I didn't think I was going to get to go to the Barley Brothers Traveling Beer Show when it hit the Boise area Labor Day weekend. Despite having a blast at their McCall stop, I was tapped out, spending the last of my money watching my beloved Broncos go down in defeat against Michigan State. Luckily, I have good friends. Specifically, my best friend, who insisted I go. When somebody wants to drink beer with you that badly, it's just rude to say no.
We arrived shortly after the gates opened and were greeted with a line that stretched far down the sidewalk at Kleiner Park, the festival's new Meridian location. Lest you think everyone just got there early, this was the line viewed from inside, several hours later:
Boise Bar Guide, I decided I would focus on something else entirely. Let them tell you about how malty something is, or its hops content. I am here to tell you about the festival itself.
Super IPA, which they made in partnership with Alpine Brewing. Despite a general distaste from my group for the beers of Samuel Adams, one of my absolute favorite beers was the Norse Legend, which was one of their features. Really, I got the sense that every brewer who entered the spotlight made the most out of it.
Boise Rock School were actually pretty darn good, although I still wonder what was going through their minds as middle aged people danced in front of the stage raising up their beer cups. They certainly got my attention, by tearing through a cover of the White Stripes' "Seven Nation Army." What I didn't realize as I was rocking out with a glass of Hippie Shake (thoughtfully rimmed with fresh hops by the person working the tap) is that I'd soon be on the stage. But thanks to a helpful woman named Sheryl I realized that what I had read on Twitter was true: There were to be facial hair contests, courtesy of the Boise Beardsmen. I decided to sign up, even though I'd seen enough beards to know I wasn't going to win. Still, cool trophies and the possibility, no matter how slim, of winning some money meant that I was game to make a fool of myself on stage.
|Waiting in the wings during the mustache round.|
|On stage with the (far superior) competition.|
|The eventual winner.|