Brewvivaled.by timmons / Feb 27, 2012
"We came, we saw, we kicked its ass!" is not only a quote from my favorite movie, by one of my favorite actors. It's a feeling that seems to resonate with every Brewvival attendee as they exit the fest, every year. Level of intoxication, beer knowledge, and number of über-rare or "surprise" samples imbibed doesn't seem to matter. When you leave those gates, you are winning. Everyone is winning. You can't not win. I'd be hard-pressed to find a better measure of success for an event.
The organizers were cool enough to let us set up a table and hawk some books, as well as a handful of t-shirts we had made up for the site. Response to our launch was great, and thanks to everyone that stopped by to chat, purchase, or otherwise entertain us with puzzled looks. To the guy that asked about what "high-gravity" means, don't get so mad at scientists. To the two guys that picked up a shirt AND a book, you are a pair of well-informed saints.
Beer-wise, we were a bit handicapped since we were tethered to a table, so we were unable to try anything with a sizeable line. That said, special shout-outs are in order to the Westbrook Brewing crew for Hot Garbage, which is the best tasting accidental beer of all time. Please, for the love of god, continue leaving stuck adjunct mashes out overnight.
We also got a chance to sample Palmetto's Nitro Espresso Porter, a totally successful experiment that should be repeated. Holy City's Notorious P.I.G. and Laser Pants were both fantastic beers, and their accompanying swag was funner than hell. COAST did it up big with seven offerings, but we made a bee-line for their new West Coast Pale Ale, which has had a couple of names, but is just incredible. Light in color, with a chunky, resinous hop profile that absolutely sings throughout the drinking experience. Gallons of this seasonal are in order over the next few weeks.
There were some gripes about the lines, both coming in and waiting for beer. Patience is more than a virtue when attending an nigh-sold-out event, it's a requirement. Easy for us to say, as vendor status meant we didn't wait to get in and couldn't wait for beer, but CBX and COAST are pure of motive. The fest is not run by a production company or event planning group. It's run by four small business owners that do it simply because it must be done. Charleston needed an amazing beer festival, and they have made it happen, for three years in a row. Respect.