“Dude, that beer-wine hybrid is friggin’ awesome!”
That’s one of the first things I heard when I walked into the American Beer Classics this past weekend. The guy was talking about Impulse, one of 12 products we had on tap during the event. When I got there, I was instantly struck by the smell of beer and the energy of some 6,000 beer enthusiasts. It’s a winning combo and we had home-field advantage—literally—as the sampling event was held at Soldier Field, home of the Chicago Bears and a stone’s throw (I mean, if you have a good arm) from our headquarters.
Alongside my brethren from Tenth and Blake, we poured from Crispin/Fox Barrel, Leinenkugel and the Blue Moon family of brands. Since this was my first time volunteering at a beer festival, it was fun to soak in how consumers were experiencing our products. So, I watched and listened intently (and tried not to look creepy). Here’s a snapshot of what I heard as I took notes on my cell phone (so it would appear I was texting):
- It’s really good! And I thought all ciders were super sweet. – On Crispin
- This is a classic. You can’t go wrong. – On Blue Moon
- Bro, I get to drink beer and walk on Soldier Field. – On being the cool guy on a cell phone
People-watching and pouring make for some good times (provided that the pours are on par … I made one really bad pour at 99% foam, but no one’s perfect). It was a cool opportunity to recruit new fans and chat with loyalists. When last call rolled around, it seemed like everyone was clamoring to our tent.
As a newbie to the world of beer and cider, I did manage to take some time to sample products and make the most of my journey through beer … but the best part was seeing so many satisfied customers.