Compared to last summer’s success, the fourth annual festival hit a glitch, when a permit to serve homebrew was denied. This was publicized in the Grand Rapids Herald Review, and WDIO TV from Duluth. The BBQ competition, and the BJCP sanctioned homebrew competition continued; there was just no ability for the public to sample the competitive homebrew entries. The public was able to sample the BBQ entries, beer was available from the on-site stall from the Outpost bar, and the Boreal Brewers had to satisfy themselves by gamely serving homemade root beer and cream soda.
The Deer River Chamber of Commerce runs this event.
As usual, there’s a BBQ dinner the Friday night before for the competitors and event volunteers. People set up camp in the acres of available space, and the brewers sipped and watched while the smokers and burners set up for a night of barbequing. Judging for both competitions began about noon, and the public could enter the historic White Oak Rendezvous “fort” beginning at 3 PM. Both the Boreal Brewers and the Northern Ale Stars (Duluth) provided beer judges. Live music kept the afternoon hopping, and people enjoyed sampling the BBQ. But, you could still hear the crickets chirping in what would have been the homebrew sampling area. Many brewers stayed over Saturday night to share what might have been shared with the public.
Hopefully we can get the homebrew laws changed for 2014.