The founder of Lollapalooza, a Chicago music festival, claims the word is an old term meaning “extraordinarily impressive”. Tweak the lettering slightly and you have Bullapalooza – a beer and food festival in Belfast celebrating Bullhouse East‘s first birthday. A much smaller festival in a much smaller city but just as hugely impressive.
Bullhouse East is a permanent taproom owned by, and sited a few miles across town from, Belfast brewery Bullhouse. Belfast, and Northern Ireland in general, isn’t the easiest place to start up a brewery. In fact local brewers claim that due to archaic licensing, a few stubborn politicians and macro strong-arming, NI is the most difficult part of Western Europe to open a brewery.
Despite the mountains of bureaucratic red tape that the Bullhouse team faced last year and against all odds they opened their first taproom venue, so it’s only right that a one year birthday celebration of that significant opening should take place.
And boy what a celebration!
To turn a dead space cul-de-sac at the back of the taproom into the colourful, vibrant, family-friendly street party of Bullapalooza was indeed “extraordinarily impressive”. On offer was a full range of Bullhouse beers with guest breweries Modest, Mourne Mountains and neighbours Boundary. Add in baking sunshine, 24°C heat, large Connect 4 games, a chilled vibe and street vendors selling succulent burgers, monster hotdogs, baked spuds, local cheese, novelty gifts and more – and you have the perfect ingredients for a superb event. Cheers, sláinte and bravo to every single team member who made it possible.
The owner of the Chicago music festival says it’s called Lollapalooza after claiming he heard the word in a Three Stooges movie. A famous line from one of the movies in 1951 goes, “There are a thousand reasons why I shouldn’t drink, but I can’t think of one right now.” If there’s a Bullapalooza 2 and you find yourself at it, you’ll see (close to) a thousand reasons why you should have that drink.