Oktoberfest At The Beach

Posted on 10.03.08 10:51PM under Events, Stories

Tonight was Oktoberfest at the Beach, at Ocean Beach in New London, CT. Wow.

Springfest was, well, in the spring. And it was a great experience for me. It was my first beer fest where I volunteered and was pouring beers for paying customers. It was great. I got to try a bunch of different beers, meet a lot of beer people, and help a bunch of thirsty people make well-informed beer decisions.

I eagerly anticipated tonight’s event, the sister event for Springfest.

As a now veteran volunteer, I scoped out the tables before the throngs arrived to determine where I could best be utilized. Most of the distributors and breweries had adequate coverage for their number of beer brands being poured. Except for one.

Once again, Long Trail was just the one guy with five beers to pour. It looked like I’d be pretty much with him the whole night, helping out and getting a free minute here and there. So I stood there with him for a bit at the start of the fest, while people made their way to the back of the tent where we were. Then it happened.

Suddenly the guy disappears, and then he runs back, tells me about a family emergency that just happened, and takes off. That leaves me there, the second time beer fest volunteer to man the notoriously insanely fast-paced Long Trail table for the night. OK. I can do this.

I did a pretty good job of keeping up for a while. Then suddenly it seemed as though everyone else was out of beer. At least that’s what the twenty people clamoring for a beer were telling me. And I was surrounded by beer festival patrons. Completely without control of the situation, but at the same time just going with the flow.

Then the greatest thing happened. There were people infiltrating the behind-the-table space that I was occupying. But they weren’t there to steal things or cause trouble. They were there to help. One girl was just handing me cups as I needed them (which was constantly). And she was moving beers from the cases and coolers up to the ice boxes on the tables. Then there were guys pouring beers one and two tables down for all the Long Trail fans in the house. It was a beautiful thing to have these people step in to help out a person in dire need (that was me). Even one of the A-B guys came over to help me.

At the end of the night, I was just pouring whatever bottle I had in front of me and offering it to anyone with a ticket. “IPA! Anyone want an IPA?…Blackbeary Wheat! Who wants a Blackberry?…” And finally, just as the security guy came to close me down at the end of the night, we were out of beer. And to think, I thought I’d get to take home some free beer.

This was an incredible experience. So different from the great night I had a half a year ago in the Spring. But still full of life and fun. I just can’t wait until the next Springfest!

Read Comments

  1. Posted by E.S. Delia on 10.06.08 2:13 PM

    Wow, a table full of Long Trail and nobody was tempted to take freebies? That’s willpower, my friend!

    Glad to hear they helped save you from the rush, but that’s unfortunate about running out at the end…