We ruined a pair of shoes at this year's Strong Beer Festival. Naturally, on the February day that Phoenicians had the opportunity to enjoy dozens of heavily fortified brews, the gods saw fit to make it rain in the desert. And what a torrential downpour. Mud was everywhere. Beer was sucked down like a shot before Mother Nature could dilute it. Freezing winds kept drinkers huddled together under tents, where we had no recourse but to talk about beer and drink even more. In short, it was one of the best Saturdays of our life . . . we think. After the 12 tasting mugs full of Imperial stout, things got a little fuzzy around the edges. While our memory isn't 100 percent, our resolve to go back next year — on Saturday, February 18 — definitely is.