Once I get beyond Christmas and New Year's, I enter an emotional period of crippling depression. There's a brutal pivot from friends, family and yuletide to no holidays, no football and taxes. It sucks.
Because of this, I usually spend the first few months of each year vacillating between refusing to take down the fire hazard our Christmas tree inevitably becomes - it took me until the end of February this year - and being whiny about how it's going to be warm and sunny soon. Between perpetually frizzy hair and the fact that I can't go outside without being slathered in 100 SPF, I just don't do warm weather.
But this year was different. This year, there was an island oasis tucked away in the barren desert of my seasonal misery. This salvation, my friends, is called "Annapolis Beer Week."
Annapolis Beer Week is an eight-day celebration of beer in and around Naptown - so it's basically a second Christmas for me - and it kicked off this past Saturday with the second annual Beer Run at the Anne Arundel County Fairgrounds.
To those who stayed home because of the rain, you made a poor life choice, and you should feel bad about yourself. Though the rain and mud made a mess of my Christmas pajama pant ensemble, the weather turned the event into a kooky, fun free-for-all, complete with mud-sliding, dancing in puddles and lots and lots of beer.
Now you're probably wondering, "Liz, Annapolis Beer Week is basically over, so why are you wasting precious column inches about it?"
(If you aren't wondering this, just lie to me, baby.)
Well, gentlepersons, the answer to your query is simple: "You're wrong!" Yes, we're halfway through Annapolis Beer Week, but if you haven't had a chance to join in the brew-fueled fun yet, there are still plenty of events you can attend. So, in an effort to make your life easier, I've hand-picked some of my favorites:
Hops-n-Tots at Annapolis Maritime Museum
5:30 to 8:30 p.m.
With your ticket, you get five six-ounce pours of beers from Widmer Brothers, Victory, Devils Backbone, Fordham and Abita. Oh, and you get access to a tater tot bar. That's right, a tater tot bar. Do I really need to say anything else beyond tater tot bar to get you to go? If so, you're not someone I want to know, and I'm sorry it's come to this.
Tickets are required and cost $25. Purchase in advance at http://www.amaritime.org.
Women in Beer at 1747 Pub at Reynold's Tavern
6:30 to 9:30 p.m.
This event is a celebration of craft beer and the women who love it - or women and the beer who love them, as I originally typed by accident. In addition to an interactive panel discussion featuring women in the different areas of the craft beer industry, including yours truly, you will get to enjoy brews hand-selected by the panelists for the evening. Boys are totally allowed, so come one, come all. The first 20 guests get a complimentary gift bag!
Tickets are not required. Just show up and be ready to party!
3rd Annual Drafts and Laughs at the National Guard Armory
6 to 11 p.m.
In its third year, this comedy show-beer festival hybrid boasts over 50 different brews and access to private presentations and Q-and-A sessions with area brewmasters. The beer list includes some of my personal favorites like the Port City Porter, the classic Boulevard Tank 7 farmhouse ale and the Heavy Seas DIPA. Please note that this event is 21+. Proper identification will be required to gain entry.
Tickets are required and cost $50-$135, depending on the package you purchase. Your ticket includes beer, but not food. Food will be available on-site for purchase. Purchase in advance at
or at the door.
Flying Dog Tap Takeover & Oyster/Wing Fest at Factors Row
5 to 7 p.m.
On Saturday night, Factors Row is going to be transformed into a "Support local!" celebration featuring beer and two custom firkins from Flying Dog, as well as oysters from Barren Island Oysters. (Also, there will be wings. Because reasons.) Flying Dog has a long history of supporting oyster recovery efforts, including the introduction of their year-round brew, the Pearl Necklace Oyster Stout. The beer is made with Rappahannock oysters, and proceeds benefit the Oyster Recovery Partnership.
Tickets are required and cost $30. Purchase in advance at http://www.factorsrowannapolis.com.
Fordham & Dominion Beer Breakfast at Fado Annapolis
Noon to 2 p.m.
Kick your orange juice and mimosas to the curb this Sunday. Fado is serving up a five-course breakfast, complete with beer pairings. The menu features croissants served with honey butter and a Fordham Gypsy Lager "beermosa," wild boar sausage with sweet potato latkes and Dominion's Gigi Farmhouse Ale, as well as banana bread French toast topped with beer maple syrup and Dominion's Candi Tripel. Sounds great, right? The downside is that typing all of that has made me hungry.
Tickets are required and cost $43.14. Purchase in advance at http://www.bit.ly/fadobeerbreakfast.