Just Here for the Libations

Stumbling our way through the winter 2011 edition of the Just here for the beer- Wine & Beer festival – a single thought goes through my mind: Why’s that dude wearing a hideous skirt?

Having a foggy recollection of the last Wine & Beer Festival, I had high hopes and liquid dreams for this one. I don’t like beer (tastes like chilled turpentine to me), and I’m not really a big fan of wine (tastes like warm/chilled vinegar me), so obviously the Wine & Beer Festival was just my thing. However, I’m no quitter and by golly, I want to learn to love beer and wine until I can’t live without ’em or until my liver says ‘uncle’… or ‘monkey’… or ‘turkey’ (Darn it. I always forget the safe word).

Where we’re @:

what are you here for again?

The 2011 Wine & Beer Festival
The Best Tasting Deal In Town

The 2011 Wine & Beer Festival will feature a great selection of local and international wines and beers.

The festival ticket price will be ‘all inclusive’ and will feature a live band and door prizes.

There were also rumours of ‘light refreshment’ and you know my rule on free food – always an RSVP yes!

Scheduled to start promptly @ 7pm, we stroll in around 8:15, pay our $50 entry fee and then pick up our food ticket (food!), and most importantly our plastic mug and wine glass for sampling (can i get a plastic keg instead, please?)

Where’s the booze?

Meeting up with punctual friends (showoffs. Punctuality is soooo predictable), they greet us with big grins and overzealous hugs. Jealously I realize they’ve already been heavily sampling the beverages.

Not to be outdone, I quickly get to work. After all, there’s an hour’s worth of catching up to do (with the booze I mean, not with the friends).

The purpose of the event: For guests to sample and taste various wines and beers from local wineries and breweries and perhaps to discover something new.

The reality of the event: All-you-can-drink from 7 to 11pm for $50 on a Saturday night in a room within a casino right in downtown Vancouver.

Ulterior purpose: The best alcoholics anonymous reunion party ever. Woo, I missed you guys!

It’s not all beer cups and wine glasses

I’m quickly directed to some kind of beer booth (yuck) but I’m told the brew has an 8.9% alcohol content (ok, I can be convinced). After shooting down that bitter brew (I’m told I’m supposed to ‘savour’ it, as though that can be done with beer, ha!), I quickly come to the conclusion that I never can, nor ever will be able to stomach a beer (elephant? Is that the safe word?).

Almost immediately after my epiphany, an angel of a gal pal directs me to a new friend of hers and an old friend of mine:

Jack Daniels country cocktails. There were many other booths in the room but from that moment on, I only had eyes for Jack. Xoxo

I first met this lovely fellow back in summer 2010 and was happy to get reconnected with this long lost festival friend. We spent the next 2 glorious hours getting fully caught up. He: an up-and-coming cooler beverage in North America with multiple flavours available in most government liquors stores and Me: an avid drinker with access to numerous government liquor stores. Cupid has struck again.

Cheers to booze?

However, as we all know, there’s allegedly a downside to alcohol. In this case it was an actual downside to the alcohol fest:

1.      No live band as advertised. (Hey?! Where’s the live band!?)

2.      No door prizes as advertised (Hey?! Where’s my door prize?!)

3.      The ‘light refreshment’ advertised at the door was a singular tiny, baby, mini pork OR beef slider that all the alkies had to manoeuvre up a stair case to pick up and then manoeuvre down a stair case to eat. Whoever’s bright idea it was to add an obstacle course to an alcohol festival is either a sadist or a genius (welcome to the 2011 edition of drunken games!)

Sure I ate 4 of them (stolen food tickets! Hee hee hee) but I was only supposed to have one and that’s the point. Add a bag of chips or something you cheapskates.

You ain’t gotta go home…

Despite the problems and omissions, the Wine & Beer fest was exactly what it was supposed to be – a thinly veiled house party sponsored by the beer and wine vendors of BC.

In the end, while trying to wrangle the gang together to head out for the after party, the overall group consensus of the event was a loud and consistent: “Wooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo!”

Some were excited by finding a new wine to buy and others were happy to have sampled a flavour of a local brew they’ve always wanted to try. I too had a great time at this festival and I now know that when given the choice between beer or wine…

I’ll always choose Jack.

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Oh and the dude was wearing a skirt for his bachelor party:

I still think I could've worn it better...

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