Iowa made blue cheese flanked by an Iowa white and a glass of Iowa wine glace: What better way to kick off a state fair experience?
Jessica (whose family owns 100 year old Iowa farm land) was on a mission to show her Uncle Lee that her winery dreams aren’t just for the pipeline. We gathered a lot of information about the burgeoning Iowa wine industry and its many benefits to the state. We also sampled a lot of sweeter and fruit infused wines that were pretty darned delicious. The folks running the Iowa Wine Experience were friendly, informative and honest, and we enjoyed our time there.
In the beer tent; however, we encountered a slightly different reception. $20 got you 9 tickets to sample the Iowa microbrews. That could be divided anyway from 3 tickets for a full 16 ounces or 1 ticket for a 4 ounce sample. Jessica got her $20 bill out, showed her ID, and had already gotten her wristband by the time I discovered that I only had about $13 in cash left (that salad on a stick wasn’t cheap!). Jessica generously went back into her wallet to loan me the remaining $7.
Apparently, this was all too much for the Cystic Fibrosis volunteers to comprehend (that or they were sampling the product on the sly). Between the two men handing out tickets, and the three workers they got involved behind the counter, nobody but the two of us could recall her ever taking out the original $20. By the time I had gathered my wits to make some serious demands, Jessica, spitting mad, slapped another $20 into the man’s hand with a comment impugning his competance and declaring her views on the sad state of some Iowan’s customer service skills.
We did drink some good beers, including the Millstream Brewing Company’s Heff’r’weissen and the Okoboji Brewing Company’s Boji Beach Golden Rye, but they might have been tinged with an aftertaste of bitterness and frustration.
We will be lodging a formal complaint with the Iowa Beer Tent folks in case the money earmarked for cystic fibrosis was “accidentally” blowing into the volunteers’ pockets 2 weeks running.