Friday, February 6, 2009

Festal Virgin

We were invited to attend the KLCC Microbrew Festival at the Eugene Fairgrounds, which starts today. Since this is the USA of America, everyone will be dragging in and setting up jockey boxes and kegs of ice cold beer. Everbody but us, that is.

This is to be our first festival since we opened back in August. While I don't really like this particular festival, primarily because of the high entry fee and the impersonal nature of it (e.g. volunteers that can't answer questions about the beer they are pouring), I thought it would be a good opportunity to get some exposure and to start learning how to cellar the beer on the road. For starters, this means that I had to get permission to enter the exhibit hall the night before the festival opens in order to set up my portable stillage. This permission was, fortunately, granted, and my friend Dave Adams and I gained access at around 6:00 PM last night. I had purchased four cheapo wooden fixed stillages (can that word be used in the plural?) from UK Brewing, and we laid our children to rest for the night on the flimsy little tables in a dead empty exhibit hall.

The next problem came about with realizing that clamping two beer engines to the aforementioned flimsy tables had a couple of near impractibilities: too low and too flimsy. Dave said he would tinker about his shop, as he works for a sheet metal company, and see if something can be fabricated or modified. As it is now opening day, Dave says that I should have something available this afternoon that can clamp to the table and elevate the hand pulls.

The exhibit hall was left without heating overnight, which was to our benefit. When I went in this morning to check the internal temperature, I got a reading of 12° C. I have attended and/or worked at three real ale festivals in the UK, and have a little bit of an idea as to how to regulate the temperature. I hastily crafted a set of ice saddles out of ziplock baggies and clothespins that should work just fine.

More pictures to come later today, as things get further set up and the festival opens. Unfortunately for me, I have to be onstage for the local theater group tonight and tomorrow, so I will be driving the hour back up to Oakridge, going onstage, dying, and then rushing back to Eugene.


The Woolpack Inn said...

Isn't it good when life becomes FUN.

I do hope the beer engines are OK. What beers are you show casing?

Dave A said...

A beer engine mount has been fabricated and will work great! My goal was two fold, help out Ted with something practical, and "B" save my back from having to stoop all night while pulling beer! Looks great and Ted is down setting it up as I type! I look forward to the experience of serving real ale at this event, should be interesting!

Brewers Union Local 180 said...

We served Union Dew and Cumbrian Moor. More on this later, as I just now have access to my computer after a couple of days.

Dave A said...

The fest went pretty darn good. I got a lot of real positive feedback from the people there. Many were glad to enjoy a beer at the proper temp. Many eyes sparkled when they tried the Cumbrian Moor. Nice smiles when they took a sip of the IPA. Hopefully the exposure brings some business your way. Thanks for lunch of Sunday, we enjoyed it!!

Christi said...

Dude man like, relieved to see not so many quotation marks this time. Have you brewed "As Seen on TV" yet?

Brewers Union Local 180 said...

Quotation marks??!! Did I use too much "in" my last post or "something"?

I haven't brewed As Seen On TV yet. I'm brewing batch three of Dearth and Surfeit right now.

Dave A said...

I love the Dearth and Surfeit!!