The Family-Oriented Beer Lover’s Tips for Cincinnati Beer Week

Finally, after the long, excruciating months of waiting since its announcement way back in November, we are but mere hours away from the start of our very own inaugural Cincinnati Beer Week.  Hearts across the city thump in unison with the ticking of clocks, as anticipation – and thirst – build toward the figurative firing of this glorious event’s starting pistol.

Later today, ears will delight as the familiar sound of frothy suds, some brewed specifically for the occasion, hit the bottom of waiting pint glasses.  All the city’s beer lovers, from the East side to the West, will toast their good fortune and then cheerfully start quaffing.

Well, all the beer lovers but me.

I haven’t figure out how I’m going to make this work just yet.

When Beer Week was first announced, I sat the Puddinette down, looked her right in the eye, and told her that from February 2nd to 11th, I simply wouldn’t be available for her or the kids.  That I was going on a week-plus-long sabbatical, a barley-soaked spirit journey, and I’d just live in the car or something.  Surely they’d be better off without me anyway.

I was (mostly) kidding.

She, um, wasn’t amused.

Which leads to my problem.  How does the responsible husband and father, who also happens to love craft beer, make the most of Cincinnati Beer Week without incurring the ire of dependent family members?  I thought maybe a few tips on working out problems such as this might be helpful this week, to insure that everyone, from Dad to little Danny, can make the most of the occasion.

  1. Strategic planning: Scour the list of Beer Week events, and find places with nearby complementary family options.  For instance, close to me in Northern Kentucky, Party Town is planning to host one of their epic "Backroom Brawl" tastings featuring local breweries Thursday night.  Well, conveniently, that establishment is wedged between a closeout store and an office supply chain!  Hey, every family loves bargain basement deals on odd lots, right?  No one can complain about grabbing that not-quite-hot-anymore toy for the kids at half of 2009’s Black Friday price.  And who doesn’t love office supplies?  I can’t imagine any member of the family being disappointed by the opportunity to pick up a 10-pack bag of disposable pens in exotic colors while you’re sampling a few local beers next door.  It’s a win-win-win!
  2. Working Late: It’s nobody’s favorite thing, but sometimes nothing can be done to avoid it.  Occasionally, everyone has to put in a few extra hours at the office.  Sure, it always makes the family at home a little sad, but those frowns turn upside down when you can bring home a little something special thanks to a few hours of overtime.  And even luckier for you, the modern mobile worker can put in those extra hours just about anywhere.  Have laptop, will travel…right to a local bar where finishing up that weekly TPS report is a snap, thanks to a Stone Brewing tap takeover*.
  3. The Ferris Bueller: Early February has something of a reputation for bringing around nasty cases of the ick.  If you’ve got no other alternative and a penchant for risky behavior, why not give this tried-and-true method of eking out a few hours to yourself a shot.  Lick your palms, warm up that thermometer, moan a few times, and then retire to your bed, locking the door behind you.  Then you just need a CD-R of you snoring and a body-sized lump to hide under the covers, and you’re out the window and on your way to a few hours of craft brew enjoyment.  As an added bonus, if, after your undoubtedly stealthy and successful return home, nosy family members want to know why you smell like a stale bar, you only need point to the bottle of NyQuil on your nightstand and roll over.

Alright, so I’m kidding.  On a more serious note, though, Cincinnati Beer Week has been a long time in the making.  Let’s all do what we can to make it the best string of days this town has seen in years.  Everyone get out there and enjoy it as much possible, responsibly.  Plan ahead, appoint a Designated Driver, hit the Metro when available, or call a cab.  Have a great…and safe…time.  Let’s all be around for the sequel, Cincinnati Beer Week 2013: Son of Beer Week.

Oh, and, if someone could call and pretend to be my Mom needing me to come over and fix her remote or iPad about 6 o’clock tonight, that’d be awesome.  Thanks!


*Please consult with your employer before attempting to fill out a TPS-report cover sheet under the influence of Arrogant Bastard. A not insignificant number of adverse events have been reported.