Obama and Beer


Wow. What a day.

Woke up at the crack of dawn, tickets in hand to go see Obama at the Memorial Coliseum. We arrived at 5:45, made a quick side-trip for a bagel and some coffee, and made it to the Coliseum by 6:00AM. There were already a couple thousand people lined up outside. By 7:00, there was an enormous crowd waiting to get in. Thankfully, line shenanigans were minimal. There were a few cutters here and there, and a couple people that stormed the front when the doors opened, but for the most part things were well-organized.

Much ink has been spilled about how fast tickets for this event went. Some less scrupulous individuals even went so far as to offer their tickets for sale on Craigslist (tickets came in an email. these people probably just kept printing multiple copies of their ticket and selling them – or trying to, anyway. if you did this, you’re a jackass). Turns out it didn’t really matter. There was room for all. As far as I know, everybody got in, and there were a few hundred seats to spare.

As for Obama’s speech. All I can say is “wow”. The news pundits on MSNBC and CNN keep talking about how different it is hearing Obama live than it is on TV. They’re right. He spoke for over an hour, but it really seemed like just a few minutes. I don’t think I’ve ever heard a public speaker with the skills this guy has. And despite the protestations of the Hil-dog, it’s not just fluffery. Obama talked in detail about some great ideas on how to get us out of Iraq, improve the economy, fix health-care, and improve our standing in the world community. It was, dare I say it, inspirational. An amazing speech from an amazing guy. I only hope that the Democratic party doesn’t try to get cute at the convention. At this point, I think the people have spoken, and Obama is the front-runner. Any cutesy games with delegates that results in Hillary getting the nomination is NOT going to go down well.

The speech finished up around 11:15. Just enough time for a sammich and then off to the Spring Beer Fest, which happens to be right next to the Rose Quarter at the Portland Convention center.

Quick recap:

The good: allowing brewers to bring two beers apiece, as well as schwag.
The bad: Not enough hard to find beers and too many mega-micros (Pyramid/McTarnahan’s, Widmer, Bridgeport, etc.). Also – a Pabst booth?!? Are you kidding??! I love me some Pabst as much as the next starving Portland musician, but why would I pay a buck for four ounces of Pabst when I can get 16 ounces for a buck at the bar down the street? Lame.
The ugly: Why can’t I sample wine AND beer with the same glass? If you buy a wine glass, you’re not allowed to sample beer. If you buy a beer glass, you are not allowed to sample wine. In order to sample wine AND beer, you need to buy both a wine glass ($5) AND a beer glass ($5). That sucks. I was told later by an attendee that the wineries will pour your sample in a taster glass, but I don’t know if this is true or not – and if it IS, then the folks running this shindig should tell you that before you drop $5 for a wine glass. And finally -the wine samples are TINY. Like baby-sip tiny. Nobody’s expecting open access to the entire bottle for a buck, but it should get you more than what it currently does.

1 Comment so far

  1. divebarwife on March 24th, 2008 @ 4:12 pm

    So I’ll give the Spring Beer & Wine fest thing a solid B-, but the convention center location still sucks – it’s just way to ‘trade show’ and having to pay admission in addition to buying your glass will keep it from ever getting an A.

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