In retrospect, I am a bit surprised there was no carnival barker in candy cane-striped pants with a handlebar mustache shouting, “Step Right Up, Ladies and Gentlemen!” There was the obvious, the circus tent. And the carnie stilt walkers, acrobats and aerialists. But it wasn’t a circus. It was a beer festival. Or was it?
Last week, local Colorado brewers, Left Hand Brewing Company, sponsored their annual Nitro Beer festival on the lawn of an open park in Longmont. There were long lines of people holding shot glasses of nitrogen infused craft beers from several craft brewers around the country. But that is where the resemblance to typical beer fests ended. Left Hand instead threw a vaudevillesque party in which every participant was in formal masquerade/steampunk attire. There were fire performers, jugglers, hoopers, and acrobats hanging from fabric attached to the high tent ceiling. And there was Beats Antique. Their unique blend of Old World gypsy electronica, along with the dizzying visuals from fire and acrobat performances by Lunar Fire and Fractal Tribe, transformed a beer promotional event into a bewitching evening of stylish costumes, art and music.
Beats Antique closed out the evening on an intimately-sized stage while celebrating the birthday of their percussionist, Tommy Cappel.
Punctuated with a belly dancing stage show and throbbing gypsy beats, the stage shuddered with gale-force energy from inspired performers and rabid fans, jumping and clawing at the stage. Needless to say, I didn’t spend much time in beer lines for refills. The circus was in town, and I sure didn’t want to miss any of the razzle and dazzle. The Nitro Fest last week was the greatest show on earth of beer festivals.