Last night's Cluster F#ck release party at Velo Cult turned into virtual surf party. The only things missing were the beach, the waves and the surfboards. They were replaced by bikes and beer, which isn't half bad. By the time the Church of Surf hit the final notes of Hawaii Five-O, it was clear a fine time had been had by all...or most.
Hats off to Velo Cult and Double Mountain for putting on this great shindig, which attracted a good crowd despite a power outage in the area before it got underway. When I got there around 6:30, there was a group of folks augured in at the bar testing the beers. Someone has to do it.
Double Mountain released its Single Hop IPA, Cluster F#ck, at the party. Everyone I talked to tried it and most apparently liked it. To me, it didn't have the depth of character I expect in a special release beer. Good, not great, is my take. Double Mountain's IRA and Kolsch are better beers by far, and both were available, along with others.
Entertainment was provided by The Church of Surf, a Portland-based group that plays surf-oriented music in the vein of Dick Dale. Their style is a little more laid back and not nearly as edgy as Dale's, although they can crank it up pretty good at times. They played from a catalog of mostly recognizable surf tunes that seemed a perfect fit for the space, the crowd and the evening.
Not likely to be forgotten were the efforts of the Chakra Surf Dancers, who front the band and do a good job keeping the crowd engaged. If you aren't that into the music, there's always the dance moves to keep you interested. Women in the audience enjoyed the Dancers as much as the men, so boo-hoo.
This was a nice change from your typical beer release party. Far too often, these parties are nothing more than cheesy posters and social media posts. You arrive and discover there's really nothing happening, no beef at all. Not so at Velo Cult last night. Nice job, folks!