FRIDAY-SUNDAY

On the second day of the Old Dominion Beer Festival, you find yourself side-by-side with the strongest man in the world. You’ve seen the 287-pound Icelandic behemoth before: Restless at 3 a.m., you turned to ESPN for company, and there he was: Magnþ1s Ver Magnþ1sson, pulling an 18-wheeler with nothing but gut, lifting a VW higher and higher until his massive melon almost popped like a balloon. Just the two of you, alone yet very much together. And here he is again: at the annual beer fest in Ashburn, Va., guzzling gallons of Virginia’s finest microsuds and keeping the beat to Jumpin’ Jupiter, Charlie Chesterman (pictured), and Last Train Home. You want to say hello, but his eyes seem nervous. Then you understand: Magnþ1s is not really on the guest list. Dragging cumbersome objects through the sand just doesn’t pay the way it used to, so he must resort to sneaking into events like the Mid-Atlantic Brewers’ Olympics. His competitors are flabby and weak, and their so-called feats of strength—the barrel roll, the brewer’s-hose pull, and the keg toss—are laughable. But Magnþ1s needs love to stay alive; he needs the “oohs” and “ahhs” of the children to stay strong. By the time someone realizes he’s not an accountant for Manny’s Taphouse, the gentle giant slips into the forest and disappears, the coveted Golden Keg tight against his monstrous frame. Some scream, “Cheater,” but you whisper, “Hero.” Godspeed, Magnþ1s, godspeed. From 5 to 10 p.m. Friday, June 25, 11 a.m. to 10 p.m., Saturday, June 26, and noon to 7 p.m. Sunday, June 27, at the Old Dominion Brewing Co., 44633 Guilford Drive, Ashburn. $5. (800) 752-6118. (Sean Daly)