Recently, The A.V. Club headed to Lagunitas Brewing Company’s annual Beer Circus event, held at the brewery’s Chicago location. The Beer Circus promised we’d be able to “see things you can’t un-see” and, with another Beer Circus event hitting Brooklyn on October 1—tickets available here—it seemed like a good time to recap all the things we can’t un-see. And everything those New Yorkers & Brooklynites have to look forward to.
Given that this is a Beer Circus, it’s important to note that there’s plenty of flowing taps to allow people to drink to their heart’s content. Not only that, the first beer comes free with the price of admission. In Brooklyn, there will be plenty of Lagunitas’ signature beers to go around, but a handful of guest breweries will be there too; including Coney Island Brewing, Sloop Brewing, Greenport Harbor Brewing, Industrial Arts, and many more.
Then, when the inevitable hunger sets in, there’ll be plenty of options to soak things up—Coney Shack, Burger Warrior, Andy’s Italian Ice and other local faves to pair with beer and sword swallowers.
While not a traditional music festival, the Beer Circus has a soundtrack that falls in line with the event’s spirit. At the Chicago stop the bands added to the ring top environment, playing songs that fit nicely into the circus’ aura. In Brooklyn, attendees will be treated to Big Freedia, The Wet Secrets, Jubilation Nation, PitchBlak Brass Band, Hungry March, and Mini Kiss (yes, the world’s shortest KISS cover band).
To our surprise and delight, many people came in costume and added to the weirdo circus-party vibe. Whether in old Halloween outfits or just wigs and face paint, the line between audience and show got blurry(er?). That said, it’s pretty clear who the pro sideshow performers are. In Chicago there was a gentleman who balanced a lawnmower on his chin while attendees threw heads of lettuce into the mower’s blades, all the while he had a live scorpion wiggling around in his pants. Not only that, there were plenty of performers willing to swallow swords and staple money to themselves. It’s unclear if they too had scorpions on their person.
Rarely does debauchery have a happy ending, but the Beer Circus all benefits local causes. In Chicago, it was PAWS, a local animal charity, and in Brooklyn, it will be the Alliance For Coney Island. This way you can get a little buzz on and still be giving back. What more can you ask for? It all goes down at the MCU Stadium Parking Lot on Saturday, October 1st.