October 18, 2014 saw the Rock Star Beer Festival at the Hard Rock Hotel and Casino start at 6 p.m. and as the evening wore on, the crowd increased exponentially as did the fun had by all. The event was held at the Rehab Pool and on top of the music and people there, breweries had a number of different beers on tap, and in bottle, for aficionados to sample and enjoy. For those who do not find fizzy lager and beer tasty there were alternatives.
The one non-alcoholic drink on offer was the Thai coconut water drink Samu which had two different flavors, sweetened and unsweetened. While it was nice to have a choice, a word to the wise is in order here. Do not, under any circumstances, try the Thai coconut drink just after eating a peppermint. The taste combination makes this healthy liquid taste like flat lager and what should be a treat becomes highly revolting. Some flavors were never meant to be mixed. As hard as it may seem, leave the mints till last and not before you try anything on offer.
Other drinks that were not hop or wheat based, included Drunken Pumpkin Sangria via Cocktail City Vegas. Mestizo Mezcal, which certainly sounded good and was exported in from Oaxaca, Mexico, it was a late arrival, but once the punters found it, the sign’s claim of a small batch proved to be right when the stuff disappeared quickly. Dirty Tequila was also available and while this tasty beverage was on hand for much longer, the queue remained pretty constant as attendees clamoured for a shot.
Also on hand were Sake Bombs provided by Geisha House who were kept pretty busy mixing fresh ones at what appeared to be a record rate. While these Japanese delicacies are usually made by adding a shot glass, with sake into a glass of beer, the drinks here were in special plastic glasses with a shot glass embedded at the bottom of a fluted receptacle. The rice wine went into the attached shot glass at the bottom and then beer was added. Judging from the long line to the booth, this went down a treat with all who tried it.
The Hard Rock Hotel and Casino Rock Star Beer Festival offered a little something for everyone, music that was like the establishment’s name “hard rock” was indeed on tap. On the topic of hard, as in hard drink versus beer, there was also Michelada Mix and Chelada Zest for those lovers of Bloody Marys and folks who had a hankering for hard apple cider got a chance to try a little Johnny Appleseed. It has to be said that the people who ran the booths were friendly, helpful and in the case of The Ultimate Bloody Mary Mix crew, were also very cheerful and could quite take one’s breath away.
One group of people who did not have any trouble breathing were the bands and musicians who provided some cracking music throughout the evening. First up were Chris Stiles and Justin James Turner who performed brilliantly. Chris was on keyboard and Justin on guitar and these two lads were a great musical start to the evening.
The music continued with Play for Keeps and then 3oh!3 both crowd pleasers and DJ ParaDice kept the tunes flowing after the band’s finished. It was not all about beer, booze and music, there were beer coasters on hand for those who were interested, such as the Duff beer one at the top of the article. There was also a booth set up for breast cancer where the theme was Boobs 4 Beer. Stella Divina, by the way, was the young lady who does the coasters. All the Hard Rock Hotel and Casino Rock Star Beer Festival staff were helpful and friendly. These beer festivals are good fun and offer those who fancy hops and wheat brewed products a chance to try some cracking brews or was that boobs?
By Michael Smith
Photographs by author