- There was Alabama-brewed beer there after all. Birmingham's Good People Brewing Co. is finally off the ground, and debuted their brown ale to the public at the festival. They'll begin full-scale production this week.
- Rougue's Chocolate Stout was outstanding. That's it in the glass above. That's also it spilled on my shirt after a slight accident as I fiddled with the camera. (Don't worry, most of it come right out with water from a nearby rinse station.)
- The food was much improved this year. Among my favorites: meatball & corn from Yarbourough Catering (I think that's right), Jambalaya & sweet cornbread from 5 Points Grille, and hummus from whoever that was set up on the right as we entered the food court. Bravo!
EDIT (1:15 p.m., June 2): I've seen folks linking to this post from elsewhere on the Web, some of who are taking issue with my description of the festival as relatively well-run. Keep in mind, I'm describing my experience at the festival's Sunday session. We had a pretty darn good time.
We'd all ordered tickets ahead of time and arrived about 30 minutes before the festival began. There was no line when I walked up to the will-call window, and it took the volunteer there about 10 seconds to find my name on a list. She slapped a wristband on me, and then it was just a short wait before they cut the ribbon and the tasting began.
I know there was trouble Saturday night, and the organizers have admitted as much. While the rest of us were sleeping Saturday night, they stayed up looking for ways to make sure the same problems didn't happen again Sunday. It worked, at least from my perspective.
I know the committed volunteers who organized this event want constructive feedback so they can improve every year (even from one session to the next, as noted above). If you ran into problems on Sunday, please click below to comment. Let's talk it out.