Friday May 20, 2016
Mid-spring means Art-a-Whirl time in NE Minneapolis, and this year I would be working the event at Indeed Brewing Co and Whirlygig, three days of bands and beer. Whirlygig is the brewery’s largest annual event, and it takes an “all hands on deck” approach to put it on. I would be working all three days of the festival, along with many of my co-workers. A number of additional part time staff are added as well just for the weekend. Friday was an early 8 am start following an evening shift on Thursday; the marathon had begun. We needed to get things all set up for the night, tents raised, barricades put in place, lights hung, tables and umbrellas assembled; there was a bustling of activity. The food vendors started arriving and setting up their stations as well. A few minutes before 1:00 and the end of my first scheduled shift, I had run out of tasks. So I clocked out early, and found myself in the Ox, having a shifty. Lucy tasted so fine on this warming day. After my Lucy, I left for home, to have myself a little bit of calm before the storm, as my next shift didn’t begin until 5 pm. I experienced some of the Hullabaloo back in October, but word around the brewery was that Whirlygig was on another level, which makes sense because the whole NE neighborhood becomes hyperactive during Art-a-Whirl weekend. After a shower and a couple hours rest, I returned on bicycle for the real show. This first night I would be roaming the grounds, emptying trash, and clearing tables. It was a pretty easy night. The crowds were not overwhelming, and the refuse containers did not fill nearly as fast as I had expected. It was fun to roam the grounds, see the people and hear the music. The time went by fairly quickly. My shift concluded at 10 pm, allowing me an hour to hang out and enjoy things from the other end. When 11 pm and closing time hit, the visitors were ushered off the property by our weekend security staff, and everyone pitched in to hasten the cleanup process. Then it was inside to the taproom for the first “after party” of the weekend. It was a good one. The week or two prior I’d been practicing a little bottle balancing for the occasion…
Saturday May 21, 2016
Today I got to work the beer trailer from 1 pm to 8 pm. It was a fun experience. There was a constant line of people the majority of the shift and a near constant stream of beer flowing to match. It was quite similar to the repetitive nature of the production environment of my daily work in the brewery. With 6 beer choices at the draft trailer, there would be 2 to 3 of us pouring from the 6 taps, with 2 others working the cash register. The time flew by and soon it was time for me to change roles. At 8 pm I kept my same hat, my red Bolivian Poll Hat, but changed occupations, returning to roaming and trash duty. During this time, I ran into an old friend, whose children I used to work with in elementary school, and also met a new friend, who owns skills incredible in the juggling/acrobat/circus world. It was a magical evening, and once again finished with a rip of a good time after the gate was locked. I’d somehow survived the previous night without breaking a bottle, I wasn’t about to keep pushing that. Tonight would be for hat play, as I could show off and impress my friends with the actual purpose of the apparent clothing item atop my head.
Sunday, May 22, 2016
Two days down, Whirlygig was rockin’. Great music, amazing weather, good people, good beer. What could make it better? How about a 5k fun run from the brewery. The MN Brewery Running Series was hosting an event at Indeed today! I couldn’t resist the temptation, so I was signed up for the run indeed. I arrived a little after 9:30, dressed in colors with an Indeed shirt and hat, orange shorts and big orange balls, as I’d of course be joggling the course today. It was a warm, sweaty, fun run. I finished with balls and legs in motion. It was pretty great! I then got refreshed with some water and some Lucy. I visited with the guys at Brewing a Better Forest, who were serving as a sponsor of the run. They are a non-profit group dedicated to urban tree care and education, and coincidentally are my “Indeed We Can” pick. Every Wednesday night, taproom profits at Indeed are donated to a non-profit organization chosen by an Indeed employee. This November, Brewing a Better Forest will be the beneficiary of Indeed We Can. So come on down to Indeed Brewing Co on a Wednesday night and have a drink for charity. Cheers! After cooling down from the run, I took off to the gym for a little sauna and shower before returning for my shift at 2pm. Today I would be wrist banding. $1 cover charge bought you a wristband and ticket to buy beer. The $1 was going into the general fund for Indeed We Can to be spread out among charities throughout the year. Today might have been my favorite day of the event. It was a tough a job. I didn’t get every wristband perfectly attached that day, but when I did, many took notice of the time and care that I spent to avoid taping arm hair. I try to take pride in any job I do. The crowd was impressive this day. The weather was beautiful, and the people kept coming right to the end. Then it was a mad rush to clean up. A little over an hour after closing, nearly all signs of the weekend festivities had been removed. The last tents were being packed and the final garbage bags taken away. We did it! One more after party, then I left for home with some Chuck U prints I’d purchased earlier that day. I couldn’t help but smile. It had been a great weekend!