(Bock, Bock, Doppelbock and a few ales thrown in for good measure)
Basically, I was off The Brew Lounge clock on Sunday. It didn't stop me from heading to Sly Fox's Bock Festival & Goat Races anyway, but I was not in much shape to be your Brew Lounge correspondent. I more or less went to Sly Fox as an interested consumer, hoping I'd pop a few pictures that I could put up to show you as evidence to the continued greatness of this festival. (ah, who am I kidding...I'm always on the clock)
After finishing an exhausting 10-mile Broad Street run, I headed home to indulge in some protein, pasta, and water while putting the feet up for about an hour and then showering (everyone would thank me for that later).
(Brian O'Reilly, brewer and master of ceremonies, prepares the crowd and the participants)
Maybe it was partly because I was physically exhausted from the race, maybe it was because I knew that Sly Fox would easily put on another great show of Bocks and Goats (redundant, I know) albeit it in a new venue, maybe....
(The goat race course swept and ready for contest)
(No media was harmed in the racing of the goats)
You can go back and read more at length my experiences in 2008...and again back in 2007. They're not that much different from what I'd write this year, just with more people this year. I'd estimate a few thousand, while I've seen other unofficial counts put the number closer to 5,000...though, that seems a bit exaggerated and not exactly scientific nor close enough for government work.
(Jack Curtin, center, and Lew Bryson each make their case for a new blog reader)
You could go over to Jack Curtin's Liquid Diet (which will probably take you on to either the Beer Yard's and/or Sly Fox's websites) to read in more detail about this year's festivities, the winning goat, and the eventual bock named in honor of said winning goat.
Anyone listening closely enough to me on Sunday probably heard me exclaim at least a half dozen times, "my goodness, what has this become?!"
In a nutshell, Sly Fox's Bock Festival & Goat Races has continued their growth into a top annual East Coast beer event, perhaps even a top 10 national event. That latter designation may take some time, but I think they could be well on their way.
I don't have pictures of the goat races (never can get close enough to the action, it's in the blazing sun, and there are always other sites/newspapers to whom I can link to for their much better pictures)...I don't have reviews/impressions of any of the beers (didn't search out the winning maibock...."Dax Maibock" for the second straight year, by the way)...
So what good am I? Great question. Here are a few things that I can report.
~ My first post-race beer, a Sly Fox Helles, like many post-race beers was one of the most tasty and refreshing beers in recent memory (since at least last week!)
~ Matt Guyer of The Beer Yard is either the most generous and kind human or a shameless promoter of his business. Either way, I had a few canned Sly Fox beers courtesy of Mr. Beer Yard and even one to take home to drink during last night's Flyers playoff game.
~ If I could muster up one criticism, it would be of the food and beer sales management. Each year, for an event so large, I'd not expect lines where waiting an easy 15 minutes for a beer or sandwich is not uncommon.
~ While I didn't specifically do much for Brew Lounge business on Sunday, what I did was talk beer, running, and whatever else came up along the way (like giving Lew Bryson the business for not seeing any sort of details as of that time of the Pennsylvania State Legislature hearings that he attended on the infamous Beer Raids/Debacle of 2010...glad to see that he's since taken care of that). It was an afternoon spent in a parking lot of families, dogs, live German music, goat races, food, beer, and friendship. That, I must say, is not too shabby of a way to spend a Sunday afternoon.
Congratulations to Sly Fox for continued success. Next up for me and Sly Fox: I need to stop in and test out the new facility, its bar and restaurant. I'll report back when I do.
(Yours Truly and Dr. Joel Armato of New Holland Brewing)