Live music and beer, a pairing as American as baseball but way more fun in every conceivable way. Especially when that beer is of the craft and unlimited variety and the tunes are live and loud.
A pilgrimage of beer freaks and people who like to party found their way to the South Florida Fairgrounds for the Palm Beach Summer Beer Fest on Saturday. And yes, it's true, an actual gun show was taking place right next door at that same time. But the real blast was taking place where thousands of people chugged beer all afternoon.
The massive convention center floor was lined with aisles of booths filled by popular breweries. They all pointed directly toward a big ass stage. It's not often a beer fest is inside. The air conditioning was nice but the special treat was more music in your face as opposed to the floating sounds you might get in an outside arena.
Opening the show and setting the stage for some mammoth day drinking was local country favorites County Line Road. While country music isn't everyone's piece of fun, it's safe to say this band knows what it's doing. Big on the local scene and seasoned at putting on a good show, it got those on the opposite side of the genre's line to migrate to their side of County Line Road.
Did we mention there was a lot of drinking? Like a lot. Boozers that spend their weekends from Clematis to Abacoa made the trek to the fairgrounds and packed a nights worth of festivities into four hours in the middle of the day, a proverbial shit show if you will.
Every brewery poured their little hearts out but it's no surprise that the most crowded area was where the local South Florida breweries were posted. Funky Buddha, Saltwater, and Due South all lined up next to each other made up the most crowded part of the fest. They all came out to play too, tapping special releases for the masses, including Due South's show stealing Peanut Butter Apple Ale.
The folks that were smart enough to remember to eat escaped to the back where there were over ten food trucks, another landmark of a well planned drinking day. And among all the guzzling glory and the race to never see the bottom of your tasting glass, just when you thought, "Now this is a good time," Better Than Ezra showed up. Hitting the stage at 4 p.m., it's safe to say we all had a good buzz going and were well prepped for some '90s rock.
Better Than Ezra ripped into a full acoustic set, putting on a show that actually made people hang out by the stage as opposed to filling up their cups. The band played all the recognizable tunes and even covered Sublime much to the crowd's delight. We were treated to "Crazy Lucky" and other songs of their upcoming album All Together Now which drops September 9. Lead singer Kevin Griffin didn't miss the opportunity to bring us that so very bizarre gun show planted very nearby all these boozers. As Floridians used to the jabs, we had to laugh at the poor placement.
Better Than Ezra did what it was supposed to do, and did it well. They entertained thousands of drunk people on a Saturday afternoon. But when the clock struck 5, and the beer was cutoff, we were all forced to return to our stations in life as regular folk. It was better than any other Saturday we've had in a long time, and it even was Better Than Ezra.