Sunday, June 16, 2013

A VIP and an IBU walk into a beer fest ... and our day at Fishers on Tap.

Yesterday's Fishers on Tap in Indianapolis ran the requisite VIP hour at the beginning, followed by three hours of general admission. But rather than waxing egregious, the VIP portion at Fishers offered the opportunity for attendees to pair Indiana beers with food from local restaurants. The food presenters stopped serving when general admission began, but food trucks (Indy has such a culture; I imagine Floyd County's Health Department prevents it here) began.

The Fishers event was very good in all respects, and a veritable model for how a small outdoor beer fest should find its opening legs. There was a refreshing absence of geek samplers tethered to Untappd, and no roving bands of 22-year-old males asking for the highest alcohol content. There was a surfeit of locals, considerable community spirit, and a mellow vibe all around -- and the band Soul Street was the best music I've ever heard at such a beer fest.

Kudos to the organizers. Here's my column at for June 15.

A VIP and an IBU walk into a beer fest

I went to my first rock concert at the age of 15 in 1975. The venue was Louisville Gardens, and the band was Chicago, which had made it only to IX at the time and wasn’t yet overtly pop. Tickets were $7 in advance, and $8 “on the day of show.”

My most recent name brand concert was the Who at Yum Center in February. Tickets cost somewhere around $75 after Ticketmaster’s various digital anal probes, but for a mere $750 (maybe more; who can remember a spare zero or three?) I might have tithed myself into position backstage as a VIP, fed organic Black Sea caviar with a coke spoon formerly wielded by the late, great Keith Moon, and exchanged pre-curtain pleasantries with Pete Townshend just prior to him ceremonially smashing his guitar atop my tonsure – although it occurs to me that fretboard abuse cost an extra C-note, of which I keep plenty around to light cigars.

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