Saturday, November 8, 2014

Road Trip

 Who in their right mind would drive 15 1/2 hours to party for 10 hours, than drive back the next day?  Apparently me.  When The Chive offers you 2 free VIP tickets to ChiveFest Dallas, you have to go.  So, after work Thursday, I drove 2 1/2 hours to Des Moines, IA and stayed with Sherri and Doug (my wife's Aunt and Uncle.)  After having to physically force Doug to pay up on a bet from a year ago, where my Detroit Lions beat his Washington Redskins, I took my beer and left for Dallas.  ChiveFest here I come!
ChiveFest is a music fest put on by  Lots of bands, lots of beer, lots of shots, and a ton of interesting people from all walks of life.

 My personal favorite, was the John Butler Trio.  He played a ten minute instrumental that was ridiculous.  Seriously some of the best guitar playing I've ever heard.  It ranks right up there with my old college friend Paul.  I've never heard of this band before, but I'm going to be checking them out, they were very entertaining.
 If you know me at all, than you know I'm not a big fan of country music.  Jake Owen was the headliner for this event, and although I knew who he was, I really didn't know any of his music.  What I can tell you now is that he's a hell of a musician, and he put on a great show.  I really enjoyed his music, his performance, and he seems like a pretty damn cool guy.  I'd say ChiveFest did a hell of a job putting together their musical lineup, and can't wait to see what they do for next year.
 If you're familiar with The Chive, than you probably know Mac.  He's known for his love of cats, his dead pan facial expressions in photos, and his ability to make a complete fool of himself.  You may not know, that Mac is one of the nicest people you will ever meet.  He came right over to me, and immediately asked if he could get a photo of him on my lap.  To be honest, I would've been insulted if he didn't, seeing many of his past photos.  He said my lap was comfy, and hung out for a few minutes shooting this shit.  This is a guy I could hang out with and never have a dull moment.  Check him out on Twitter  @macfaulkner
Kat is the Chivette who made this trip possible.  When I told her that I didn't get a chance to get a picture with her in Denver, She went to The Chive's Co-Founder, John, and got me the VIP tickets.  She also made sure I had the chance to meet John before the night was over.  Kat has always been extremely nice online to me, and she's just as kind in person.  Thanks again for inviting me to the fest. You can follow her on Twitter @Miss_Kittyy

After meeting Kat, Mac, John, and Jessie from The Chive, I was pretty blown away at how nice they all are.  Obviously this is part of their job, but you can tell they all genuinely enjoyed meeting and talking with everyone, and are just all around good people.  Please check out their Chive Charities page, and see all the good they are doing with their time.
Hanging out at ChiveFest with  my cousin Bobby

  One of the coolest experiences of the weekend was hanging out with my cousin, Bobby. Other than on Facebook, I didn't really know Bobby, I was pretty young the last time we saw each other.  He (along with his wife, Becky,) very graciously opened their house to me.  I got a chance to catch up with him, Becky, Scott, and my aunt Joanne.  Before Chivefest, Bobby took me on a driving tour of Dallas, culminating with lunch at  The best ribs I've ever had, hands down.

 I had a great time at ChiveFest with Bobby while he was there, and can't thank him and Becky enough for driving out of their way to pick me up, and get me safely back to their place.  I had an absolute blast with them, and look forward to seeing them in the future, hopefully sooner than another 20 years or so!

 I have always enjoyed Shiner Bock, and have heard it's better in Texas, again thanks to Bobby, I found out that is true.  I also has several KCCO Gold lagers at ChiveFest, and they were great.  Smooth, and easy to drink, yet they had a really good, clean flavor.  This is not my favorite style by a long shot, but I could very easily have some more.

Pictured to the right is one of my favorite breweries, Toppling Goliath.  They are located out of Decorah, IA, and are quickly gaining attention for making amazing beers.  Zee Lander is no different.  A very smooth, and easy drinking IPA, Zee Lander continues in the TG tradition of making super hoppy beers without making them overly bitter.  The best part about this beer is, it was my least favorite of all the TG beers I've had so far, and it was still great.
Dogfish Head is the brewery that really opened my eyes as to what beer can be.  In my opinion, their Indian Brown Ale is simply one of the best Brown Ales on the Market.

In contrast to TG, where I have enjoyed every one of their beers, I actually truly dislike some of Dogfish Head's beers, but I think that's OK.  They try to push the boundaries of what beer should and can be.  Some of those beer are incredibly amazing, like any of their IPA's, Burton Baton, and Palo Santo Marron, and some I would be fine never drinking again like Raison d'Extra (which is my brother in-law, Dale's favorite.)  To me, that's what makes them so interesting.

I have some great beer at home, that I'll be writing about in the next blog.  Until than, you can keep up with me on the beer app Untappd search for Crinkletalk, or follow me on Twitter @Crinkletalk.  Thanks to all that helped make this last post so memorable for me, and to my amazing wife, who puts up with all my shenanigans. Until next time, keep drinking good beer and Chive On!

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