I like Zilker Brewing for lots of reasons, the main one being their beer. Zilker started off using a Belgian house yeast, specializing in American-Belgo styles, but have since expanded their repertoire which now includes my favorite: Marco IPA, an American IPA named after the head brewer. Zilker’s beers and overall vibe fit in very well in Austin and its growing beer scene, as well they should. You can’t take on the name of the most popular park in the city without the ability to represent that city like mad and love your ‘hood to the max. Zilker has decided to bear this burden, and they bear it well, representing/loving Austin to the maddest of maxes.
I’ve been to Zilker Brewing on several occasions since they first opened to the public in April of 2015, mostly because I really like going there, partially because you used to only be able to get their beer at their brewery. Don’t get me wrong, I love to visit the brewery – it’s centrally located, run by fantastic people, and it’s always best to drink beer straight from the source if you’re able to. However, I don’t live particularly close to the brewery, so I was more than pleased when Zilker started canning some of their mainstays last year.
So far Zilker has canned their Coffee Stout, Pale Ale, and Marco IPA, placing them on select shelves in the Austin area. If you find them (you might have the best luck at the Mueller HEB), do yourself a favor and pick up a pack or two or nine or five. Each beer has bold flavor, but is still easy-drinking and great for year-round consumption. Yes, even the Coffee Stout, you bozo. While there are certain seasons that suit certain beers better than others, some people have gotten way too uptight about following beer “rules”. Pleasing such rule-followers is made doubly difficult when you consider that Austin doesn’t conform to typical weather patterns. So, who cares if it’s damn near 120 degrees outside? If you like dark beers, then drink a dark beer. It’s not like the beer Nazis are going to murder you for it, and even if they do, isn’t that a super cool way to die?
Well, why couldn’t they? Ladies and gents, it is my beer parrot challenge to you to bring the festivities of Zilker Park to your living room and parrot with the Zilker brew of your choosing. To make things easier, I am providing the following guide on how to translate three of Zilker Park’s most popular events into at-home experiences. The three events are: Trail of Lights, The Kite Festival, and ACL Festival.
A Guide to the At-Home Trail of Lights Experience:
- Turn your A/C to 75 degrees Fahrenheit, but put on an ugly Christmas sweater, jacket, hat, and gloves anyway to show that you are “in the spirit”.
- Frame the outside of your front door with a string of lights and stare that those lights from outside your home for about 45 minutes before allowing yourself entrance.
- Upon entering the door, find the nearest trash can and throw about $65 into it.
- Invite over as many small children as you can without being creepy, but enough to crowd your home, and instruct them to get in your way and complain as much as possible as you attempt to move freely through your 75-degree-Fahrenheit house. NOTE: You may not need to give the children explicit instructions, this tends to be their default behavior.
- Elaborate lighting inside your house is optional. When possible, opt instead for low-profile/sexually suggestive cut outs.
- Make yourself a cup of cocoa that is too hot and mostly water.
- Top off the evening by looking up at your ceiling and spinning around until you pass out or puke.
A Guide to the At-Home Kite Festival Experience:
- Do you remember that scene from the Parent Trap (the original Parent Trap, not the one with pre-fish-face Lohan) where they booby trap the bunk house with a bunch of strings? Yeah, so do that to your house and try to walk around, but ultimataly just sit in one spot.
- Sit until you are hungry. Once you can’t stave off your hunger any longer, wait an entire hour longer and then eat something using only your hands.
- Oh yeah, throw some money in the trash too. $40 ought to cover it. No, wait, make it $50.
A Guide to the At-Home ACL Fest Experience:
- Save your money until you have amassed aproximately $600. Cool, now throw that in the trash.
- Several months before attending your in-home ACL Fest, ask your 16-year-old nephew to recommend anywhere from 30 to 50 bands you’ve never heard of. Add to that list three other bands that you were really into in the 90s, and that’s your lineup! Congrats!
- After compiling 45 minutes worth of music from each band, you’re ready to start the show. Walk into your home with a CamelBak full of vodka.
- Upon entering, shove a fistful of dirt antd weed into your nostrils.
- In whichever room holds your music playing equipment, begin playing songs from a band of your choosing. Now, walk into another room as many yards away from the music as you can, and listen to it from there.
- In between each “set”, wander around your house for 25 minutes or so, scouting out the next very far location you will listen to music from. As long as you end up in a place that is very far away from the music, you are ACL-ing correctly.
- Repeat this process for three days until you smell bad and want to die.
- OPTIONAL: If anybody else inhabits your home, be sure to wear a very tall banner on your person so that they can find you easily. They’ll need to be able to locate your body in order to bury or burn it.