• Mash Tun “WTF Is This” trophy

Maybe trying 49 beers in less than three hours sounds like great fun to you. Me, I got a little panicky at the prospect. As a judge at the third Mash Tun Fest, held at the Bridgeport Art Center on Saturday, I was tasked with employing my allegedly sophisticated palate to form considered opinions of two score and nine lovingly crafted adult beverages (out of 77 total pouring that afternoon), but I half expected to get so drunk I’d end up sitting on the curb, pale and sweating, head in my hands and dead to the world, my temple pressed to a blessedly cold but otherwise entirely forgotten bottle of water while I waited what felt like an eternity for the universe to stop spinning. Lord knows I’ve been there before. (Dark Lord Day ’10, represent.)

Thankfully, that didn’t happen. By the time I’d discharged my duties, I was decidedly unsober, but I made it to the Wrekmeister Harmonies show at the Bohemian National Cemetery three hours later no worse for wear—unless you count a dry mouth, a nagging headache, and an urgent need to pee every 45 minutes. Maybe by writing a beer column for nine months I’d essentially trained my liver for a marathon.