Beer Week Diaries: Part 1

Last week… was a super fun week. And I’m not just saying that. You’re about to climb into my head and discover what it looks like to be a writer, beer lover AND a Momma during Grand Rapids Beer Week 2014. There will be swearing, so if you’re sensitive to that… well, you’re in the wrong place.

Day 1, Monday. 
Just finished reading the list of GR Beer Week events… Holy shitbags. There is no way in hell my liver, wallet, kids and sanity will tolerate even a fraction of these events. I plan to attend a PussyCat Beer Guild meeting downtown at the HopCat on Tuesday this week, maybe I could swing something else that night. My mom will take the kids Friday afternoon and we can make a few rounds at the plethora of events on Friday evening. Not to mention MI Winter Beer Fest on Saturday. Cue George Michael’s Freedom… I honestly can’t remember the last time we had a weekend off from parenting.

Day 2, Tuesday.
Ok, looks like a writing assignment (I occasionally get paid to write about beer!! Whaa?!) is sending me to a tap-takeover at Logan’s Alley for starters, I’ll meet up with my awesome pal Kelli from MiBeers.com, finish up my assignment, then we’ll head downtown to the HopCat; we had planned on attending this PCG meeting for weeks. I typically hate Tuesdays… but today? BEER ME!

  • Beer Kellis squaredAfter dumping my kids on the hubs and arriving at Logan’s Alley at 5:30p, I had to park a block away. Holy shit. There’s not only nowhere to park my invisible jet, but I can’t find a place to park my ass? And I don’t recognize a single face. W.T.F. am I doing here?
  • I hear Liz Phair’s voice cut through the chatter… a song the hubs & I sing in our band. “I was talking, not two days ago, to a certain bartender I’m lucky to know…” What is it about a familiar, beloved song that can instantly change your anxiety to calm? Is this just me?
  • I acquire a beer; a collaboration Logan’s Alley created at Saugatuck Brewing called LUMP. It’s spicy without the burn, made with serrano and poblano peppers. Damn. That’s a tasty beverage.
  • Thank goodness, a familiar face has arrived! And bonus? Kelli has scored two seats at the end of the bar… Where we will hold court amongst the heavily male dominated crowd. Wow. There’s a lot of people to get to know… I went through over a dozen business cards!
  • As I order another pint (how the hell did my first beer disappear so damn fast?!) I feel a tap on my shoulder… Liz Phair knew what she was singing about… a bartender I’m lucky to know has the night off and is spending it at Logan’s… obviously stalking me. 😉 Wait, what’s in this beer?!
  • Kelli & I consider cashing out and heading to our previously planned meeting downtown. Then, as I’m giving my bartender friend a little shit for drinking out of a tulip (which he was trading for a pint glass… we agreed that no one looks cool drinking out of a tulip) he yells to the Logan’s bartender “Put Kelli’s next beer on my tab! Cheers, lady.” Ouch, my arm!!
  • Kelli grabs popcorn for us to share… yeah. I’m on my 3rd beer. We probably should eat something.
  • Pictures are snapped… I manage to spark a smidge of jealousy into the hubs with a text message-check-in. It’s
    Kelli and the bartendermainly because of the tall, dark and sexy beer I’m drinking, not the tall, dark-eyed, sexy man sharing a mug shot with me. Yes, really. Plus, the hubs is dealing with the wrath of bedtime with a 5 & 9 year old and I’m out having a blast with zero kids in sight. Whoops. #dadproblems #cantaffordasittereverynight #niceworkifyoucangetit #teamwork #hashtagoverload
  • Kelli & I realize we’re WAY too late for the PCG meeting… and how rude is it to arrive more than an hour late to a meeting? Whoops again. So we decide to avoid the heart of downtown, as we know we’ll have to pay to park and walk a mile just to get a beer, if we can even get a seat and a beer at this point, it would be a miracle. We are very familiar with how this town operates… especially during GR Beer Week.
  • We do feel the need to relocate, so we head to another tap take-over at the Speak EZ.
  • About half the crowd at Logan’s follows us.
  • We run into more people we know or want to know, chat more, drink more…
  • Holy shit. It’s 10:30pm?! We need to get home to our kids.
  • But first… taco bell.
  • I arrive home… eat, and promptly crash.

Day 3, Wednesday.

  • 6:30am reality check. Ouch. Ow. My head. I’m too old for this shit.
  • My giddiness for the events that are to come gets me through (once my kids are off to school) If last night was that much fun… this weekend will ROCK!
  • There’s a Founders takeover at Big Bob’s today… with KBS! yay. After the night I just had, and knowing what’s to come… my liver needed a day of rest.
  • Around 4:30p I tell the hubs to head over and have a KBS on me. 
  • The hubs is grateful for my suggestion. He does not pass go or collect $200, he heads directly to the KBS. Happiness abounds. #teamworkrocks

Day 4, Thursday. 

  • The list of events is insane today, but I focus my energy on prepping for all the drinking I will do on Friday and Saturday instead. I’ve gotta start packing the kids up for their weekend with my mother AND pack up the hubs and I for our weekend hotel stay across from the Winter Beer Fest!
  • The kids get both of their parents for dinner! Wow. A home-cooked meal! Family time! What a concept!
  • I force myself off of social media… which helps to control my FOMO (fear of missing out).
  • I make my WBF beer list, focusing on beers under 7%. Last year, I was all over anything that said Bourbon Barrel, Imperial or double… and I paid for those choices. Hard. I can do this. I am a veteran and will rock this bitch.
  • I will not puke this year. I will not puke this year.
Greenbush at Logan's Alley

Shit. They gave us tulip glasses.

Day 5, FRIDAY!!!

  • I spend the morning in major prep-mode. Finish packing the necessities for my kids, grabbing all the winter gear for the hubs & I as we have had a hotel booked since September, and my mom booked since August. SO ready for a break from the kids.
  • Giddy texts between my sister-cousin are never-ending. We haven’t seen each other since Thanksgiving! It’s the most wonderful time of the year! YAY!
  • 11:30am, I have everything ready to go for the girls’ trip to Gram’s. I load it all into the invisible jet and meet the hubs for lunch so we can switch vehicles.
  • We meet at Logan’s Alley for a Greenbush takeover and Beer Fest Burgers. I’m telling you, Logan’s was the place to be all week!!
  • 20 minutes for a beer? Damn, this better be good.
  • It was.
  • 1pm The hubs & I giddily make-out as we part ways so he can lock up loose ends at work before picking up the kids to meet my mom in Lansing at 5p.
  • 1:05pm. Phone rings: Mom.
    • “Hi Mom! I just dropped off the girls’ things to Greg… ”
      “Kelli. Have you looked at the weather? The winds and the drifting snow and ice have me worried.”
      “I know it’s not ideal weather to drive in, but we are kind of counting on you this weekend, are you saying you can’t meet us?”
      “Kelli, I just don’t feel safe driving in this with my grand daughters.”
      “Mom, it’s sunny here right now. I really think you’ll be ok. Toni is driving from the flint area at 2p. Could we make a final decision at 2:30? See what their assessment is?”
      “Ok… I just know that Saginaw closed schools today. I don’t feel safe driving in this weather. But I’ll talk to you at 2:30p.”
    • *Click.*
  • 1:10pm. I call the hubs. I never call him unless it’s an emergency. He answers immediately.
    • FUCK! My Mom just called!! I think we’re fucked!! She’s afraid to drive with the winds so crazy!”
      “Seriously?! No. Come on. This… no. I’ll drive them to Bay City myself if I have to! The kids are not staying here!”
      “Dude, you’re not driving 5 hours tonight. Maybe she could meet you in Flint instead of Lansing?”
      “Whatever, we’ll make this work. The kids are NOT staying with us this weekend. We need a break!”
      “I know… but you know my mom.”
      “Yes I do… maybe you should start contacting sitters?”
      *SIGH* “Ok… the clock is ticking on the hotel cancelation. We only have until 4p.”
      “Ugh. Ok, well I have a meeting. I’ll check in with you in a bit. Drink a beer, Kel! This sucks!”

Cliff-hanger!! Wait, what?!

I know you’re anxious to hear what happens next, but you’ll have to wait until tomorrow.

WILL Kelli get her mother to suck it up and drive an hour in the “dangerous” winds?

How will Kelli get to the Michigan Winter Beer Fest if her mother bails?

Tune in tomorrow for the conclusion of my Beer Week Diaries.

Dum dum dummmmmm…

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3 Trackbacks

  • By Beer Week Diaries: Part 2 on February 26, 2014 at 9:47 am

    […] « Beer Week Diaries: Part 1 […]

  • By My Broken Vagina on March 3, 2014 at 1:02 pm

    […] patients, alcohol is like throwing, well, alcohol on a fire. Everyone is different. Remember my beer diaries last week? One of the reasons I had so much fun was because I finally felt like myself again. There […]

  • By GR Beer Week! Winter Beer Fest! on February 22, 2015 at 7:07 pm

    […] look forward to GR Beer Week and MI Winter Beer Fest every year — the socialization, the rare tap-takeovers — […]

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    Kelli Williams

    Kelli Williams

    Keeping up with 2 little girls, writing assignments, music gigs, the house, laundry, ETC, backwards, wearing ass kicking boots and a smile, without spilling my beer. Ok, ok, so I spill my beer, but my floors have never been more germ-free since I started putting a little alcohol on them. Who needs ammonia...

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