Hello again & AC Beer Fest 2013

Long time no update!
A lack of updates, however, has not meant a lack of excitement in my life. It has just been spread out to weekend excursions and moments that, when compared to a life in a foreign country, didn’t seem as exciting or worth writing about.
Which is a bunch of bologna because if they weren’t worth it, I would have hopped on a plane back to China months ago.
So as I prepare for life’s next adventures, I’m dusting off the photo album/Flickr app on my phone and posting once again. My writing is a bit rusty–I’ve probably deleted and re-written the above words twice by the time you get to the end of this particular sentence–and I need practice. Bear with me as I find my words again.
(For examples of my Shakespearean prose, feel free to read posts under the ‘what the hell is this’ tag as crab vending machines and Chinese school lunches best spark my muse.)

Let’s get this started with a charming event I attended the first weekend this April–The Atlantic City Beer & Music Fest.

 AC Beer fest 2013 
This was the fest’s eighth year in the Atlantic City Convention Center and, as someone who has attended probably 30 conventions (most of an incredibly nerdy nature), this was so well-organized that I could have fallen down on my knees and wept salty tears into my IPA. 
Tickets are available online–I highly recommend getting them beforehand!–and you can have them emailed to you or pick them up at will-call. We arrived to the convention center maybe 20 minutes before the fest officially started and there was no line to have your ticket picked up or processed. We got our bands (DD wrist bands are available too) and tiny mugs and waited just five minutes to be let into the beer-consumption area:
AC Beer fest 2013

Once inside, you are treated to samples from 90 different breweries from PA, NJ, MD, Japan, Germany–all over the world. They even had a beer I enjoyed frequently in Thailand, so color me impressed. And I know I say ‘samples’ but $50 never bought you so much beer. Besides beer, your $50 ticket also gives you access to music on the live stage!

And barber shop quartets that sneak up on you and start singing for no reason!
AC Beer fest 2013
Free mustache rides!
AC Beer fest 2013
The silent disco!
AC Beer fest 2013
Now, you may be asking yourself, ‘What is a silent disco?’

Somewhere, someplace, someone thought to themselves–how can I make a bunch of drunk people dancing look even more ridiculous? (Why he desired this, I don’t know. I can only assume he’s related to the scientists in Switzerland who asked how they could possibly make a miniature sun on planet Earth.)

The answer to that question is to rig the DJ with a transmitter and give every dancing fool a pair of headphones that sync up to the same song. Observe:



I only wish I had captured the madness when Kung Fu Fighting played. Alas, I was too busy practicing my hadoken and crane pose.

Also mechanical bull riding and dunk tanks filled with local AC strippers!

(not pictured)
There are three different three hour sessions for the beer fest; Friday evening, Saturday afternoon, and Saturday evening. So far survey says that Friday evening is the best as the brewers still have plenty of swag to go around (Tote bags! Glorious tote bags!) and patience to deal with your drunken antics. The Sheraton is practically connected to the convention center, but Ceasar’s palace is a short trek away. If you’d rather not sleep over in AC, there was a late Amtrak train that went from AC to Philly. And walking to the station from the convention center is ridiculously easy. Also, be sure to download the official app to keep track of what beers you’ve had for at least the first hour until the stout starts kicking in.
If you’re a beer fan, silent disco fan, or tote bag fan, give the fest a go. I will definitely be returning another year; I’ll be the first one in the Silent Disco play pen busting it out to Thriller. Come say hi.

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