is perceived of well, and thus my business does well.

As in any vocation—particularly if it has arisen from an avocation—there is a danger of over familiarity. One can lose a sense of wonder and delight. The business of beer is no exception.

Thus reading the comments of the volunteer who poured at Clipper City's table at last week's Classic City Brewfest in Athens, Georgia, was, figuratively, refreshing for me. Thank you to her and to all volunteers. Read her comments here.

Today, storm clouds over Hickory, NCit's the Hickory Hops Beer Festival in downtown Hickory, North Carolina.

There's a 30% chance of rain; better put, there's a 70% chance of no rain, even though there's a thunderstorm producing front expected to drive through later this morning.

High of 23 °C.

[UPDATES 2008.04.12: photographs from the Hickory Hops festival. And, there was sun.]

The Best of Show were:

  • Olde Hickory's Bardstown Brand Ale, Barleywine Aged in Bourbon Barrels in the Wood & Barrel Aged Strong Beer category.
  • Carolina Brewery's Alter Ego Altbier in the German Brown Ale category
  • Olde Hickory's Sinatra Barley Wine (aged in stainless steel) in the Ale or Lager Aged for 25-48 Months category.

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