Though by my line of work I happened to attend a good many celebrations, there is one that is stuck in my memory. Either because of my impressionable age at the time of the festival (I was in my early 20s) or due to some other inexplicable reasons, but whenever I think of a joyful gathering, the image of Beer Festival in Brno inevitably conjures up.
I will hasten to say that neither have I ever been a devout fan of this renowned drink, nor a discerned connoisseur capable of identifying fifty shades of malt taste. It is rather for the sake of fresh impressions that I took my trip to the capital of Czech beer. And it was definitely worth it.
Contrary to popular belief, Beer Festival is much more than an excuse for getting in touch with friends and having one too many. It is rather a day when the citizens of this small, but incredibly picturesque town celebrate the very gift of life, and they do it with unadulterated joy. To such an extent does this festive mood overwhelms every corner of the town that every passer-by gets immersed into the atmosphere of lightheartedness and elation.
No sooner had I alighted the bus than numerous buskers caught my eye. Wearing colourful national costumes, people were dancing to the catchy tune played by a dashing violinist with a long spare beard. In the distance, there were more people waltzing. Most of the crowd, however, were making for the main square and I had nothing to do but go with the flow.
The minute I reached my destination I was stunned by the whirlwind of activity, cheerful buzz of voices, the dizzying mixture of heady smells. Having looked around, I noticed several stalls which were selling all kind of hand-made snacks alongside with the bubbly drink. What stirred my curiosity was that some dishes were being prepared on the spot following ancient recipes. Watching how smiling cooks were concocting cinnamon pastries whetted up my appetite, and I treated myself to a couple of pretzels. Then, carried away by the general festive mood, I made up my mind to sample the local beer. (Though I am normally averse to this beverage, wouldn’t it have been ridiculous to attend a beer festival without giving it a try?) To my enormous pleasure, the drink was nothing like I imagined, very thick, with a rich aroma of honey and a subtle shade of cherry.
But what the point of describing all this: tastes, sounds, the exuberance of life? It is something you need to try first-hand. So, should the esteemed reader have a chance of glance at this event, leap at it without a shadow of doubt!