Roanoke’s Microfestivus Is Here. Cheers.

Microfestivus 2011My father in law, who years ago worked for a beer distributor here in Roanoke, remembers helping set up his company’s breweries at some of the very first Microfestivus events.  He’ll gladly retell those stories at the drop of a dime.  They’re the kind of stories with plenty of nostalgic feel to them, so much so you that when the pictures begin to be created in your mind, you can almost see an old photo, golden hued, weathered kind of tone around their edges.  He retold those stories while sampling beers at last year’s Microfestivus, and like each time before, one detail in particular stood out.  But this time it was detail that felt as if it had been written in bold and underscored a dozen or so times, considering that at the time, we were standing among the sixty plus breweries that were being represented.  You see, within those early Microfestivus stories, he’ll tell you that he helped set up the beer tasting stations for roughly a handful of breweries.  A handful.  If that.  The fourth Microfestivus apparently featured a grand total of fourteen breweries.  Fourteen.

For a little reflection, today, there are a handful of breweries in operation here in our own area.  And at Microfestivus, which is celebrating its seventeenth anniversary today, there are just a few more than a handful of breweries being represented – about seventy or so.  To gauge Roanoke’s own growth, which has slowly but surely mirrored the festival’s, several local restaurants have long since jumped on board with promoting and serving craft beer, tap takeover events have become the norm, stores which sell craft beer are growing, and soon, we’ll have our own craft beer bus tours rolling around the streets of our area.

I wasn’t at those very early Microfestivus events, but I’ve going for some time now.  I have my own story to tell from my first Microfest, when I was just beginning to be entranced with craft beer, involving Troegenator doppelbock.  It was one of the first beers that “turned on the lights” for me, beginning a deep curiosity about just how amazing beer could be.

Without festivals such as Microfestivus, moments like this, for myself and I’m sure many others, might not have happened, at least when they did.  And the growth in craft beer interest which Roanoke is currently experiencing might not be occurring, at least to the degree it is.  As the city continues to move forward with that interest, it’s certainly fun to look back over how far Microfestivus has come, but then also to realize its importance to that growth in curiosity.

At today’s Microfestivus, I certainly hope there will be more memories made, such as my own, or my father in law’s – at a future Microfestivus perhaps, or other event which has been born out of Roanoke’s growing craft beer interest.  Regardless of when or where, they are the certainly the kinds of memories which are best retold over a great beer.

Cheers, and have fun at Microfestivus.

(Below, find the past week’s worth of blog posts about today’s festival with more specific info on the beers and breweries we’ll see today!)

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~ by thebeerroad on August 9, 2014.

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