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The blues of brews at Blues & Brews

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The Blues & Brews festival on Old South Pearl Street was one hell of an outdoor party Saturday, with blues bands jammin' from noon to 10 p.m. and the stumble-close residents of the Wash Park and Platte Park neighborhoods tripping -- or riding the abundant pedicabs -- from bar to nearby bar.

There was plenty of food and plenty of pretty-people watching, with lots of fedora-wearing dudes and sundress-clad ladies enjoying the very crowded but very upbeat scene.

My only complaint. For a festival that includes the word "Brews" in its name, this one was mighty short on variety.There were only eight to ten breweries on hand, most of which brought only one or two basic beers and few of their more unusual concoctions

There were a few exceptions, though: Props to Odell for serving up its St. Lupulin, a limited release hop bomb that is one of my favorites, and a shout-out to Oskar Blues, which is forever a step ahead of the rest with its marketing. Not only did the Oskar Blues booth serve all of its beers (including its two biggest, Gordon's and Ten Fidy) in cans from icy tubs rather than pouring draughts into plastic cups, but it gave out its signature can necklaces and even cooked up its own barbeque to compete with other local eateries.

All in all, Blues & Brews was a fine way to spend a Saturday. But next time, I'll be looking for some beer with soul - something to match the music. Fortunately, South Pearl has time to get that organized before its Brewgrass festival, set for August 8.

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