Saturday, July 12, 2014

Ohio Brew Week Beer Judging 2014

Another year, another trip to Athens to loiter at Jackie O’s. Yes, I love Ohio Brew Week, but we always end up back at Jackie O’s for both the ambiance and the draft beer line-up. After all, if it ain’t broke...

The drive down Friday was good but not noteworthy. Checking into the hotel was another matter: Jody Grenert must hate Dayton judges, because over the last three years our hotel has gotten increasingly sketchy. This year, the Days Inn on Columbus. Next year, an abandoned hobo camp occupied by vultures. The following year—who knows? Maybe a bed in a tick farm blood donor room.

After checking in at Sketch-Town, we caught a cab to Jackie O’s, driven by a terrible human being who described his Prius cab as a “vagina with four wheels” and who doesn’t drink beer because he is “really athletic” and doesn’t like to get dehydrated. To be fair, he had two (and yes, two, not one) open cans of Red Bull in the console next to him, so he must secretly be really awesome. For verbally offending us the entire ride, he did give us a “free passenger” coupon for our next ride. He even confided that he didn’t normally give them out. It made the entire ride that much more special.

The rest of the evening could only be uphill. And, thankfully, it was. Jackie O’s to the rescue! We did make one foray to the Cat’s Eye, but beat a hasty retreat to Jackie O’s to recover our newly found mojo. During the cab ride home, our new cabdriver confirmed that our initial cabdriver was as loathing-worthy as we initially suspected.

Beer judging on Saturday was smooth but busy: I got a morning full of Belgian and French, and an afternoon of Sour and Wood-Aged beer. Sure, the last two aren’t a perfect fit, but sometimes that happens. After we were finished, there was a brief round of Worst in Show before our triumphant return to Jackie O’s. We ducked out for some food and to try a few beers around town, but we ended up back where it all started not too much later. The Talking Heads cover band later was awesome, bringing with it the Vander-dancing of yesteryear. Ah, nostalgia!

And finally, no beer event is complete without hugs from Jason Brewer. What sweet nothings passed between us during our fond embrace? Shhhhhh! I’ll never tell.


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