Monday, January 26, 2015

The Beer Dabbler

So it's no secret to readers of the blog here that Nate and I are pretty into beer.  We're lucky that the craft beer industry is absolutely booming here in Minnesota.  There are quite a few festivals throughout the year that we have enjoyed going to and this year we decided to try one we hadn't before - The Beer Dabbler at the Winter Carnival in St. Paul.  The event was this past Saturday and we had a blast!  We decided to splurge and get "VID (Very Important Dabbler)" tickets and that was the best decision we could have made!  We got in a half hour early and got to start drinking beer right away, we got free hats, free food, access to a heated tent and no lines for bathrooms - yeah, totally worth the extra price!  Anyway, I thought I'd share some pictures here (if you're Facebook friends with me you've already seen these, so apologies for the double post in that case).

Above I'm drinking my first beer of the day.  You'll notice too that this event was outside.  Normally in Minnesota you'd be crazy for going to an outdoor festival in January, but we lucked out and had a day of warm weather - it was actually in the 40's, so I got by with a sweatshirt and a puffy vest!

Of course I had to take a selfie with my favorite person.  We don't look at all excited about the fact that we had a babysitter and could be out of the house drinking beer together do we?

You could choose which color hat you got as a "VID" ticket holder.  I chose a pink/blue/purple one because I'm such a girl.  Nate chose a maroon and gold one (Go Gophers I guess!)

No beer festival is complete without a lineup of food trucks.  I was SO excited that one I've been wanting to try for ages was there - O'Cheeze, a gourmet grilled sandwich truck.  Yep, sign me up!!

We had some sort of chicken chipotle grilled cheese with cheddar and pepperjack cheeses.  Sounds like it would be super spicy, but it wasn't too bad.  Another awesome thing at this festival was that they had meat and cheese samples available for free inside the Colosseum (this event took place at the MN State Fairgrounds) - so we ended up spending close to an hour in there sampling cheeses.  There were some beers being poured in there as well so we didn't have to go without!

These last couple of pictures are just me being silly.  Above I was showing off my dorky necklace that was very useful - it holds your beer glass so you can be hands free.  However, somehow mine managed to fall out of the necklace in the mud, so I was sad panda thinking I was done having any beer, but Nate said "come on, let's just ask for another one".  I didn't think there was anyway they'd give me one, but when they saw we were "VIDs" they said we could have one.  Um, score!

One of the MN Breweries, Dayblock Brewing, also has bacon, so they had a giant bacon strip outside their booth, so I was like, I need a picture with the bacon.  Because bacon.  I love bacon.

We didn't partake too much in the free booya stew we also got as VID members, we could have as many bowls as we wanted, but given the food trucks and cheese samples, we pretty much filled up on that and didn't need the stew.  Also, it was just not that cold out, so we didn't feel the need for that to help warm us up.  As for the beers?  There were good ones out there, we found a lot of the breweries weren't stepping outside the box too much, but I will say the two best ones I think I had was Stir Crazy (winter ale) from Indeed Brewing that had peppermint added and then Summit had their Oatmeal Stout with cinnamon and vanilla on cask - that was quite delightful!  Overall we had a great time and I would definitely consider going to this festival again and I would absolutely pop for the VID if we do.  Our next big beer event won't be until the summer more than likely, so I'm glad we did it up pretty big for this one!  

Hope you all had a great weekend too!  If you're on the East Coast, I'm thinking of you, hunker down and stay safe in the snow!

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