August: ’tis the season where Oktoberfests and summer shandies can hold hands in happy harmony. Both were poured in plenty at the Summer Beer Dabbler, which returned to CHS Field for its ninth year (who’s already excited for year ten, yeah?). Party guests include 135 breweries and DJ Tiiiiiiiiiip, Graveyard Club and Dwynell Roland provided the soundtrack. We sent our beer festival trend correspondent Isabelle Wattenberg so imbibe in the fun and here’s what she (mostly) remembered:
Rainy day dabblers came out poncho-ed, baseball capped and full of energy. We even saw some bare legs; it is the summer Dabbler, so we’ll be damned if we don’t drink in shorts.
Everyone was in a really good mood—attendees and brewers alike. Good vibes all around. Had a bourbon barrel-aged cherry lager that was positively mwa. Seriously smooth imperial stouts too. And Against the Grain from Kentucky, my homeland (well, one of them anyway), had a booth there: v. pleasant surprise.
Pretzel necklaces are getting out of control: string cheese, apple jacks cereal, Ziploc bags of homemade trail mix. Also spotted: one festival-er carrying around a Costco-sized jar of pretzels.
People will clap when you break your sample glass. There’s a reason sample glass coozies are now (smartly) a thing.
The foam ranneth over at several tents: We found ourselves slurping through a frothy sample numerous times. Mayhaps the staff were just in a hurry to get as many pours as possible out before the skies started to open (which they never really did).
One notable newcomer to the brewery booth lineup: spiked sparkling waters. Fizzy, sweet, and alarmingly subtle alcoholic notes.