Working at a brewery, most in the industry will tell you, is not the easiest of work. Stress is at an all time high most of the time. Worrying about beers crashing properly, equipment running efficiently, and new brews turning out the way that you want is enough to make the Dalai Lama want a cigarette. Needless to say, it is easy to get lost in all the work that it takes to keep beer flowing to the good people in our market. When I was approached by Alex Reasons (Lead Packaging Technician/Ellensburg Sales Rep.) about wanting to represent IHB at the upcoming Hoopfest in Spokane, Washington I was both excited and a bit scared. Having been a baller (self proclaimed) in high school I thought that a simple 3on3 basketball competition wouldn’t be that intense. Boy was I wrong…
Our squad was made up of four brewery employees: Jake “The Snake” Fleming, Paul “Slippery Fingers” Von Hagen, Alex “Dark Magic” Reasons, and Morgan “Rawdawg” Moran. The basketball background for all of us was nothing to cry home to your momma about but we knew our way around the courts and the streets. Arriving to Spokane on Friday our hearts filled with hope and our palettes washed with a fresh High Five Hefe before bed just to relieve a bit of the pre-hoopin nerves.
Awakening early on Saturday we were ready to put down some dunks and swish some threes from deep in the paint. Our first game was at 8:30 a.m. and thank the beer gods it was because the high temperature for that day was 97 degrees. In the coolness of the morning we started our first game. The other team, all of them being 6’7″, were intimidating. We fought valiantly but alas we lost due to time running out at a score of 14 to 16. Our heads hung low we had to prepare for our next game at 2:30 p.m.
After regrouping and re-hashing our battle plan we felt a little disheartened but ready to fight at our next game. Hitting the court we saw our competition. Half of the team were some big boys and these boys could ball. Tired and hot we fought a hard battle. Roughhousing called, fouls fouled, curses cursed, bloody and battered we lost to the giant boy team by a tight margin of 15 to 20.
After a day of pitfalls the one thing we looked forward to was drinking some cool beverages at the end of the night. We cheersed to the end of a sad Hoopfest show but a good effort. The lesson learned: You have to play more than one game of basketball before competing if you want to win at Hoopfest.