Monday, May 28, 2012


Saturday was Illiana Mayfest at the Lake County Fairgrounds, in Crown Point Indiana. I had been looking forward to this for over a year. My grandfather lives in Crown Point, and I wanted to go last year, but we had somethings come up and were not able to go. If you want to read about last year's Mayfest, you should really check out Hoosier Beer Geeks post.

I can't say that it was perfect weather for a beer fest in an old building with no air conditioning, but it was really a great time. We arrived early so we were able to drive around the square, and check out the fairgrounds a bit. Every time I see the courthouse, I think about all the stories about John Dillinger and his escape from the Crown Point jail. It really is a beautiful building.

Old Lake County Courthouse
The fairgrounds has a lake in it

Water Lilies
Every building on the fairgrounds has it's own unique features, but they are all early 20th century in style, and I couldn't get enough pictures.

Industrial Building

Fine Arts Building. I love those windows

Another picture of the windows

Back of the Fine Arts Building

The Grandstand overlooking the lake

I had never been in an all wood grandstand. All the grandstands, and all the bleachers I have ever been in have been metal. This was such a  cool old-school wooden grandstand, and a great place to hide from the sun on a 90 degree day while we waited for the beer fest to open.

Blake chilling in the grandstands 

Looking right in the grandstand

Exposed wood ceiling in the grandstand

The line for getting into Mayfest wasn't too bad when we got in line, with about 15 minutes to go, but as soon as we got in line, there were 200 people behind us. At least there were people handing out cool water to keep everyone hydrated. Did I mention it was like 90 degrees out?

Industrial Building, where Illiana Mayfest is held

Industrial building as we walked in

Watermelon Wheat
This Watermelon beer smelled fruity and beer-y, and I think it would have made the perfect perfume! It was nice and refreshing on such a hot day.

Rock Bottom's Baltic Porter
This Baltic Porter was really light and smooth. It reminded me of an iced coffee, nice and creamy, and delicious, but not too heavy. I asked the guy who was serving about the Baltic Porter style, becasue I am not familiar with it. He told me that it is a mix of an English style porter and an ale so that it is a little more acidic, but smoother and lighter than a regular porter. I will be trying to find this one to buy for my stash.

This is the shirt we want to buy my father-in-law, who is renown for his ugly  interesting Hawaiian shirts

Bulldog's Brewing Sugar Brown Maple IPA
This was a very interesting beer, because, well I don't like IPA's very much after I had my surgery.  This IPA was sweet enough that it cut the harsh bitterness from the hops. It looks like this was a special batch, because I can't find it on the website, but I will keep looking, because this was really outstanding. I will be trying other brews from Bulldog's after this, no doubt about that.

Blake in the back of the Industrial building taking a break

Blake enjoying the break, and a Vanilla Bourbon beer.
(I think this is a record for the amount of pictures of my husband I have ever gotten in one day)
There were so many good beers that we got to try, and so many missed opportunities for taking pictures of them because I was too busy drinking them. We got to talk to lots of nice people, including the guys at the Beer Geeks table. Blake even bought me a shirt from Crown Brewing (the brewery that graciously set up the event). We may have hung out at Crown Brewing's table for a few minutes so we could sample more of their awesome beers, I loved the Dee-rALE-er, and Blake had AlkoholikA, both of which I will be trying to bring home a growler of next time we are in Hoosier-ville.

Heading home into the sunset.

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