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The second annual GonzoFest is this Saturday from 3pm to 9pm at Flying Dog Brewery in Frederick, Maryland. The outdoor beer festival honors the life of Hunter S. Thompson, the brewery’s self-proclaimed idol. In addition to Flying Dog’s line of award-winning beers, the day will feature four live bands and is also the site of the Hard Times Cafe Chili Cook-Off. Even better, the beer and chili are included in the price of admission.

Flying Dog is the closest thing DC has to a local production brewery, which means we have easy access to their beer but might not be willing to drive to Frederick to visit their tasting room. The Lagerheads have wanted to make the trek since we attended the Wild Goose/ Flying Dog tasting at the Brickskeller in May, but we haven’t made it up there yet.

GonzoFest seems like a good place to start. We’re more likely to dress up like Jim Henson’s Gonzo than Hunter Thompson, but if you decide to sport the trademark white driving hat, aviator sunglasses, and cigarrette holder, you could have a chance to win a bottle of vintage Gonzo Imperial Porter, signed by Thompson’s illustrator and Flying Dog label artist Ralph Steadman.

According to J.T. Smith at Flying Dog, they are expecting 3,000 people this year, so buying tickets in advance is a good idea that will also save you a few bucks. Tickets are $30 at the gate but $23 if you purchase online, with a portion of the proceeds going to the local United Way. The only problem you’ll have once your ticket is settled is figuring out how you will get home after all that beer, so buddy up, pick a designated driver, and we’ll see you up there.