Hosted at the Timonium Fairground, it was a great day for an indoor beer bash. Drink.eat.relax (@drinkeatrelax) put on a very well executed event.
The line was long to get in for the regular crowd (I didn’t get VIP tix this time, did it last year for one similar event and didn’t really find it worth it), but as soon as the regular session started, the crowd moved right in. Plenty of staff to give wristbands and distribute tickets while you were in line, and clear signage made entry very smooth. And with so much square footage and vendors well-spaced across the “Cow Palace,”it didn’t feel nearly as crowded as I knew it was.
While the layout was perfect, I was a bit underwhelmed with the beer selections that some of the breweries brought. Lots of IPAs, but not much in the way of novelty. It took a little while to find some of the darker stuff – stouts and porters – which I really got into a couple years ago at the Maryland Craft Beer festival. But I found a few noteworthy brews.
I had to make a stop at Firefly for some of their Sweet Tea Vodka. Mix with lemonade for a grown up summer drink. I took a pic with the Firefly ladies.
Late into the event when we had had about as much beer as we needed, we found one of my favorites. Always room for one more, right?? I heard people talking about it, grabbed one of them by the collar, hoisted them high in the air, and frantically asked “for the love of all things holy, point me to that beer good man!!” Actually I think we just said “where’d ya find that?” And lo, after slinking around to the back like we were on a treasure hunt and it was deliberately hidden, there it was. New Holland Brewery, maker of the deliciously dark, deep, and very strong Dragon’s Milk. It wasn’t even identified on the tap. Luckily, I have a picture of it from a random chocolate bar in Vegas on a recent trip out there.
This is an excellent bourbon barrel aged stout with a very high ABV (11%) so drink it responsibly, it sneaks up on you and you’re like, “wait, I’m not even through with this beer and I’m already buzzed,” and it’s like “yeah, I’m strong like that.” And then you realize you’re talking to a beer and that means it’s probably time to stop drinking. I kid, I kid. But nice segue to the food…
Pork samples from a whole hog were very generous, courtesy of Porkvs Maximus.
Sooooeeeyy! Yeah, this was goooood. And to keep on the pork streak, we found Bacon Jams. Tried the original, black pepper, and chili varieties. So good we bought all three and Marcus, who makes them, was nice enough to take a pic with me!
Usually when there are freshly shucked oysters at an event like this, you know where they are cause there’s a huge line. But what? No line? And amazingly sweet, fresh, Blue Point Oyters shucked to order for me?? How fabulous!
And finally, the event had a great live music offering, most notably, an excellent cover band Go Go Gadjet.
These guys really had it going on, and had me dancing for real, with sick mash-ups of old school hip hop, modern top hits, and songs you can’t help but sing and dance to like you are in fact the artist. The beer probably helped with how amazing my dance moves were….not.
Finished the event with some tasty Mac and cheese and, of course, brought home a bag of kettle corn. I cannot resist fresh kettle corn!! Overall, I had a great time today at the Beer Bourbon BBQ Festival. Looking forward to the next Drink Eat Relax event in my calendar in a couple weeks – the Wine and Food Festival at the National Harbor. Stay tuned!!
#beerbourbonbbq #dragonsmilk #baconjams #fireflysweetteavodka #drinkeatrelax