Happy Sunday, beer fans! Last night was incredi—wha?

What do you mean it’s Thursday?

The last thing I remember, I was drinking barrel-aged ambrosia courtesy of Bailey’s 1-Year AnniBREWsary. There were fifteen taps of imperial stouts, barleywines, strong ales, and Belgian sours, and they had all been aged in pinot noir, bourbon, whiskey, or oak barrels.

It was the greatest thing to happen for beer lovers since malt first met hops.

Okay, so maybe that’s stretching it just a little, but it was a pretty special night. We were packed to the gills for the entirety of the evening, people were digging their beers, and there was a lot of laughing and smiling the whole night through. While I was expecting we would be busy, I wasn’t prepared for the tidal wave of people that came through the door at 4 PM and never really let up. I figured that with all our great volunteers who were juggling all my normal duties except the beer pouring, and with Geoffrey Bailey Phillips, the PC-version of Speedy Gonzales, helping out behind the bar, I was going to be bored most of the night. How wrong I was. For the first four hours, both Geoff and I were pouring non-stop. It slowed down just a little after that, when our buddy Scott swapped out with Geoff, but not by much.

Thanks have to go out to everyone that got the word out and gave Geoff and Scott and I hand cramps from pouring so much beer. Kudos also have to be awarded to all of our loyal regulars who showed up in force including those of you who visit this blog regularly and got your game face on before arriving. And before I forget, a raise of the snifter glass is due those proud few who managed to conquer all fifteen of the barrel-aged beers. Having tried it myself and come up lacking (and panting), I can tell you that it is quite the awesome achievement.

With this year’s event being such a mega-success, Geoff and I are already knocking our heads together over what other Bailey’s-sized beer festivals we might spring on you folks next. We’ve got a couple of fun ideas that we’ll hope to see realized next year that would be wholly different from any of the other kinds of fests this town normally attracts. And, of course, if you haven’t set your calendar for the AnniBREWsary 2, get out your red pen (and your 2009 calendar) and draw a big smiley face on August 1st, 2009.

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