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Get Educated, Voters! Drink Beer!

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Somehow the Academy Awards have escaped my anti-awards show, "art-is-subjective-and-can't-therefore-be-competitive" curmudgeonity. Why? I don't know, I guess it seems more probable that Academy voters might have seen all of the films nominated, as opposed to what-do-I-check Grammy voters -- I refuse to believe everyone is taking their choice for the un-aired "Best Polka Album" Grammy seriously. In short, there are fewer movies than tunes and television shows being made. So, the Oscars seem more fair? Maybe?

Whatever. I watch 'em.

But even as I fill out my personal ballot before my yearly Oscar kegger, I find myself feeling bad for the little guys -- namely the "Best Documentary - Short Subject," or "Best Foreign Language Film" entires. Routinely, I haven't seen any of them and end up checking the box next to the film whose subjects sound most oppressed. Wanna know what's sad? It usually works.

I don't want to be that guy.

All that to say this: We've once again entered our North Coast Journal Best Of Awards season. As always, your votes are important. But if you're like me and your moral compass quivers at the thought of voting in categories where you haven't given each prospective winner a shot, well, I know one category in this year's poll you can feel confident in checking.

That is, of course, if you make your way down to sunny Fortuna for the annual beer-drenched Hops in Humboldt taking place again in cozy Rohner Park from 1 to 6 p.m. on Saturday, Aug. 27. All of our fine local breweries -- roll call: Eel River Brewery, Lost Coast Brewery, Six Rivers Brewery, Mad River Brewery and Redwood Curtin Brewery -- will be represented, meaning that you can get your sample on and confidently cast your vote in our Best Local Beer category.

Of course, there'll be other breweries -- more than 35! -- from across the nation represented at Hops in Humboldt, as well as tantalizing local food offerings, commemorative mugs, arts and crafts vendors and music by Headshine, Woven Roots and Lowfill. Roll out a blanket. Soak up sun. Drink beer. If you need more than that, well … sorry.

Tickets for the day are $40 at the gate, or $30 if you're clear-headed enough to get them in advance. Do we need to say this is a 21 and over event? It is.

They have their own awards too. While tasting the suds in the sun you can text a vote -- fancy! -- for your favorite brewery for a chance to win a "Tasters Choice" award. Standard texting rates apply, kids.

If you haven't heard, it's not a great idea to drink and drive. Besides death, here are some great reasons to not. First, the Redwood Transit System allows you to “Catch a Ride” from Rohner Park to Eureka/Arcata/McKinleyville for only $2.75. Second, Hops in Humboldt loves designated drivers so much, they let them in the gate for just $5. Water tastes good too. No excuses, merrymakers.

Get beer edumacated, Humboldt! Then vote in our Best Of poll. For more info on Hops in Humboldt, check out hopsinhumboldt.com. Burp.

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