Monday, July 29, 2013

The Golden Ticket

Last night Cycle Works hosted Bikers Love Beer at the shop and a whole lot of awesome followed after that. The concept was to get a bunch of home-brewers who like to brew and ride bikes together in one spot and have a friendly little competition to see who could brew the crowd favorite IPA. Luckily finding volunteers to judge such and event amongst the cycling community wasn't all that difficult, something about beers and bikes just go together... even more lucky for me, I managed to get my hands on one of the tickets to get in.

If you didn't have one of these...

IMG_2949 couldn't get in here and believe me in there was where you wanted to be last night.


I think the unofficial count for the night was somewhere around 150 people, most of whom biked, we showed up about 5 minutes before the event and were greeted to a full bike parking area. It was pretty rad to see that many bikes outside the shop at one time that weren't for sale, if there hadn't been beer and burgers a person could have spent hours looking at all the different bikes but who in their right minds is going to do that when there is cold beer and hot grass fed hamburgers to be had.


Those that chose not to ride were almost the lucky ones as far as parking was concerned, on this night it might have been easier to find a place to park your car than your bike.


Once inside you were treated to 12 different home-brewers with their own take on an IPA, all you had to do was grab a Hoegaarden sample glass (which was free to take home... like a drunken door prize) a score sheet and then just sample each of the 12 beers and rate them. Krampus and Mukluk from TNNDDR fame,  unbeknownst to me until now, are also home-brewers as well as dirt shredders, of course they weren't at the booth when I snapped this picture but they brewed a very tasty IPA.


Nathan, the man who brought it all together, giving out instructions. It was loud in there and just got louder as the night and the drinking progressed, I am guessing Nate's voice is gone today but that's a small price to pay for pulling off such a hugely successful event.


Damon's idea of a modern day two wheeled station wagon, I have to talk him into giving me a ride on this one of these days, those bells are calling my name and really what would be cooler than sitting on the back of this constantly ringing those bells while people stare at you in disbelief.


Those of us who decided to ride our bikes to the event were also eligible to win one of these sweet door prizes provided by the awesome sponsors of the event if you were lucky enough to have your number called.


If riding your bike on a Sunday night, free beer and door prizes weren't reason enough to come out, they also had grass fed beef hamburgers for sale at a minimal charge supplied by the great people at Open Harvest. And I do mean minimal charge at $3 a burger I'm guessing they just broke even.


The event was so big they even had staff photographers on scene to capture it all, I guess the budget was blown by this point and all they could afford was Joel... he looks a bit perplexed by all those buttons and knobs. Kidding of course, good dude right there but of course that can be said of any of the staff at Cycle Works.


Once the competition was done, Corey was hard at work tabulating the votes while the rest of us went back for seconds, thirds and perhaps even fourths of our favorite brews. Even though there had to be a winner, none of the brewers that came out and competed had anything to hang their heads about as all of the beers were top notch, I opted for a pencil while voting as I often changed my vote as I made my rounds of the booths. It seemed like each one just kept getting better than the one before, the fact that I was getting a good buzz on probably also helped those at the end of the voting string but everyone has their own method, that's just mine.


The winners of the door prize raffle with all their swag.


And the winning brewers... If I'm not mistaken I think Black shirt took first, White shirt second and Gray shirt third but as I said all of the beers were really good.



Even the ride home was an awesome experience, albeit a much slower ride with a belly full of beer and burger than the ride there, I didn't win any of the swag (except the Hoegaarden glass) but the GF walked away with a t-shirt. I guess if you want to look at it from a different angle everyone who came out was a winner, great beer, tasty burgers, a chance to socialize with people who love bikes and beer in a great venue... if you rode away that night somehow feeling cheated because your number didn't come up for the raffle you missed the whole experience of the night and the purpose of the event. I can't even imagine the amount of time, planning and prepping that Nate and the rest of the crew at Cycle Works put in for the event but I sure hope they do it again. I'll be first in line to sign up for that.

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