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Douse Your Thirst Supporting The Men and Women Who Douse Fires

Satisfy thirst and more at the Mid-Atlantic Brewsic Festival and Fire Truck Show

    When my wife married me many decades ago, she assumed I would outgrow my childhood fascination with fire engines. I haven’t; I won’t; and this weekend I will satisfy my inner child at the Mid-Atlantic Brewsic Festival and Fire Truck Show. I’m going Saturday for the fire trucks and the music.
    For most people, Brewsic will be about the brews. Lovers of craft beers will think they’ve gone to heaven; people who tend to old favorites like Budweiser can see what all the fuss is about.
    The festival at the Anne Arundel County fairgrounds will bring together an unprecedented collection of brewers and beers. Forty-three brewers from as far away as California, Colorado and Georgia are expected to bring 86 different beers for fairgoers to sample. Seventy-five are considered craft beers, made in small batches, often with local ingredients, for distinctive tastes. Local brewers from Maryland and neighboring states will be represented, too.
    To encourage tasting, four-ounce samples are priced at $2. If there’s something you like, order a 16-ounce cup for $5.00. There’s also a Firkin Zone. (Don’t feel bad if you never heard of such a thing; I just learned about it for this story.) Technically, a firkin is a quarter barrel (about nine gallons) of beer. At Brewsic, the Firkin Zone is an area where 11 brewers serve beers specially crafted for this festival, bringing beer-lovers a onetime opportunity. In a covered pavilion, the Firkin Zone invites lingering with picnic tables and entertainment.
    You don’t have to like beer to find fun at this festival. I’m not a beer guy, but, as I said, I’m a fire truck guy.
    Both active fire companies and private collectors from all over the state have been invited to bring trucks to Brewsic; just how many remains unknown as this is an inaugural festival. When it comes to the trucks in active service, protecting the public comes first, so companies don’t know until the last minute if they will have the spare equipment and personnel to send to a show like this. There might be up to 15 different types of apparatus, according to Duane McKee, the president of the 77Rescue organization and chief organizer of the fire truck show. On my best day, I could identify perhaps five types of equipment, so I’m looking forward to seeing some less common machines.
    In addition to the beer and fire trucks, there are many other things to keep you engaged. The music is oldies and tribute bands (Hendrix, Journey, Dave Mathews, U2, John Mellencamp). There’s a kids zone with lots of activities to keep the little ones entertained. Crafters and vendors come to show their talents and wares. Of course, there will be many food trucks. I’m looking forward to Smokin Joe’s BBQ and Rita’s Italian Ice, but there will be many other choices to fit your tastes.

     The Mid-Atlantic Brewsic Festival: Saturday, July 26 from 11am to 10pm at the Anne Arundel Fairgrounds, Crownsville: $20 includes four beer samples; designated driver tickets (without the beer samples) $10. Parking is free. Proceeds benefit The Annapolis Jaycees, the Make a Wish Foundation and 77Rescue, a new non-profit that raises money and awareness for volunteer fire companies across the country: http://midatlanticbrewsicfest.com.