New York Brewfest, One Wrist at a Time

Last week I had the opportunity to partake in the New York Brewfest on Governors Island, just a ferry ride away from the southern tip of Manhattan. Since this was New York, the tickets were a whopping $60 for unlimited 2 oz. samples in a five and a half hour period.  As much as I would have loved to be a participant, I decided to volunteer this one.  I always enjoy volunteering, not only for the benefits it brings (i.e. FREE beer), but to be able to witness the behind the scenes and to get to know the breweries a little better.  It was a picture perfect day, one that the beer gods must have conjured up just for us.

The NY Brewfest is relatively new on the scene.  In its fourth year only, it promised to be an impressive event. The location was perfect, the breweries impressive, and the number of porta-johns astonishing. This beer festival had potential and everything seemed to be in place. I made sure I had a good night’s sleep, wore comfortable gear, and was pumped up and ready to work for my reward.  Like good little worker bees, we volunteers took the ferry to the island and marched to our post several hours before the crowds were to arrive.  We waited in line to get our bright orange shirts, complimentary sample (plastic) glasses, and our assignments.  Which brewer would I be pouring for?  Middle Ages? Brooklyn? Ellicottville? As I stood in line, the anticipation built up inside me like a giddy schoolgirl.  Until…

Assignment: wristband duty at the gate entrance.  Say what???  I was not able to pour, and just like that, my giddy anticipation turned into utter disappointment.  I was now the schoolchild who waits in line for that special chocolate cake at lunch, only to be told by the frightening lunch lady that there was none left.  Too bad.  What was I to do?  Leave the island, take a ferry back and find a good pub?  I knew that I would not have the opportunity to be on the other side of the gate, where all the breweries were and that I would have to wait for a break to be able to sample and eat.  Just like waiting in the pouring rain in Montreal to get in to the Mondial, I just had to suck it up.  I kept telling myself that this was all just a part of the experience, and good blog material.  Somehow, I still had a bad taste in my mouth.  So after a few minutes of cursing the same beer gods who gave us a glorious day, I slapped myself silly and took some deep breaths.   This was a wonderful day, I was in New York, and nothing was going to rain on my parade.  I pledged to volunteer, no matter the assignment, and I was going to be the best darned wrist bander!


2 Replies to “New York Brewfest, One Wrist at a Time”

  1. Catherine says:

    Not wristband duty:( You are a good sport!

  2. That sucks. Can’t wait to hear how the rest went.

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