I wouldn’t say I was slapped with a moment of sentimentality, but as the Golden Hour fell upon Brewfest on Crockett in the West 7th Development last Saturday, I looked at the people milling around and was sort of smitten with the idea of Fort Worth as a really great place to live. The sun slowly dipped behind the stage at the block’s western end as Calhoun launched into their honey-brown chestnut “Horsefeathers,” and I chatted up a bunch of people I hadn’t run into in a really long time, several of whom had kids who were way older than the last time I saw them. We were all having a blast, as were a thousand other folks drifting from beer line to beer line. From college kids to dads drinking more than they said they would, Brewfest was packed with people enjoying the best part of a spring day –– and also, y’know, some pretty good craft beers. It was like the entire block had a nice, balmy buzz.
Of course, I had had a couple Stone IPAs by that point, and as everyone knows, it’s almost impossible to escape the warm fuzzies when you’re getting drunk at sunset. By the time dusk was almost done, a table had opened up at Fireside Pies, so my friends and I sat down for dinner. I ate a whole pizza, after which I had to go home and take a nap. I thought I would make it back that way later, maybe hitting up the Wild Rooster to watch the King Bucks, but the best I could do was walk down the street from my place to The Boiled Owl for last call.
Food-coma notwithstanding, the party on Crockett made me want to hang out there. While Brewfest might happen only once a year, those bars and restaurants are open all the time, and I can honestly see West 7th’s appeal. Sure, it’s family friendly, and it does seem a little Dallas-y and corporate, and, anyway, if you’re the sort of nightfly who looks down your nose at anyone not guzzling PBR, you’ll probably still hate it. But I had fun, and for the first time in a while, I kind of liked being part of a crowd, especially the kind that lives and plays in Fort Worth. Blame it on the beer. Or not. — Steve Steward
Speaking of events you’ll be sorry to miss, the second annual West Berry Block Party is in a couple weeks. Wisely occurring the week after Easter, this year’s WBBP will be cramming The Aardvark, The Cellar, Stay Wired Coffee, and Old Rips with about 5,000 bands, including Whiskey Folk Ramblers, Quaker City Night Hawks, The Hanna Barbarians, Stella Rose, Playtime Rabbit, Spoonfed Tribe, and someone actually named Connor O’Connor.
Last year, I had somewhat cynical predictions for the event — the sheer logistical scale, the price of the tickets, and the inexperience of the organizers seemed to bode poorly enough. More forebodingly, the event pretty much depended on the active, paid-for-with-their-or-Daddy’s-money participation of TCU students. Well, I didn’t think anyone working the strip would make a lot of money that day, despite manning the taps and Taaka bottles for 14 hours or so. Of course I was wrong. College kids had no problem ponying up the $20, and all the joints were packed.
In other words, this year should be even bigger, despite the absence of The Moon as a venue. The boys behind the bash have booked some of the biggest bands in town, and, given the amped response that groups like Quaker City and the Barbs have gotten playing TCU house parties lately, you might assume that purple-clad college kids are starting to cotton to local music. Tickets range from $15 per day to a two-day pass for $20 or a $50 two-day VIP pass that gets you into the after-party with an open bar. — S.S.
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