Friday, July 31, 2009

BCTC 2009: On the Road to Ommegang

The bags are packed, the list is by the phone... I said last year, didn't I?, that I would never go to Ommegang's BCTC summer festival again...on a Saturday. Rectified this year with VIP tickets that get more expensive each year, we took today off from work and shoved off from the western suburbs of Philadelphia just after 9am this morning. Entertainment for the road One of the last things to do before leaving included an update to iTunes playlists & podcasts for the road and for the campsite. Nothing like some good traveling music for a road trip and late night campfires. Pack the Car, drop off the dogs, last minute check, get breakfast sandwiches and coffee for the road Our plan was to be able to set up and settle in to our campsite at the brewery by early afternoon, allowing for an afternoon of whatever we pleased---napping, brewery tour/shopping, venturing into downtown, or lounging and noshing. Arrival time is 12pm, or whenever you get there While we drove ourselves to Cooperstown, Jeff Appletans and Lara Marek did as they did last year and cycled from Philadelphia north through the Catskills and into the foothills of the Adirondacks. They didn't get the rider turnout that they were hoping for but that didn't deter them from putting in the week's worth of pedal power to justify the payoff this weekend at Brewery Ommegang. Make sure you give them a couple of attaboys/girls when you see them this weekend. Others loaded up brewery vans and toted their wares to the brewery that sits on 136 bucolic acres of a former hop farm. And, still more legions came by car, camper, RV, and motorcycle. By tomorrow afternoon, we should all be here and ready to get into the full festival swing. But, really, anyone who's been to BCTC in the past knows that the weekend event is as much, if not more so, about what goes on during the rest of the weekend than strictly at the four hour tasting festival on Saturday afternoon. It's about the camping, the rare beers, the homebrew, the firepits, the music and entertainment, the late night debauchery, the meetups, and yes the after hours tent visitations (yes, Sean, that story will never die!) I'm not really sure how posting will go the remainder of this weekend. I'm not really much for fragmenting my attention between the people I'm talking with, beers I'm drinking of, the moment that I'm partaking in...and blogs, twitters, facebooks and the like. I am going to give Twitter a shot to see how useful it is with keeping in touch with people around the brewery grounds and what's going on at whose campsite or whose brewery table. This year should be interesting. A few less breweries represented, no brewers pouring beers from behind the table, feds on site to make sure the letter of the law is followed, tasting tickets. But, should that stop all of the fun that spills across the brewery grounds? I surely hope and think not. By the time you read this, we should be safely parked on brewery property and beginning our weekend detachment. More than likely, this will be the last official posting of the weekend. As in past years, I'll come back home to compile words and pictures into something useful (and maybe entertaining...depending upon the nature of the pictures) for you to check out by mid-week. Check back and see how we all fared at this year's BCTC at Ommegang.

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