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Old Boise Brewers Festival

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Beer was invented about 7,000 years ago--way before writing about beer was around--and since its inception in the fifth millennium, beer consumption has become the most popular Olympic sport in the history of serious athletics. And today, the sport of beer drinking is still alive and well. Perhaps the first famous professional beer drinker was Maltros Barley, a strapping young lad who, in spite of a large and unsightly wart on his forehead, could suck a barrel dry in less time than it takes President Bush to mispronounce a multisyllabic word. Since then, leagues of young men have trained vigilantly to dedicate their lives to professional drinking while attending institutions of higher education, where special mentoring brotherhoods called fraternities suckle young adults off Natty Light and into a marginally more sophisticated palate of Widmer Hefeweizen and Ace Pear Cider. It's not until athletes reach a more advanced point in their beer-drinking training that they discover the power of the local microbrew and can withstand the tongue ambush that is Sockeye's double IPA Hopnoxious or the face plant that is the Ram's infamous Buttface Amber Ale. Once they've mastered the ... Excuse me? What did you say, dear reader? Beer drinking is not an Olympic sport? Hmph. Well it should be, what with the current trend of imbibing a few pints of finely crafted brews for charity, just calculate how much more you could raise if the sport were on a professional level. Surely there's not a lack of skilled athletes in the field.

In an effort, then, to make it our life's mission to raise awareness as to the good work to be done by throwin' back a pounder of ale, we hereby officially announce the inaugural Old Boise Brewers Festival (theatric aside: the OBBF will be playing the part tonight of the dough-raising charity superhero event for the American Cancer Society's Camp Rainbow Gold, a recreational program for kids with cancer).

Though perhaps slightly mis-monikered in all technical aspects (seeing as how in order for it to be a Boise brewers' festival, then Boise brewers would have to be well-represented, but the only B-town brewers who'll actually be donating kegs are the butt-kicking brewmasters from the Ram and Sockeye--but don't worry, though some may misconstrue Kevin Bolen of the Ram and Josh King of Sockeye as competitors, they're actually great friends), attendees who throw down 20 bones for a wristband can take as many nips and chugs as they darn well please from the selection of 50 or so beers. Sockeye Brewery will have four beers on tap: their Soktoberfest, Galena Summit Kolsch, Dagger Falls IPA and Purple Haze Espresso Stout. The Ram will bring their Clearwater Kolsch and Sawtooth Stout. A favorite around BW's office, Grand Teton Brewing, will be there, as will Sun Valley Brewing Company and Laughing Dog Brewing from Sandpoint. And for you die-hard Bronco fans, the Boise State game will be showing on TVs at the event.

Sounds all good, right? Well, like most charity deals, only the proceeds line the pockets of the charity, so if the turnout is lame, the profit is lame. And since the funds raised will help pay for programs like Camp Rainbow Gold's Camp College Scholarship Program and a winter retreat for older teens and young adults, pay your 20 bucks, suck 'em dry for the sake of having a good time, and then be sure to throw another 20 spot directly at the charity.

Old Boise Brewers Festival, Sept. 30, 2-10 p.m., $20. Must be 21 years old to attend. Sixth and Grove streets in the parking lot behind China Blue. Tickets at the door.