We took in a local food and beer festival over the weekend. I believe it was the ninth year for the event, and I must say, it was quite enjoyable. The local restaurants have it down to a science, and most venues allowed for a quick in and out without disturbing the general dining areas.

We arrived to find that parking was free, and since we were early, it was easy to find a great centrally located parking spot. From there we walked to the edge of town, and worked our way back up. Along the way, we saw that several a Capella groups had set up at various venues and were warbling away in the summer afternoon.

Since I was driving, I held off on the libations and opted for more of the food offerings. The first venue had Flying Dog’s beers and a pulled pork sandwich. Each beer sample was a dollar and the food offerings were all around $6 a piece. The sandwich was nice enough, a crisp pickle on the side made for a happy palate cleanser.

At the next stop, which was at a shop known for its gelato, I got to sample it for the first time. We had chocolate and some raspberry sorbet which were heavenly on the hot day. My husband was tied up in the Dogfish Head IPA and the Warsteiner Dunkel.

After that we headed over to a restaurant known for it’s vegetarian/vegan friendly menu, and it was the first time anyone asked for ID. I guess it was better late than never. They were offering Rogue beers. My husband got the hangar steak and garlic potatoes, while I opted for a giant order of delicious fries with malt vinegar aioli.

The next few stops were beer only and by then the festival was in full swing. The bars were incredibly crowded and we opted to not even try to order food. I ran into some friends and we chatted a while. It was great to have time to catch up. One of my friends had some rather disappointing news, so we gave him our number and told him to call us if he needs anything. So far, we haven’t heard from him, but my heart goes out to him. He’s struggling with something that I went through myself not too long ago, and if there’s anyone who understands his position, it’s me.

After we left, our last stop was a Vietnamese restaurant which boasted some very yummy food pairings. When we arrived, we were delighted to learn that they were in “all you can eat” format. I enjoyed my fill of dumplings, shrimp toast, and tempura green beans before calling it a night.