Sunday, July 20, 2014

Good times and Kurtas at the Indiana Microbrewers Festival yesterday.

Yesterday was the the occasion of the 19th annual Indiana Microbrewers Festival, which as always took place in Broad Ripple, on the north side of Indianapolis. Pictured above are fellow Brewers of Indiana board members Clay Robinson (BIG president) of Sun King to the left, and Rob Caputo of Flat12 on the right. Rob did much of the heavy lifting to get this year's IMF off the ground, and deserves plenty of kudos for doing so.

I've been assigned to Rob's committee, and am about to receive a crash course in festival management. That suits me, and I'm looking forward to it. While it is my usual habit to refrain from emotional displays, I'm very proud to know Clay, Rob and the other Indiana brewers I've met during the course of my time in the business, and I'm excited and bullish about the state's prospects when it comes to better beer.

To be perfectly honest, I wore what I did for the express purpose of being photographed, and it worked as planned. The blue and purple top is called a Kurta, and the white pants a Churidar. These are customary male garments in and near the Indian subcontinent, and were purchased from Dolls of India in 2010 for my 50th birthday. I weighed 255 then, and could barely squeeze into them. Now, at 235, they fit perfectly. The plastic leis were procured at Horner's in Jeffersonville, and intended to mimic flower garlands.

I posed for several pictures, and there were two requests: "Can I touch it?" I was asked whether the Kurta was hot. It wasn't, although it was a pleasingly cool day in Indianapolis yesterday. The best comment came from a man wearing a Miller High Life t-shirt, who I later observed walking in circles, talking to himself: "So, who's the fucking wizard?"

I hope he enjoyed his vomit.

Former NABC brewer Jared Williamson displays the wares of his current employer, Schlafly of St. Louis. I'm proud of him, too, and also these guys:

From left to right, it's Ben, Eric and Tony; Josh, Peter and Blake are not shown. Combined, they did a bang-up job, and it was a smooth festival overall. We ran out of beer roughly a half hour before the end, and there were no Port-A-Let riots as in 2013.

It has been said that 80% or more of the earth's oxygen is used to complain, and I'm guilty of hoarding my share of air. When things go right, we need to celebrate. The IMF fest surely had problems, but we didn't notice many, and the vibe was pleasing and rejuvenating.

Cheers to all the participating breweries and their staffs, and to the Guild's coordinators and volunteers. Special thanks go to the 5,000 (or more) ticket buyers. Our fans keep us growing.

(Photo credits: Valerie, Dump Buckets, Stephen Hale and Alliee Bliss)

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