Red Bank Guinness and Oyster Festival 2013..

Sunday, September 22, 2013 was the Red Bank Guinness and Oyster Festival 2013. We went. Did you?  If you recall, I posted a review about the Asbury Park Oyster Festival here about two weeks ago.  We stopped in Red Bank driving home from Scranton and parents weekend. Traffic getting to festival from the Garden State Parkway was a challenge. We were lucky to find a parking spot right next to the festival. The traffic jam made a 10 minute ride last about 40 minutes. That should have been a clue. It was a clue, we just ignored the  clue.

No parking cost, that beat Asbury Park. The entrance fee was 5 dollars per person. Asbury Park was 3 dollars, advantage Asbury.  The Red Bank festival was packed. They could have had twice the space and still they would have been packed. There were bands playing at each end of the parking lot/festival grounds. Food vendors, three beer trucks and two business shucking clams and oysters. We walked around the festival, a lap around, if you will. I like to see what the choices are before spending my money. Within five minutes of fighting through the crowd, the person in front of me stopped short and the walker behind me, ran into my back spilling their beer on my leg and camera.  Yum. And gave me a dirty look for causing him to spill his beer!

People in the crowd were not friendly. There is no other way to describe the festival. Advantage Asbury Park. Maybe if there was more room, people would have been nicer to each other. Other observations would be that this was a younger, “hipper” crowd.  I would expect to see a crowd like this in Brooklyn on a sunny and warm September afternoon.  There were many more people drinking at this festival. I’m sure they were drinking at the Asbury Festival, but they seemed more noticeable in Red Bank. And strollers.. we got run over by strollers.

I had my Guinness and half-dozen oysters. My DW had a cup of clam chowder. Both were real good. We grabbed a hot dog from the Wind Mill and headed home. The festival was just too intense of us.  There were more food trucks at the Asbury Festival.

Here are few pictures from the festival.  Will we go back? Probably not.


Beer 30..

Saturday evening DS1, the weatherman, another brother (needs a catchy pseudonym) and I went to the Morristown Brew Fest.  The event was billed as “unlimited beer tasting” for four hours.  If you paid an extra 20 dollars you could get in an hour earlier and get some “free’ food and “special” beers not available to the general public.  We choose the cheap (50 dollar) way out. My OB (other brother) lives in Randolph about 15 minutes from the Morristown Armory.  His wife drove us to the festival and shared their home for the night so we would not have to travel home after drinking. Thank you! The festival website can be found here.  There were a few problems with the delivery of the goods on Saturday. The organizers (as you can read on their website) had problems with the ticket scanners. They attempted to verify each of about 3000 tickets manually. You can guess how that went.

How it went was that we arrived at 4:35 for the event and stood outdoors in the cold for 1.5 hours in a line with 2000 other people.  When we finally got to the entrance, they had people checking id’s, that went pretty quick. The pinch point was that the one entrance was also the exit.  And lining both sides of the entrance/exit were lines of people waiting for the bathrooms. Hmm. The entrance was a double door, one side closed. So everybody in line entered the building one person at a time.  Once I got through the door, they just took my ticket and did not check it.  The people in line were well-behaved. The wait would have gone better if someone from the festival had come outside and explained to the people in line what the problems and solutions were. We would have felt less in the dark.   See some news coverage here and here.

Inside, warm, not too crowed and very loud. Sometimes my misspent youth comes back to haunt me. I don’t do will in loud crowds. The beer selections were great. I had all the beer I wanted. I waited many times in a line two or three people deep. But the lines were quick, the people pouring had smiles (for the most part). My son, and brothers all had stories to share by the end of the night. My brother worked one table while the lady working the table went to the bathroom. My son had somebody give him 10 dollars for food, I guess he looked hungry.  We had a good time. Will we go next year? I’m not really sure. I have been to two of these things (one in Manhattan and this one), this event had a good selection of beer.   Pictures, of course!


Other news,

  • DS3 went to the University of Scranton, ROTC Military Ball with his girlfriend this weekend.  I have not spoken to him about the experience. There is a picture at the bottom.
  • DS2 and his girlfriend celebrated Valentines Day and 5 months of dating this weekend. There is a picture below.
  • Friday night we (DW and I) went to the Count Basie Theatre in Red Bank to see Pink Martini. We saw them a few years ago in Central park (NYC). They were pretty good Friday night. At the end of the night, my DW and I counted ten different languages that they sang songs in!  Pretty impressive.  There is a picture below from that concert.
  • Dinner Friday night was at the Dublin House in Red Bank.  Nice place, skip the fish and chips. The other things we ate were good.  Note to the bartender at the Dublin House, second floor, a black in tan is so named because it is poured with the light beer on the bottom and the dark beer on the top. Mixing them together and serving them mixed kills the concept. Practice, practice.

Here are the pictures, enjoy!