Flagon Slayer Tapping Party: Where You Get Punished for Drinking Beer

Details about Flagon Slayer.

Details about Flagon Slayer.

Wednesday evening, I headed downtown after work for Sun King’s Flagon Slayer: Official Beer of Gen Con Tapping Party. I’ve always enjoyed Sun King, and Flagon Slayer was quite delicious, being a beer/mead hybrid made sweet with cherries and Indiana honey.

The event itself left a little to be desired though. 5 Year Mission, a Star Trek themed band was playing at the event, and it was advertised that Food Trucks would be lined up the block for the hungry. The problem came with the layout of the event. There was a special “beer” area, that you needed to get IDed and given a wristband to get into, that was set up BEHIND the stage. The food trucks, and obviously the band were on the other side of the stage, in the “all-ages” area. This was a beer tapping party, and I felt like I was being punished and shoved into a corner for drinking beer. You weren’t allowed in front of the stage with alcohol, so if you wanted to enjoy the sunny afternoon drinking quality local beer, you had to do so cut off from the rest of the party. As a result, I didn’t get to see 5 Year Mission play at all (other than their backs), and I had no access to the food available.

The "wonderful" view of 5 Year Mission from the beer area.

The “wonderful” view of 5 Year Mission from the beer area.

Indiana’s laws and stance towards alcohol has always seemed ridiculously out-dated and confusing. Growing up in Ohio, I was going to bars in downtown Cleveland to see concerts when I was 16 years old. If you were 21+ and wanted to drink, they would check your id and give you a wrist band. A very easy/effective concept that prevents anyone underage from purchasing alcohol.

On the flip side of this, when I was at my college freshman orientation at Indiana University Bloomington, I walked into a bar with my parents at 1pm looking for a place to eat lunch, and was told I had to leave because I wasn’t 21. We were all shocked at this. There was absolutely no one other than the staff in the entire establishment, I had no intentions of drinking, which my parents and I made very clear, and they told us we had to leave because it was either the law, or their policy (forgive me for not remembering the details, but this was in 1999).

Flagon Slayer Tapping Party Poster

Flagon Slayer poster

Gen Con’s solution to allow everyone to have a good time at a beer tapping party was to section off the beer area. While I find this absolutely ridiculous, I can somewhat understand and respect them doing so to allow everyone into the event to see 5 Year Mission. However, the stage should have been pushed further back, and the sectioned-off beer area should have been in front of the stage, so we could see the band, and also have access to food while we enjoyed our beer. The fact that I went to a beer-tapping party, but was cut off from the majority of the party for drinking beer is just crazy.

I don’t blame Sun King for this at all, as I’m sure they had little to no say as to where they had to set up shop on Georgia St. I’m very disappointed in the Gen Con organizers for putting together an event that was advertised to be about beer, yet ostracized anyone wanting beer to behind the stage. Maybe they’ll do better for future events, but having been in Indiana for the majority of the last 14 years and seeing how conservative their stance is towards events with alcohol, I’m not holding my breath with any type of hope.

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