We attended our first ever Beer Fest in Portugal and it was awesome! The best part was that it was located just down the road from us so staggering distance from our casa. The Alva Beer Festival was held on Saturday 8th October 15:00-2:00. I am not actually a beer drinker or a huge drinker of any alcohol which may seem strange seeing as we have our very own retro bar in our lounge. We inherited it from the previous owners of our house and I just couldn’t bring myself to throw the bar away as although it’s huge and very old fashioned it has a certain retro charm about it and I bet it was very expensive back in the day so we made a feature point out of it. I LOVE festivals so whenever I see a local free festival I’m there in a heartbeat, I don’t have to be asked twice. The weather is so beautiful at the moment so it was a glorious warm evening sampling different varieties of beer which was well deserved after a full day of gardening. I was inspired by the month of October and Ocktoberfest. When I picture a Beer Fest, I see in my head a bunch of Millenials sipping craft beer beverages and nibbling on vegan food such as avocado toast, quinoa or poke bowls. I detest avocados and the only foods I like on toast are cheese, baked beans or eggs. I’m a basic girl (ha ha).

I can’t remember the last time I attended a Beer Festival. I think it was Bristol Bierkellar and I was in my 20’s. The night is one huge blur but did end with an all you can eat curry and me hurtling down Park Street in a supermarket trolley at high speed (ha ha). What I know about beer you could write on the back of a postage stamp. I do know that the beer culture is huge, there are different types (draft V bottles), percentages, colours, flavours and strengths and that the order one should try them is light, dark and finishing off with sour. I also know that craft beer has become more popular over the years and they produce smaller amounts of quality beer than your typical mass produced brewery and have an emphasis on enthusiasm, new flavours and varied brewing techniques. I also think craft beer contains more alcohol than domestic beer but I could be wrong. I was wrong once in 1986 (ha ha). I have no advice to those of you who want to attend a beer festival except eat before you go so food can soak up the alcohol. We consumed a huge burger and sweet potato fries, just the ticket. I’m not that into weird flavoured stuff, beers included. I hate flavoured coffee, why ruin a good roast with sickly sweet syrups e.g. pumpkin and cinnamon and don’t get me started on the cajun squirrel crisps! So flavoured beers were never going to be my thing. There is a lot of weirdness when it comes to beer flavours and one brewery I read about brewed beer with sliced and roasted bull testicles, WTF! Apparently it has a savoury and meaty taste. I’m obviously not the biggest fan of beer but if I consume a beer just give me a beer, I don’t want any of your Avocado and Honey Ale or your Banana Bread Beer, I don’t even like Banana Bread. We all save our over ripe bananas in the hope that one day we will morph into a domestic godess and bake beautiful banana bread but it will never happen in my lifetime. I now just eat an overipe banana or freeze it for a future protein smoothie. In my opinion food should be food and beer should be beer. I’m quite partial to a Crème Brûlée, just not in my beer!

I Love You More Than Beer

Hubby LOVES beer but like me isn’t a huge drinker. If there is a choice I will most likely opt for a rum and coke zero, wine or a cocktail or two. Hubby prefers beer so I was safe in the knowledge that if I didn’t like some of the beers then hubby would vacuum up my leftovers in 2.4 seconds flat (ha ha).

Our Radiant Retro Bar

If there is a family celebration at our home then it usually incorporates a trip to our retro bar. Here are just a few of our many celebration fun evenings.

It’s Beer with Atmosphere & Fermented Fun – Alva Beer Fest 2022 Gallery

We arrived between 21:30-22:00 and stayed until just after midnight. I couldn’t stay until 2am as I am way too old to party like a teenager and we had a hike planned for the next day. We purchased Beer Fest glasses which cost €2 each and it was great fun sampling the different craft beers which varied in price but most were €2 a glass and we even managed to find a comfy sofa in a corner to rest our tired legs and listen to the band play. It was right next to the sink where you rinse out your glass and I was amazed at folk who were tipping a whole glass of beer down the sink. Are they crazy! Maybe it wasn’t to their liking or they were a professional and pacing themselves. I’m way too frugal to tip beer down a drain. It got to a point where I needed some more food to soak up the beer so I sent hubby off on a mission to return with nuts or crisps as I didn’t fancy the nuts that were on the bars. The main reason for this is I once watched a T.V documentary where a science lab tested peanuts that were displayed in bars for customers to enjoy. I think it’s a marketing tactic as salted nuts make you more thirsty hence you buy more beer. Anyway the lab tested the nuts and the results were shocking. They found several traces of human urine on the nuts which freaked me out. Wash your hands folk, it’s not difficult!

An IPA Açor Beer was my favourite Beer of the night and I love that it is brewed in our very own mountain range Serra do Açor. It appears I prefer a pale ale to match my pale pasty complexion now my summer SUP tan is fading away. Apparently pale ales carry an earthy and herbal aroma which is also alot like my smell after a full day of gardening (ha ha). Hubby tried some darker potent beers which in my opinion tasted like a Sharpie black marker pen, not that I’ve ate one recently, I usually just sniff them (ha ha). There were so many varieties of beer to suit everyones taste buds. I was fully entertained by the D.J and band as well as a couple of drunk guys who were hilarious. People watching is my new hobby. It’s a shame my Portuguese isn’t better as I would have loved to have a more in depth chat with the brewers who were all very friendly and passionate about their beer. There was a mixture of ages, old and young, celebrating together and dancing into the night. We spent some time chilling on the Côja straw sofa. It was difficult to get photos without a van or people in the background but we tried our best. The event started at 15:00 for families to enjoy and there was an impressive Spider-Man bouncy castle. A couple more beers and I was ready to kick the kids off Spider-Man and make the bouncy castle officially an Adults only event (ha ha). There was a pretty toasty fire pit and it was a warm evening and not too chilly with a jacket. It ended all blurry eyed and blurry photos to match but at least I arrived home with both shoes mainly because I wore zip up idiot proof flat dancing boots. Hubby is going to buy me a T.Shirt with the slogan “I’m not Drunk, Your just Blurry” (ha ha).

Drink Responsibly Folk!

If you can’t drink responsibly then be sure to have a strong grip on both shoes at any given time. My drunken nights out usually end with a trip to a fartura van and I wake up the next morning with only one shoe. It can become an expensive hobby unless you have one leg! Fortunately I have two short fat legs because I’m not crazy enough to mix and match odd shoes, that’s a step too far, even for weirdo ass me (ha ha).

Sober October or On a Bender until December

Apparently there is a trend going around called “Sober October” and “Dry January”. We are not participating in either. The key to a healthy and happy life is everything in moderation and balance. I don’t think my liver could cope with “On a Bender until December” so my plan is to participate in “Movember” and see which one of us can grow the biggest, bushiest and best moustache, excluding my pant moustache (ha ha).

Sober Sisters

Remember folk: “Always do sober what you said you would do drunk, It will teach you to keep your mouth shut”. Ernest Hemingway. Once upon a time there was an 18 year old naive girl who went out for a night on the town with her 21 year old sister. The siblings got way too drunk and the 18 year old said “I’m saving up and going to travel around Europe for a year”. The very drunk 21 year old talked the even more drunk 18 year old into inviting her and travelling around the world instead of just Europe. They embarked on a backpacking trip of a lifetime and had so much fun in the sun. The 18 year old returned home to the U.K with a bun in the oven. Mother was not impressed. The 18 year old girl named her bun Josh and he is now 29 years old and brings much joy to everyone he meets. The End (ha ha).

Hangover Hugs

The next day we woke up early to head off off a hangover hike but not before we had cuddles and snuggles with bunny boy Beni. We are pet sitting for a friend and nothing beats a hangover than a greasy fry up, cuddles with a fluffy friend and a long hike in nature with your Soulmate, just don’t fall over the mountain top or piss your significant other off so much that they accidentally on purpose push you off the edge (ha ha).

Fun but Feeling Fragile

Helen and hangovers don’t mix well. Nature and fresh air is the cure for this crazy lady!

Future Festivals

I have found a local Chestnut Festival which is on the weekend of hubby’s upcoming birthday. It doesn’t sound as rocking as the Beer Festival but I do love a sweet roasted chestnut or two dozen and I have a feeling there may be alcohol involved too! We frugal foraged for Chestnuts on our hangover hike. What tastes better than sweet roasted chestnuts? FREE sweet roasted chestnuts!