This weekend I had the opportunity to go the 2013 Chesapeake Crab and Beer Festival at the Maryland National Harbor. This was my first time attending the event and to word it properly, it was a learning experience. Now before I get into the details lets discuss the ticket options. Tickets to the event can be purchased for $89.00 a piece, which includes all you can drink beer and all you can eat crabs. However, there are tickets for sale for $35.00 that only allows you to drink. There are two sessions to choose from as well, the first session was from 11am-3pm while the second session was from 5pm-9pm. We signed up for session two and of course everyone in my group went with the crab and beer combo tickets.
Wasting no time my group and I went straight for the beer lines when the gate finally opened. After picking out which craft beer to sip on first we quickly went for the crab line. So how it works, everyone gets in line and they give you a tray of 6 decently sized crabs. Each person can only get one tray at a time unless you really beg them for two. We punished the first trays of crab and guzzled down our first beers, which meant it was time for round two.
Round two was a nightmare. The lines were massive and you could see that people were getting frustrated. The venue kept running out of crab and people had to wait sometimes up to 30 minutes for a new batch to come out of the steamers. Like most sensible people would do, I made the decision to focus on the beer and forget about the crab. So in line I stood. Thirsty, hungry, annoyed. But to my surprise the lines were moving pretty quick and I managed to taste four or five new beers. I actually found a new favorite, it’s made by SARANAC and it is their Blueberry Blonde Ale. Delicious and I highly recommend it if you enjoy a good brew.
By 8pm most of the beer stands started to run out of beer. Annoyed I asked why, and they said the first session (from 11am-3pm) drank more than they expected. So a little advice for those thinking about going to this event, sign up for the first session. Over all the event was fun. There were a lot of booths selling stuff and it was always nice turning around and seeing such a beautiful view at the harbor.
Wish I could have taken some more images for you guys, but after having a few too many drinks, and spilling a half a beer on my lens I called it quits.
Words and Images by Tim Grant