Starting last year one of the highlights of the fair for me has been the Iowa Craft Beer Tent. I spent a lot of time there last year just trying new beers, and this year Jason and I were all over volunteering to serve beer.
I’d never served beer before, so it took me a little while to figure out the best way to pour each beer.
There were a lot of things that frustrated me about working at the craft beer tent. Obviously I would not sign up to work a seven hour shift for free if I did not feel passionate about craft beer. I’m kind of crazy about it, and I’m one of the biggest hopheads you’ve ever met (meaning I love very bitter beer). That being said, the area I was serving in only had two IPAs, both of which were good beers but I felt like I had to keep sending people to other areas of the tent to get what I felt were the best IPAs.
I did get one guy really into Okoboji Brewing Company’s Boji Blue Pale Ale, which was a proud moment for me. It’s an excellent beer. A very smooth IPA with a fairly low IBU (bitterness) level, making it very drinkable but still full of flavor.
I think my frustration grew out of feeling like I was contributing a lot, but never being recognized for it. This might seem like a stupid thing, but it’s just basic volunteer management to verbally recognize your volunteers for the work they are doing. I also felt like I was continuously underestimated because I was young and female, which something I repeatedly feel at craft beer gatherings.
Okay, end rant.
The craft beer tent is a great place to hang out. In the afternoon there was a brewmaster talk with the brewmaster from Peace Tree Brewing Company, who is basically responsible for my love of IPAs because they come out with the greatest, hoppiest beers ever.
And in the evening there is music, which I’ll be enjoying tomorrow night for the unofficial Hank Williams, Jr. tailgate.
So in short, I’m still enjoying my craft beer.