01 Sep Strand Of Oaks The Perfect Soundtrack To Hops & Flip Flops Festival
I’m a big music fan, across a lot of genres. I’ve always loved hardcore punk and heavy metal, and as I’ve gotten older I’ve added to those tastes, to include alternative rock, folk music, and just about everything else not including pop music and country acts sponsored by a major American truck company. Three of my favorite albums from 2014 spanned very different genres: the sweeping, anthemic, rock on the self-titled effort from Augustines; the chaotic, droning, violent album titled I Am King from Pittsburgh’s Code Orange; and the heartfelt, synth-laden garage rock album named HEAL from Strand of Oaks. I’ve talked at lengths about the first two in person and writing, but I haven’t spoken much about HEAL, an album I’ve listened to at least once a week since I bought it last year.
But this isn’t a music site. Here, we talk beer, or at least things beer-related. Lucky for me though, Strand of Oaks played at Daredevil Brewing’s Hopsfest/Hops & Flip Flops Festival on August 29th, and I was there to drink great beer and see a great band.
You might be confused by the separate names, but these two events had to stand apart: one craft beer festival bringing in some of the country’s best breweries, followed by one block party celebrating great music (with more great beer).
Hopfest was the standard beer festival, logistically speaking: tents, a few lines here or there, weird beers you wouldn’t normally try, port-o-johns, etc. The lineup included some great local breweries, including Black Acre, Central State, 3 Floyds and Bare Hands to name a few; the out-of-state offerings were nothing to be upset about either, with beers from Brewery Vivant, Dogfish Head, Founders, Country Boy, and more.
After that: Roxy Ten Fingers black IPA from Mashcraft (any black IPA that doesn’t taste like a weak porter is a beer I’m going to love); Gubna imperial IPA from Oskar Blues; Dogfish’s 90 Minute IPA run through a randle with Cascade, Simcoe, and Citra hops (delicious); and hands down the best beer I’ve ever had from Central State called Fruity Pooty, a 10% imperial IPA.
Side note: Central State has their zoning meeting on September 16th and, if all goes well, we’ll see them in their new location on Delaware as soon as possible!
Following that was the delicious farmhouse ale and double Belgian IPA from Vivant; Founders’ famous Double Trouble, then their Rubaeus blended with Country Boy Brewing’s gose (if a beer ever tasted like candy, that was it); and Triton’s amazing (I went back for four samplings) O’Rye-n Galaxy pale ale.
All in all, the festival had a pretty solid lineup and was a great bang for your buck on a beautiful Indiana Saturday. But all things must end, and at 5:00 PM the breweries packed up their tents and coolers, and festival goers shuffled out to Gilman St. where a stage and food trucks awaited us as we kicked off the block party.
Now, this is where VIP tickets came in hand: VIP’s had access to bathrooms and air conditioning inside Daredevil’s tap room, as well as their own beer truck to purchase pints and cans from. No lines for beer and cool AC when I wanted? Worth it.
Opening acts Hero Jr. and Local H provided fast paced and groovy rock and roll that kept the crowd’s blood pumping through the night, while Scratch Truck and Barbecue and Bourbon kept them full. But the evening came to a head, and Timothy Showalter led his band on to the stage to fill the Speedway air with the sounds of a band I love so much.
We drank some exceptional Indiana beer as they dove right into “Goshen ‘97,” while we got lost in the swoon of “JM,’ and sang at the top of our lungs to the emotional “Shut In.” I never noticed how much of the day’s crowd stuck around, but I didn’t care. For that set it was my friends and I at the front of the stage acting like we had our own private show. It was my first time seeing Strand of Oaks live (their last show at the Hi Fi in Fountain Square sold out kind of fast…), and it certainly won’t be the last.
And for that, I have Daredevil to thank.
Were you there? Share your thoughts in the comments below!