Atlantic City Diaries, Chapter 20: The Atlantic City Beerfest

Posted: April 1, 2015 by rorypatrick in Atlantic City Diaries
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Two thousand fifteen.  Such a huge number.  The year we are in, some would say.  And this is a string of four pointless sentences.

I haven’t been to Atlantic City this year, so we are way overdue for a diary.  Usually, around this time, Keith and I would have hit AC on some kind of crazy adventure.  However, he made the horrible mistake of abstaining from alcohol for Lent.  This time, it is OB and myself, Harrah’s, and the Atlantic City Beer (and Music) Festival.  We begin our day of activities with a buffet….

2:30PM – The ride down was fairly uneventful.  We were pleased to find that the buses now go straight from Port Authority to Harrah’s (a game changer!), and I slept the whole way down.  OB, unfortunately, made the error of not printing out his ticket for the beerfest before leaving.  We ventured out to find the hotel business center, but Harrah’s seems to be determined to hide it away from all human contact.  After two separate elevator rides and a meander through both the casino and the barren halls of unused meeting rooms, we found the business center.  It was inhabited by another poor soul who, too, had forgotten to print up his ticket.  However, this jabroni fills us in on his current woes: the printer isn’t working.  A friendly staffmember arrived, but after a series of complicated e-mail transactions, we were still without our tickets.

I decide to take matters into my own hands.  I look at the printer.  It says “No Paper.”  I use all my MacGuyver skills, and remove paper from the fax machine and stick it in the printer.  Problem solved.

Harrah’s, I’m available to be head of your IT department.  Just give me a call.

4:00 – After a quick shower and some squats to get the blood flowing, we headed down to Harrah’s Waterfront Buffet to stuff ourselves with crab legs and rotten shrimp.  We went as the buffet opened, so we were surrounded by the elderly in their natural habitat.  However, our eyes were distracted by the Harrah’s Pool, which was actually hopping.  I don’t seem to remember it actually working as a “pool,” but rather a nightclub.  Yet today, on the first semi-nice day of 2015, the ladies (and gents) were out in their skimpiest outfits.  It was quite a sight.

5:30 – The.  Beerfest.

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Honestly, this might be the most fun, best run event I have ever been to in Atlantic City.  I can’t even begin to properly describe it.  So, without ado, here’s my top six list of the best things about the Atlantic City Beer (and Music) Fest:

6. It’s very well-organized. The space was large and brightly lit.  The event started on time.  It was insanely easy to get through security.  The cabs after the event were easy to find (granted, we left about 20 minutes early to avoid the rush).  Given that there were about 10,000 people there with the express purpose of drinking, it could’ve easily been a shitshow.  Instead, it was the greatest party of the year.

5. There’s food!  Unfortunately, we weren’t able to partake much in this aspect, having eaten before.  But, we passed by a bunch of smoked meats that smelled absolutely mouth-watering.  Free samples, to boot.  Speaking of free…

4. So much swag.  I live for swag.  Stickers, coasters, buttons.  Aside from the beer, you can definitely get your money’s worth in useless crap.  I love it.

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3. There’s so many activities!  Drinking tiny beers for four hours can get a bit boring.  So why not try on kilts?  Or listen to music? Or do some yoga?  You can do all these activities for as long or as short as you want, depending on how much time you need to rest. (I would like to note that this is the second time we were at an event in Atlantic City featuring Everclear.  And it is the second time we chose not to watch Everclear.)

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2. The crowd rocks.  You had groups of drinkers celebrating people’s birthdays, some trying to do the “Wade Boggs Challenge,” and others dressed up as wrestlers.  And, for such a large event, there were almost no bad apples in the bunch.  Nobody was sloppy or vomiting, and nobody was being a jerk (fighting, pushing, cutting lines, etc.).

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But, we all know what number one is…

1. Four hours of beer.  You are given a small glass, and the recommended sample size is 2 ounces, but come on – you got unlimited beer from some great breweries.  For free.  For four hours.

I will make it my duty to be there next year, come hell or high water.  And you should too.  And I am getting no money to endorse this.  This should be the last line of the diary.  Unfortunately, the night keeps going.

10:00 – OB and I take our drunk asses back to Harrah’s, and the rest of the night is a blur.  We have an excellent midnight dinner at McCormick and Schmick’s, and OB passes out early.  I make the unfortunate mistake of staying up gambling.  I get beat at the slots.  I get beat at the blackjack tables.  I get beat when I bet small.  I get beat when I bet big.  I get beat when I play with bad blackjack players.  I get beat when I play with good blackjack players.

Bottom line: I stink at gambling.

7:00AM – After a short nap, I take a morning stroll on the Harrah’s waterfront and take stock of my life.  This may have been the greatest trip I ever had in Atlantic City, but then I had to go gamble.  Which brings up the challenge: can I “Do AC” without gambling?  Is that even possible?

Stay tuned.  The next AC Diary will be coming in June.  And trust me, it’s going to be a doozy.

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