Photograph by Fred Abercrombie
Barnum & Beer
By Gabe Meline
Last year's inaugural Lagunitas Beer Circus was something we kept talking about days, weeks and months after the first-annual event. Take one part Handcar Regatta, one part Risk-A Cabaret, one part Hootenanny and one part Circo Osiro, add plenty of locally brewed suds and scantily clad merrymakers, and you've got a vat full of fun.
This year's event features performers with names such as Gooferman, the "Bed of Nails Guy," Molotov Malcontent and the Sideshow Sirens, "Last Night's Fling" All-Star Burlesque, Jojo the Dog-Faced Boy. Jugglers, trapeze artists, sword swallowers, snake charmers, roller girls and who knows what the hell else might show up join live music by Kehoe Nation, Fromagique and more.
Beer for breakfast with no nutritional sustenance is avoided with circus staples such as cotton candy and hot dogs from Roy's Hot Doggery on up to barbecued oysters and fried pickles by Those Fabulous Fickle Brothers, while beer flows from Moylan's, Marin Brewing Co., Russian River Brewing Co., Dempsy's, Moonlight Brewing, Ace Cider, Iron Springs Pub and Brewery, Sonoma Springs Brewing Co., Stumptown Brewery, Anchor Brewing and others. It's just like the Ringling Brothers—but with more beer and fewer kids—on Sunday, May 22, at Lagunitas Brewing Co., 1280 N. McDowell Blvd., Petaluma. Noon-6pm. $40 (includes 10 tastings). 707.769.4495.
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