Not that Sly Fox and Brian O'Reilly need any help from me in making their annual event a success, but I do this for my own reasons:
Sly Fox Goat Races, this Sunday.
Okay, the Kentucky Derby is this Saturday, and that is a Big Deal. But I would submit that the Sly Fox Goat Races are an Even Bigger Deal in terms of shaping the reputation of beer and beer drinking in America. (Yes, easily so, because the Derby has nothing to do with that, but I will go beyond that!)
Go to the Goat Races because this event is one of the very best for enjoying as a family. I've said for years, in response to the New Dry whiners who say "You can have fun without beer!", that yes, you can have fun without beer, but you can also have fun with the option of beer. The Sly Fox Goat Races show that in spades. You can watch goat races -- pure, country-boy 4H-type fun, and usually generous with gut-rippingly funny moments (this picture really does show a young goat racer slipping on goat crap (on the right there; he's not break-dancing) as his own goat turns tail and runs away from the finish line -- very funny, once we ascertained that the kid was all okay), you can listen and dance to the music, eat good German food, or just have a seat and enjoy the crowd -- great people-watching at this. And if you so choose...you can have a beer.
The Goat Races put beer in its proper place: with people, as part of the fun, not as the lets-get-drunk focus, and not as the lets-get-geeky focus either. Even when I'm totally geeking out, like when I'm judging beers, the best of times is when there's good interaction with the other people. Great American Beer Festival? The best time is going out afterwards with friends.
Get beer together with a bunch of good people -- and some goats -- and it's great to watch people behave well, have fun, and keep things from getting out of hand all by themselves. It's a great kind of thing, and I'm looking forward to more of it on Sunday. See you there, but do check out the Sly Fox calendar for details: they're expecting a LOT of people, and they've got satellite lots set up to handle it.