When: Saturday, April 13
A few weeks ago, a nice man emailed The Stranger a last-minute party invite.
"We have a warehouse down in Georgetown known as [REDACTED]," the invite began, "where we hold a yearly event for our friends, an Easter Beer Hunt. We decorate 200-300 beers and hide them across a tetanus-filled lot in Georgetown, and get dressed up, and day party. Each year we get a different theme and this year it's 'Medival '80s' which I can't spell. We decorate every beer can in collages of past Strangers and old technical magazines our parents once hoarded. There will be DJs, and a bar, and turkey legs maybe probably."
"Tetanus-filled lot" was a great hook, but the turkey legs ("maybe probably") really sealed the deal. We immediately accepted the invitation.
The morning of the party, The Stranger made the mistake of putting a high THC concentrate into our coffee, which we thought would be chill but, four hours later, we were still high, frantically pacing our apartment and asking our boyfriend if colorful windbreakers counted as "medieval." He said no. We thought yes, so long as they had an unusual sleeve shape. Already running late, we settled on adding metal chain necklaces to our outfits ("a little Middle Age peekaboo") and called a Lyft.
When we got to the location, everything was silent. Suspiciously silent, considering we were supposed to be surrounded by a small medieval militia ready to raid and pillage bushes for beer.
We walked up to the address, a couple of rooms built on top of a deep warehouse. No one answered. The door was unlocked. Inside, we were greeted by a series of doors. One of them had something like "Welcome to the Vortex" scribbled on it. This is when the terror hit and we wished we hadn't put that high THC concentrate in our coffee.
Muffled wub-wub-wubs came from behind a door with nothing written on it. "They're down here. I'm going in," our boyfriend said, and dipped into the building's bowels. Had he not done this, we probably would have chickened out and called a Lyft home.
After descending a series of stairs, the party revealed itself. Thirty or forty people, many decked out in cardboard crowns and weaponry, some wearing Day-Glo colored tunics, were huddled on the warehouse's ground floor. A dog ran between them, waiting to politely grab meat scraps. There was a lot of meat. There was also a giant cardboard castle built around a construction platform, a big orgy-friendly mattress, and lots of peasants who looked like they'd been to at least three Burning Mans. Things became immediately less threatening.
We tried to be incognito, but a polite man dressed as a Crusader spotted us and gave an orientation. Here: DJs, a castle, and chill vibes. In the back: potent pot, strong mead, and tropical drinks with excessive garnishes. Outside: beers, lots of them, but we had to wait until it was time for the hunt.
After mistakenly going for the homemade "dank" mead, as opposed to the storebought sweet mead, and eating four servings of boneless wings cooked in peanut sauce (still stoned, still hungry), we were pulled back into the main area.
"Hear ye! Hear ye!" yelled a princess, announcing the beginning of the hunt. The crowd got rowdy. A squire, decked out in an '80s windbreaker (a brethren), shouted "RABBLE RABBLE RABBLE" as he pounded a scepter against the warehouse's cement floor for ambiance. A parade of men dressed as knights brought in plates of massive turkey legs. The dog went wild. I swear a trumpet went off. The door to the tetanus-filled lot opened. And the crew raced to find their bush beer.
First things first: These bushes had an attitude problem. They were perfectly content keeping their beers hidden under their prickly vines for another year. But this was a hunt, and the tall muscle gay dressed like a blonde elf next to us snagged three bush beers while we were still making a gameplan. Should we scale the warehouse? Look in the gutters? Break into the parked cars? This was no time for apprehension. Warlocks were jumping over cement barricades, lunging into brambles, climbing rickety trees. The previously quiet lot was transformed into a budget Game of Thrones battle reenactment.
In total, The Stranger found seven beers; three in mean bushes, two in damp holes, one in a tree, and one perched above a doorframe. We drank these while eating meat and staring down at everyone from the top of the castle. "This is the best day of my year," a first-time beer hunter from Atlanta told us. "The only thing that could make this better is if we all fucked."
We left shortly after this, but we hope he got his wish.