Red Bull Flugtag & THE HINDENFIRKIN: A Story of Might and Will (and Fun)
Over the weekend, history was made as THE HINDENFIRKIN took its maiden (and only) voyage, sailing over (and into) the Delaware River during Red Bull Flugtag. Here’s how it all went down.
On Friday afternoon we delivered THE HINDENFIRKIN to the Camden waterfront, but not before driving it through the streets of Philadelphia for all to see. Special thanks are due to HINDENFIRKIN sponsors Bierstube and Standard Tap.
The next morning, we had to arrive at 8 AM. That’s 8 AM on a Saturday. Oh, the trials we endure on the road to greatness. We were armed with the Mega Hammer of Glory (aka the Mega HOG), which had been christened by Beer Pope William Reed at our launch party at Standard Tap. The Beer Pope blessed our Mega HOG with the real, Philly Beer Week Hammer of Glory, transferring all its powers to our giant replica.
We spent the entire day in our alter egos, as befitted THE HINDENFIRKIN: we were old-time bomber pilots, a la Amelia Earhardt, accents and all. To all we met, we recounted tales of our flights around the world, spreading good cheer and good beer to townfolk across the lands. We described our reason for making a quick stop at Philadelphia Red Bull Flugtag: to tap the THE HINDENFIRKIN on stage with the Mega HOG (beautifully constructed by Amanda Schmidt) and spread good beer cheer to everyone in attendance.
As it happened, we were one of the few teams to stay in character all day long, including on stage, and many people asked to have their pictures taken with the team, THE HINDENFIRKIN and the Mega Hammer of Glory.
Due to medical conditions, Adam wasn't able to pilot the craft as planned (though the announcer says he is in the video) and was not planning to jump at all, per his doctor’s recommendations. However, at the last minute he mustered the courage and stupidity to jump in. Drink Philly was one of only a few teams whose entire five-member crew jumped into the water.
Valiantly standing in for his captain, Bruce Lewandowski piloted the craft. Red Bull told us we officially went 15 feet, but we have photographic evidence that Bruce actually launched into the water at the 40 foot mark. (See below.)
Photo by Tony Romeo, PHL17
Things were so on target that our music for our skit, Ride of the Valkyries, timed out perfectly, and the the grand finale played as the pilot launched into the air and hit the water. Check out the the video at the end; it was right on target.
Afterwards, Greg actually broke the Red Bull ladder getting out of the river, and Mike pleaded with the announcer who was describing our flight: "Can we wrap this up quickly? We've got beer to drink." Though slightly impertinant, he spoke for us all — because the hanger area was completely dry. We had to pull all of this off totally sober.
We were apparently so amped up that they wouldn't let us leave the medical tent for a little while, because our pulse and blood pressure were sky high. (Adam's was the highest, though Grant was immediately fine — proving true to his moniker of The Muscle.) We left with a few bruises, but everyone was ok.
Adam was so excited after completion of the flight that he did his signature victory strut.
As we were leaving the tent, several little kids asked to get their picture taken with us. Awesome.
We celebrated by drinking Victory beer in the parking lot, then headed over to Bierstube for the afterparty and celebration.
Soon we’ll post an extended video recap, complete with the building of the craft, the launch party and the main event. In the meantime, check out the video below.
"Sponsoring the madness which is the Drink Philly HINDENFIRKIN in the Red Bull Flugtag is one of the most fun things I've gotten to do in my restaurant career. Check them out Saturday at Camden Waterfront and be sure to vote for them." — Mike Naessens, Owner of Eulogy Belgian Tavern, Bierstube, and Beneluxx.
More awesome photos of Flugtag from Stephen Lyford over here.
Many thanks to Stephen Lyford for great photos