When you’re trying to lose a bit of weight and are, therefore, boycotting beer for a wee while, the worst thing you can do is attend a social event at a brewery, right? Well, that’s exactly what I did on Saturday, 27 April this year… it had been six weeks since I had eaten or drunk anything even moderately unhealthy, but when my friends Rich, Anna, Jesse and Rachel suggested I join them at the Brauerei Feldschlösschen brewery open day in Rheinfelden, Switzerland, I had to answer the call!
I only live a 90-minute train journey away from the Swiss border, so I thought .oO(why not?) Good things come to those who wait, after all, and it had been ages since I had enjoyed a beer or two with my friends. We met in Rheinfelden, Germany (yes, two towns, in two countries, both with the same name, separated by the river) for some lunch, before crossing the border and heading to the station, from where we were taken up the hill by the Feldschlösschen brewery’s cute little traditional steam locomotive.
The heavens opened and it rained on and off, sometimes quite heavily, while we were there, but our spirits weren’t dampened – the cheap beer samples, free umbrellas and other cool games and exhibitions saw to that! Being able to observe part of the brewing process was hugely interesting and having a go at beer-related sensory challenges was great fun. Jesse even did us all proud by stepping up and taking part in a barbecue cook-off (staying dry under a gazebo) against eight other participants, with a trip to New York and a 70,000 Swiss franc cash prize up for grabs.
We rounded off the day ordering Mexican food from Mexis-Basel in Basel, Switzerland, the closest major Swiss city to the German border, using vouchers we had picked up online. You can’t go wrong with reasonably priced food, more beer, and good company, can you? Do I feel guilty for cheating on my diet? Heck no! You can’t put a price on, or set yourself any limitations to, a wonderful day out with friends…
Picture Credit: Rich