Winter Beer Carnival

My motto in life usually goes something like: “Candy is dandy, liquor is quicker, but beer is near.” I feel like maybe I should establish myself as the designated drunk blogger. (I’m not an alcoholic; they go to meetings!)

Yesterday I attended the first annual Winter Beer Carnival. In my (not so) humble opinion, winter may in fact be one of the best times to drink beer, because it’s less easy to get dehydrated when you’re not actively sweating, which here in Atlanta we usually are doing at least 7 months of the year. Plus, the beer makes you feel warm!

So, if you weren’t there, it was held over at the Atlanta Contemporary Art Center, over in west midtown near Tech. i.e. ~In the ghettoooo~ I’m surprised so many clean-cut surburbanites even showed up. I guess it’s proof that people will take risks for beer. (Hey, coming ITP is a risk for a lot of people.) I thought having the event half-indoors and half-outdoors was a smart move; the weather was nice so I didn’t mind being outside, but Atlanta’s winter climate is a strange beast. There was a chance it could have been 30 degrees and raining. My only real complaint about the location dealt with acoustics; the building has high ceilings and concrete floors, so with hundreds of people inside making noise, the roar was quite deafening. Also, outside on the patio, the music WAS SO LOUD I HAD TO TALK LIKE THIS THE ENTIRE TIME. Seriously, there’s a difference between providing ambient noise and blowing out people’s eardrums.

My friend bought me a VIP ticket, which is an option I always like to exercise at beer festivals. All the good shit hides in the VIP area. The beer selection was not quite as amazing as Hotoberfest’s, but not as disappointing as East Atlanta Beer Fest. I say disappointing only because I go to beer festivals to hopefully sample new things. Granted, our fair state does have some WEIRD laws which prevent a lot of really good beer from being brought here. But I don’t go to beer festivals to drink Sweetwater, Abita, Terrapin, etc. Don’t get me wrong– I love all of these beers, but I can also buy them any day of the week (well, except for Sunday) at the Stab-n-Grab on Boulevard. Especially if I’m paying X amount for a ticket to some shindig, I want to feel like I’m getting my money’s worth. Thus, I found the Winter Beer Carnival’s selection to be adequate; a decent mix of new and familiar. If you go to beer festivals simply to get hammered, it probably won’t make a difference.

I ate beforehand, so I didn’t get to sample any of the food. And I didn’t get drunk enough to play any carnival games, although the life-size “Operation” board was freakin’ hilarious. I noticed the “prizes” seemed to manifest mainly in the form of Mardi Gras beads. See, I actually went to Mardi Gras in New Orleans three weeks ago, and I more or less have beads coming out my ass at this point. (Hey, some people pay good money for that.) Suffice to say the idea of bringing home more beads didn’t thrill me. I hope for better prizes next year; maybe something beer-related. At the very least, not beads.

3 Comments so far

  1. eastatlbeerfest on February 28th, 2010 @ 11:55 pm

    Noting your comment re: other area Beer Fests – We hope you come & take a closer look at East Atlanta Beer Festival this year. Your comments are a little surprising as 2009’s 170 EABF General Admission beer list ( and 2009’s 140 Hotoberfest General Admission beer list ( reflect a very similar breadth of offerings. The VIP offerings at Hotoberfest indeed set a standard for all VIP sections to aspire to going forward (we’ll be continuing to build our own VIP selections this year). Cheers!

  2. Sarah (swampgravy) on March 1st, 2010 @ 10:47 am

    It’s not you, it’s me. Usually I have to travel to other areas of the country to sample beers I’ve never had before. :'(

  3. Jennifer (unregistered) on March 4th, 2010 @ 3:44 pm

    I don’t really think of the Westside as the ghetto with all of the great new restaurants, art galleries and shops and offices, even an eco emporium. It’s come a long way.

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