A Day at the Twist and Stout Festival

Anne Arundel County Parks and Recreation really shook things up at Quiet Waters Park on Saturday, September 29. The first-ever Twist and Stout Festival ran from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. and brought more than just alcohol to the 323-acre park. Colleen Joseph, the event chair, was determined to put a unique spin on this festival by adding in ''70s and 80s cover bands, as well as artists who painted the event in real time.

Here are my thoughts on a day that took nearly two years to plan.

12:15 p.m.

I arrived at a time I deemed fashionably late: early enough that the park wasn't yet overrun and the field churned up with the week's previous rain and fresh-spilled drinks, but late enough that everything was well underway. And it was! The artists had scattered around the park, some putting finishing touches on detailed paintings, others stretching untouched canvas across their portable easels. The band was set up on the stage, halfway through some '80s-esque song that I personally wasn't familiar with, but their energy was intoxicating!

Generally a very hungry person, I made my way to the food trucks where I visited Breaking the Borders for some chicken tossed with mango salsa (yum!) to start the day.

Courtesy of Facebook.com

1:00 p.m.

Now that I had a good base, it was time to fill up my tasting glass with some samples!

First up was the Guinness tent where they were pouring their new Guinness Blonde brew. I guess you can consider Guinness a local brewery since they opened their only American location in Baltimore County this summer. Their tent also handed out complimentary keychains that serve as bottle openers! Very handy!

There were some interesting brews at the other tents. Crooked Crab brought out their Haze for Days pale ale, a juicy unfiltered beer. My particular favorite was Crooked Crab's High Joltage Coffee Stout (gotta have a stout beer at the Twist and STOUT Festival!). Then, Gypsy Brewing's Wine & Chocolate beer helped ease the transition over to wine samples!

2:00 p.m.

Most of the wine tents sported sweet and fruity wines. My favorite of these was Autumn from Far Eastern Shore Winery. It wasn't the sweetest of the fruit-based wines, but that cranberry base really got me into the fall spirit. Hidden Hills Vineyard carried the dryest wines from what I could find at the festival and definitely poured my favorite with their Dark Bay Syrah. This one was just dry enough where I could enjoy a whole glass without a sweetness overload and without making my tongue feel like a desert.

3:00 p.m.

It was time to take a break from imbibing and just enjoy the park. With the sun in the sky and all the people milling around, there was lots to see -- and paint! Artists all over the park were capturing the sights on their easels. The paintings were sold later, adding to the festival proceeds that would be donated to Quiet Waters Park and the Capital Gazette Scholarship Fund.

On my way to check out the vendors selling local goods, I caught a glimpse of the VIP tent where special tastings were offered to ticketholders who paid a little bit extra to get into the festival. 

4:00 p.m.

Time to call it a day, head home, and take a nap! Cheers, Annapolis!

Did you attend Twist and Stout? Want to see it come back next year? Tell us in the comments below!

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