Sunday, May 24, 2009

In which beer visits the UAE

Just kidding--beer was already in the UAE. I believe I already introduced you to the chicken.

But this week, Thursday and Friday, the One-To-One Hotel (yes, a very odd name) had a beer festival running all day, from noon to midnight. Allegedly there would be beers from all over the world. (false) Also allegedly, the each beer would be Dh20, about $7.50. (true)

So, being amid a crowd of hard-charging foreigners, I did the smart thing and joined them for a couple of drinks. Here is what I found: The usual beautiful beer garden setting, but overrun with expats and a somewhat underwhelming beer list.

Germany--check. Britain, er, Ireland--check. Misc. Euro--check. Uh, Japan--check. USA? Hello? Bueller?

But it was fun, as usual, because of the people. We mocked the awful DJ, a guy who had no moral qualms about singing falsetto over a Bee Gees remix, we chuckled at the somewhat befuddled service staff, we told tales of our homelands. In my case, that was saying, "In America, I could buy Old Style!" But not at Hop Fest.

Drink specials are to expats <--> Flypaper is to dead flies.

Anyway. Good times were had, after-bars were went to and no harm was done. And the marvel of it all, obviously, is that this supposedly "dry" country had a quite well-advertised and -attended beer festival.  Although I wish I would have won something in the raffle. 

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