Saturday, May 01, 2010

CityBeat Festival Of Beers: Beerfest Arrest

Today I volunteered to pour at the CityBeat Festival of Beers. You couldn't have asked for more perfect weather, despite the fact that May Gray is just around the bend. Skies were blue and people were in great spirits as they drank amazing craft brews along El Cajon Boulevard. There were over 1000 attendees, not including the masses of volunteers. I went with Natalie, and we hooked up with Roger and Sara on our way in, enabling us to volunteer for adjacent breweries. We all read and signed our volunteer forms and enjoyed the festival for a little over an hour before we had to take our places at our volunteer locations. Attendees were friendly, and at least where I was at Pyramid, nobody was overly intoxicated or rude.

I was clearly told certain messages throughout my shift...we're running out of cups, so ask people to reuse them when possible...last call is at 5:20...absolutely no beer is to be poured after 5:30...but at least where I was, the volunteer job was cake and Anthony, the "Alebassador" for Pyramid, was awesome the whole day through.

Unfortunately, there were some things that could've used improvement. For example, when we arrived around 2 pm, it was apparent there were not enough port-o-potties, which seems to be an issue at just about every outdoor event...but with that many people in one space, all drinking beer, the piss frequency obviously multiplies. There should've been 3 times the number of stalls available for this event.

The rules for new volunteers obviously were not so clear and it should have been made clear not just to the volunteers, but to the public that if they left the festival after 5, they would not be allowed back in, and that despite the event running until 6, that last call was at 5:20 and no drinks would be poured after 5:30.

The other biggie was the arrest of the brewer from Rock Bottom. As I said, the rules about last call were clear to me, but I was a volunteer last year and remember the police and Elite security being very stringent when it came to these rules. Last year, however, the organizers went booth by booth to make sure taps were removed. This year, it was left to the brewers who stalled, just trying to get rid of product.

In the booth next to me, where Natalie had worked her shift, a volunteer was being cited for pouring after 5:30. She reluctantly handed her ID to the cop who was nailing her, and it was clear that she did not understand her infraction. When the Rock Bottom honcho caught wind of what was happening, he attempted to defend her, and while I was out of earshot, I saw the cop push him, and with help of an Elite security who put him in a chokehold, he was thrown to the ground and subsequently arrested. While the event as a whole was successful, it is unfortunate that it ended on such a sour note. Should a citation be given? Perhaps. Throwing a donating brewer to the ground? I call unnecessary and excessive force on that one. #FTP.

1 comment:

Zombiemarble said...

So what exactly was the cause for the citation for pouring after 5:30pm? Isnt the sale of alcohol legal until 2am? Just curious.

I agree that the physical interaction with the Rock Bottom Brewer was excessive. Was he intoxicated? Cops in SD are just dicks.