I went to the 13th annual Russian River Beer Revival and BBQ Cookoff.

None of the pictures here are mine, since I wasn’t about to take a phone or camera to this event.

On the way there Nick and Fred came to pick me up.  Fred is the Box intern from last summer that is now full time at Box.  The drive there was longer than expected and Nick and Fred were mainly talking about Box and SF Living.  I dozed off for a bit, but joined in the conversation when it went back to other things.  We got to the campsite right at sunset.  I set my tent up wrong at first and had to get Brian and Andy to help so that I could get it set up.  We then ran by the grocery store to get food and beer.  We had a nice sit around the fire.  Andrew and Adam showed up later and they got the tent set up quickly.  I went to bed decently early, and had a really restful sleep due to the 4 beer.

The owner of Camp Outback in all his glory.  He does fire dancing at night for anyone who wants to watch.

Saturday morning we went into town for some coffee, and I just walked around the town a bit.  It is a nice little place.  There were a good number of real estate places in the town, and the surrounding area seems incredibly inexpensive when compared to SF or the Bay Area.  Shortly after the coffee run we started walking to the main event.  I had with me the holder for the small glass, and a cloth for wiping my hands on.  Nick, Brian, Candice, and I were VIP, so we got in a little earlier.  There was maybe a 5 minute lag between the VIP getting in and everyone else getting in, which wasn’t even close to the 1 hour that was promised.  I wasn’t too bothered by it but it was strange how quickly they let in the rest of the crowd.  I was a little upset at the first few places giving me so much of the beer, since I wanted to try a little bit of a lot of different beers.  The only bad part about the VIP is the larger cup that doesn’t fit the holder, and is far to much when filled up.  There was a really amazing ginger beer that I would like to find more of.  I’ll have to try some ginger beers to find something as tasty as this was.  At the ginger beer booth, one of the hosts offered me a towel and the small glass for the VIP cup.  I gladly took it.  Nick then went over and got a T-shirt and a small glass for his VIP cup.

I had soooo much BBQ of beef, pork, and chicken.  I didn’t even taste the sides this time.  All of it was tasty, and most of it was absolutely delicious.

After a little while I decided to get in the river.  It was trying to get down the slope to the river while as drunk as we were, but not too bad.  The water was colder than I would have liked, but incredibly refreshing for being as cool as it was.  I snuck off for a bit after that to take a nap behind the stage.  It was incredibly relaxing and I had such a good time.

As the festival was winding down we all started making our way to the upper deck.  We set out from there for the pizza place in Guerneville.  We got a good bit of pizza and I ate a ton of it.  It is quite surprising how much pizza one can eat after an all you can eat and drink beer and bbq festival.  It was really tasty pizza.

After the pizza place we went back to camp, and decided to play some open faced chinese poker.  It is an interesting game with all sorts of subtlety.  I think it would be fun to have poker at my place every so often and play this variant.  It has a lot more strategy to the game itself, whereas other forms of poker have more strategy to the meta game.  I took a bit of a nap once the light was too dim to continue poker.

Nick and I decided to leave that night, and Andrew decided to join us.  We watched the fire dancing, which was pretty good that night, then we left.  On the way back we ran into some crazy construction on 880 that took the highway down to 1 lane.  It took us around 45 minutes to clear that section, but that was the only delay.  I was dropped off first, since I’m just on the other side of the Dumbarton Bridge.

I really enjoyed the festival, but I don’t think I’ll be going again.  The over-drinking and over-eating are things that I will be doing without as much of.  I think Nick was feeling the same way about it.  I love the atmosphere and the festival, but it has run its course for me.