06 Sep Meadful Things and Outciders Festival Triumphant in First Year
At long last, the highly anticipated Meadful Thing and Outciders Festival took place this past Saturday, and despite this being its first year, it’s safe to say this was one of the best alcohol festivals of 2016.
The first thing you always deal with at any festival is parking unless you get dropped off. For Meadful Things and Outciders we parked along the street in a nearby neighborhood, but there was also a large parking lot across from the Circle City Industrial Complex where attendees could park for free. Free, unobnoxious parking is always a plus.
After that comes the ticket process. Every festival seems to do it a different way, but Meadful Things and Outciders used the best method, in my opinion. They simply had individuals walk down the line before the gates opened checking IDs, tickets, and handing out the designated bracelets. I’ve been to several events that do it this way and it’s always the smoothest entrance to the event.
Meadful Things and Outciders was held in the new CCIC parking lot, which was under construction. They had the mead and cider vendors, along with the adoptable cats and dogs from FACE housed in the shade, under the complex’s roofed-in platform. Below, in what will become the parking lot, you found several tables and chairs, the band, three food trucks, and the designated driver tent.
It was a beautiful day for the event, if not a tad too warm. There was plenty of room for everyone to move about freely if you count the parking lot area, but if there was one complaint I had it would be not enough room near the mead and cider vendors. For the VIP hour it was fine, but once the general admission folks showed up, the area became quite packed—not a bad thing by any means. Many decided to stand on the platform, in the shade and socialize while they drank, which made it hard to navigate comfortably from vendor to vendor.
Other than that, the venue was the perfect location. Depending on CCIC’s plans for the event space, there appeared to be plenty of room to expand the event, possibly including more mead and cider vendors, but also add something like an artist alley, or just more cute and cuddly cats and dogs.
Mead and Cider
The whole reason everyone showed up to Meadful Things and Outciders was to try the 100-plus varieties of mead and cider. These varieties included local brands like New Day Craft (the company who put on the event), Ash and Elm Cider, and Gnarly Grove. There were also macro favorites like Ace Premium Craft Cider, Angry Orchard, and B. Nektar, as well as several from overseas.
Since we were part of the VIP attendees, we had first dibs as some of the best meads and ciders available for the event. Being a huge fan of New Day Craft’s Imperial Breakfast Magpie, and knowing the single keg wouldn’t be around long, I made my way to their table to start the day.
My wife and I have very different tastes, she is more interested in the fruity or sweeter version of ciders and meads, while I lean more towards the semi-sweet, barrel aged versions. We would never grab the same sample, which allowed us to try more varieties while not becoming overly intoxicated. I would guestimate that we sampled, combined, nearly 50 different ciders and meads throughout the day.
Meadful Things and Outciders definitely gave every drinker some of their favorites, while introducing them to new types of ciders and meads. It was a spectacular lineup that, in my opinion, will be hard to top by anyone else.
There were several ciders and meads that really stood out from the rest: Viking Blood from Dansk Mjod, Bourbon Barrel from Ash & Elm Cider, Mutant Zombie Manhattan Project Thingy from B. Nektar, Whisky Cask Cider from Thistly Cross Cider, Maple Bourbon Barrel Squishy from Starcut Ciders, and Scotch Barrel Aged Buckwheat from Misbeehavin’ Meads.
Designated drivers also had a pretty nice drink lineup with water, soda, and coffee. May sound standard, but not every event provides a similar variety to those making sure their friends and family get home safe.
It is pretty standard to see people wearing pretzel necklaces at alcohol festivals, but sometimes you want real food. Gomez BBQ, Caveman Truck, and Cosmic Chrome Cafe served up their delicious cuisines to the hungry Meadful Things and Outciders patrons.
I’m a fan of bbq, and Gomez BBQ makes a great pulled pork sandwich, so that’s where I gravitated. He topped my sandwich with his special bbq sauce, made with New Day Craft’s Breakfast Magpie. It was delicious; still kicking myself for not buying one of the jars he had for sale.
My wife gravitated towards Cosmic Chrome Cafe because she is a vegetarian and they had plenty of options. She opted for the vegetarian nachos, which looked great and she said tasted wonderful.
While we were there the lines for the food trucks were never out of control, but you did get stuck with the standard 10-minute or so food truck wait times. Luckily you could order, grab a sample or two, and be back before your order was ready.
Personally, this was one of the Top 3 best alcoholic festivals I’ve been to this year. The event space didn’t leave you feeling claustrophobic, you were bound to find a mead and/or cider that you truly loved, and you didn’t have to solely fill up on pretzels and beef jerky. It was a well put together, amazingly fun event that I can’t wait to attend for years to come.