By J.J. Colagrande

Beer venders are scattered all over Shakedown. One head perches on the side of the aisle, a huge red cooler wide open. Another beer vender works up the aisle a bit. Another head wheels around a blue cooler. With one hand he holds a cardboard Red Stripe sign torn off a six-pack, meaning Red Strip chills in his cooler. Another vender, also in motion, wears a bulging bacoatmeallogo-747659kpack and a Sierra Nevada sign. Guinness and Red Stripe are popular on Shakedown Street. Sierra Nevada Pale Ale, with the green label, also popular. Obsidian Stout, Black Butte, Red Hook ESB, Anchor Steam, New Castle Brown Ale, Bass Ale, Pete’s Wicked Ale, Harp Lager, Grosch, all for sale somewhere on the lot. Maybe a Heineken and Corona can be found on the bottom of a few coolers, the last to go. You’d be hard pressed to find any Budweiser on Shakedown. Or Miller Lite or Coors Light. On the Lot heads drink only dank beers. The dankest of the dank is Samuel Smith Oatmeal Stout. Connoisseurs of beer, heads know Sammy Smith Oatmeal Stout is the granddaddy of beer. Jet-black in color, with a fluffy tan head, the Oatmeal Stout’s flavor is dominated by roasted malt with a hint of coffee, chocolate, plus a bit of a hop. Samuel Smith Nut Brown Ale and Taddy Porters are also among the king of beers at the show. Sammy Smith’s sell for five bucks a beer; they are more expensive because they sell for eleven dollars a four-pack at Kruegers. All other beers on the Lot sell for one for three, or two for five; they cost eight bucks a six-pack at Kruegers. A head selling beer can make anywhere from a seven to ten dollar profit per six-pack. It never works out exactly since some beers are kicked down and others swilled to the head. So it is in the unlicensed world of beer commerce on the Lot outside of music fests.

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