Brandon Van Meter
I wasn’t sure if I was going to make Bock Fest 2008. I woke up an hour late feeling “great” after a long night at Skinner’s Pub. After I woke up on a couch, I picked up my colleague Amy, and we were on our way. There were a lot of distractions along the way, which are explained by exclusive web content on my blog.
Bock Fest 2008 was one of the top five moments of my life. I’ve loved Schell’s products since I started drinking beer. This entire trip was like visiting my personal Mecca. To think I stood next to the buildings that supply me with Carmel Bock and Snowstorm still makes me cry.
None of that equals my meeting with Ted Marti, the brewmaster and president of Schell Brewing. Any hassle I expected disappeared when one of the museum employees pointed him out. Instead of hiding away in an office, he was with the people, drinking a beer. To stand next to the man who made all the beers I enjoy was great, but to actually speak and ask him questions made me giggle like I was talking with a celebrity. I had to know his opinions on one of my hot button issues-Leinenkugel’s and Berry Weiss.
The Marti and Leinenkugel families have been great friends since Ted Marti’s father ran the brewery. Miller’s decision to buy Leinenkugel’s in 1988 came during the domination of mega-breweries.
“Their decision to sell the brewery to Miller was sad,” said Marti. “Now it feels like it’s us against Miller.”
In regards to Berry Weiss, he had a simple statement.
“I don’t like fruit.”
Although the amount of beer drank at BF 2008 could allegedly drown the entire state of New Hampshire, the atmosphere was euphoric. Every single person was hilarious and loud. I couldn’t see a single person picking a fight in the crowds of people dancing to German-style music. Even though it was a balmy 22 degrees outside, everyone was there in spite of temperature.
There were men dressed up as penguins, some had lederhosen and many were absolutely bombed. The staff and volunteers were happy to be there. We saw a copious amount of brats, antlers and Carhartt jackets. It was the best of times.
There was one thing I needed to know-what was the brewmaster’s favorite beer?
“Pilsner’s my favorite,” said Marti. “I drink a lot of light beer, though, when I got to drink a lot.”
Spoken like a champion.
Want to read even more of Brandon’s Bock Fest adventure? Check out his blog
#1.882572:767707818.jpg:IMG_0359web.jpg:The Big Ol’ B, College Connoisseur:#1.882863:3973422709.JPG:IMG_0371.JPG:This is what 6,000 people drinking beer looks like. Yeah, I like it too.:#1.882862:276938683.JPG:IMG_0343.JPG:An athlete from the U.S. Beerfest team ? wearing a hard hat.: