Lagunitas Beer Circus 2016
November 10, 2016
Lagunitas Brewery is known for its excellent IPA craft beers, but they are also known for throwing yearly parties at their own breweries in celebration of good times and good beer. Beer Circus is an event where fans of Lagunitas gather together for “Freaktacular entertainment, live beer, and fresh music.” With the event hitting places like Chicago, New York, Petaluma, and Azusa California it is a great chance to see the brewery in action and let loose.
With doors opening at noon, guest that managed to arrive early were treated to long lines in the 102-degree weather, crowds of people – with a few that already had a pregame session before, and lots of clowns running around. Once the gates opened, guests were quickly given their wristbands that not only gained them entrance, but a free beer and a token that got them another beer.
Once past the gate into the sunny area, the sights and sounds of the event were something straight out of a circus, except that this particular circus has beer in the spotlight. A huge main stage took up much of the event in which the Grand Master of the event took welcomed everyone in attendance. Once the typical welcome spiel was given, the Grand Master let an array of different bands play on the stage to help fill the event with live music.
To stay in line with the circus theme, there was some entertainment that fell under the slogan, “see things that you can’t un-see.” Opening was a woman that was pole dancing on a swinging pendulum that swung over the heads of onlookers. Right after was a female that arose from a pool of water and then proceeded to climb up two cloth ribbons while performing tricks. Once the performers finished their event, guest gathered inside the brewery for a burlesque show in which everyone could enjoy the show having both genders participate on stage.
Once the sun started to reach the peak of heat, many people took it as a sign to drink even more beer. This was where the difference between regular admission and VIP makes a big difference. Guests that only had regular admission would have to purchase beer tokens to get more beer. All guests were given a free beer as well as a token for entering, so anything after those two beers wasn’t free. The best part was that token prices were reasonable, with a pack of five going for just ten dollars, and with beer only costing a single token, a single guest could have their fill of beer with only just a few bucks. VIPs on the other hand had a special section roped off just for them that had unlimited free beer. Needless to say, this was El Paisano’s spot the majority of the event.
Once the beers set in, it was time to have some fun with some good old fashion carnival games. Thankfully, these games weren’t rigged and almost everyone playing was winning some sort of Lagunitas merchandise. If fair games aren’t appealing, there were two fair “rides” (if you can call them rides) to enjoy. One was just a carousel with bikes mounted on it that allowed riders to pedal to make the ride go as fast as they wanted. The last ride had the same pedal mechanics but it was built for only two riders. Each rider would sit on opposite ends and pedal to spin faster.
If guests are going to drink to their heart’s content, there must be food to go with it. Sadly, this was the only part of the event that was bad about the experience. There was a total of six food trucks parked within the arena, all ranging from burgers, pickles, and even pupusas. Some of these food trucks have even been on television before and are famous for their unique flavors, however this was when the experience gets sour. Lines weren’t the problem, waiting twenty minutes to place an order in an event like this was expected. The problem was that most of these trucks only had a staff of three or less working. El Paisano staff placed an order and didn’t receive food for nearly an hour and a half even though the staff was quoted a 15-minute wait time. Between people complaining to get refunds or crowds exclaiming that food was delivered to random people it was a disaster that hindered this experience only slightly.
Overall this was an amazing event to take part of and could not think of a better way to spend a Saturday afternoon. For those looking to attend next year, simply follow Lagunitas Brewery on Facebook or Twitter for when tickets go on sale. The reason you might want to follow them is that this event has always seemed to sell out fast, especially if you want VIP tickets, but it is an experience that beer lovers will never forget.