Great time at 6th annual Raley Field Brewfest

Okay, here’s my first real attempt at blogging.

I was able to attend the 6th annual Raley Field Brewfest in West Sacramento last night with my friend John. This was my first time at this brewfest and I was impressed.

This was the first time the event was held on the field. It was held on the concourse in past years. All the breweries were lined up along the outfield wall with the music stage at second base. I really enjoyed this setup as I had a clear view of all the beer choices plus the outfield provided ample room to mingle, eat and relax to the music.

This event, a partnership between Raley Field and the Northern California Brewer’s Guild, showcase 50+ Northern California Breweries, the best the BAY AREA, GOLD COUNTRY and NORTH COAST regions have to offer.

I went into this brewfest with a strategy. I would only taste beers not readily available to me (so no Sierra Nevada, Lagunitas, or Anderson Valley) and I would keep a log of my tastes (I kept the log, but neglected to make tasting notes!).

I wanted to branch out tasting different styles other than my favorite India Pale Ale, but when I looked at my list I still had six IPAs on the list.

Last night’s tastes were:

Auburn Alehouse PU240 Imperial IPA
Mad River Jamaica Red Ale
Eel River Organic IPA (I was hoping Mad River, Eel River or Lost coast would have some Saison du Humboldt!!!)
High Water Hop Riot IPA
Heretic Evil Cousin IPA (very hoppy)
Berryessa Double Tap IPA (this one blew me away, not what I was expecting, but amazing)
Ol’ Republic Biere de Garde
Track 7 Soulman Stout
Riley’s Wildcat IPA
American River Coloma Brown

A couple of notes on the festival:

1. Don’t buy your ticket online. My $30 ticket cost more than $44 once Ticketmaster added it’s fees!
2. The outfield location has one disadvantage — it’s a bit of a hike to the bathrooms on the concourse.
3. Food was lacking. The only option (other than a cheese booth) was the stadium food. Choices were hot dogs, burgers, black bean burger, and chips. Add some local food vendors!!
4. Music provided by The Remedies was good, but I would add a band or two.

Overall, a good festival. I plan to return for the 7th annual event next year.

Lagunitas tweets about Chicago location

From @LagunitasT on Twitter
May 15, 2012

LagChi will b in the 28th ward. The ward’s Alderman invited me to talk to the community meeting last week.The ward’s mostly Hispanic & Black
I was vry much the outsider, but I met vry kind people there. Brwry’s in the south ward, d north ward’s harder place though- street dealing.
It’s the rougher version of the real world… It’s not Petaluma…But it’s a neighborhood that’s being reclaimed by its inhabitants. That…
…that will include us.It will be a new sort of responsibility. We’ll have a role there…smtimes theres more to brewing than just brewing.
Truth is..I have no idea what that role will be, but the community meeting was a vry human thing…a moving thing. It was a strange feeling.
Thanks for the kind encouragement! It will be something new for us to learn about..DouglasPk doesnt need saving, it just needs more friends.

Awards announced for this weekend’s West Coast Brew Fest

Winners have been announced in the competition part of the Annual West Coast Bew Fest. Beers were judged in 16 different categories. Multiple award winners include Lost Coast Brewery (5), Old Hangtown Brewing (4), River City Brewing (4), Sequoia Brewing (4), Tioga-Sequoia Brewing (4), Feather Falls Casino Brewery (3), Firestone Walker (3), Uncommon Brewers (3), and 21st Amendment (2). The beer festival portion of the event will be held next Saturday, May 19th at Miller Park in Sacramento.

By region, the California award-winning beers were:

BAY AREA
1st Place, Belgian Ales – 21st Amendment Brewing Monk’s Blood
3rd Place, Other – 21st Amendment Brewing Back in Black

CENTRAL COAST
1st Place, English Ales – Firestone Walker Double Barrel
1st Place, Porter – Uncommon Brewers Baltic Porter
2nd Place, Belgian Ales – Uncommon Brewers Siamese Twin
3rd Place, American Pale Ales – Firestone Walker Pale 31
3rd Place, India Pale Ale –  Firestone Walker Union Jack
3rd Place, Belgian Ales – Uncommon Brewers Golden State Ale

GOLD COUNTRY
1st Place, Light Lagers – River City Brewery Helles Maibock
1st Place, Amber Ale – River City Brewery Wooden Head
1st Place, India Pale Ale – Knee Deep Brewing Simtra IPA
1st Place, Brown Ale – Loomis Basin Brewing St. Paddy’s
1st Place, Stout – Feather Falls Casino Brewery Black Jack
1st Place, Wheat Beers – River City Brewing Hefeweizen
1st Place, Fruit & Vegetabe Beers – Old Hangtown Brewery Mtn. Meadow
2nd Place, Light Lagers – Old Hangtown Brewery Hangtown Helles
2nd Place, Dark Lagers – Feather Falls Casino Brewery Wild Bill’s Winter
2nd Place, Stout – Old Hangtown Brewery Mineshaft
2nd Place, Wheat Beers – Feather Falls Casino Brewery Dancing Trees
3rd Place, Dark Lagers – Old Hangtown Brewery Schwarzgeld Black
3rd Place, Light Ale – Track 7 Brewing Company Riot Act Rye
3rd Place, English Ale – American River Brewing Sunrise IPA
3rd Place, Fruit & Vegetable Beers – River City Brewing Bergamot IPA

NORTH COAST
2nd Place, Light Ale – Lost Coast Brewery Sac Blonde
2nd Place, India Pale Ale – Lost Coast Brewery Indicia
2nd Place, Brown Ale – Lost Coast Brewery Downtown Brown
3rd Place, Amber Ale – Lost Coast Brewery Alley Cat
3rd Place, Stout – Lost Coast Brewery Eight Ball

SOCAL
1st Place, Dark Lagers – Tioga-Sequoia Brewery Tamarack Amber
1st Place, Light Ale – Sequoia Brewing Company Blossom Trail
1st Place, American Pale Ales – Sequoia Brewing Company Sequoia Pale Ale
2nd Place, American Pale Ales – Tioga-Sequoia Brewing Mt. Whitney
2nd Place, Strong Ale – Tioga-Sequoia Brewery General Grant
3rd Place, Light Lagers – Tioga-Sequoia Brewery Bohemian Pilsner
3rd Place, Porter – Sequoia Brewing Company Black Oak
3rd Place, Strong Ale – Sequoia Brewing Company Sasquatch

CA Beers win 5 AmeriCAN Canned Beer Festival awards

In a ceremony held last night, the winners were announced in the competition part of the 2nd Annual AmeriCAN Canned Beer Festival. Canned beers were judged in nine different categories. The beer festival portion of the event will be held next Saturday, May 19th and will feature more than 40 different craft breweries.

California beers winning awards were:

AMERICAN PALE ALES:
Silver, 21st Amendment‘s Bitter American

STOUTS/PORTERS:
Bronze, Anderson Valley Brewing Company‘s Barney Flats Oatmeal Stout

FRUIT BEERS:
Silver, 21st Amendment‘s Hell or High Watermelon

SPECIALTY BEERS:
Gold, 21st Amendment‘s Back in Black
Silver, Uncommon Brewers‘ Siamese Twin

5/7/2012: Top California Beer news

BAY AREA
American Wheat Beers: Heritage and History

GOLD COUNTRY
Sierra Nevada Founder Talks Craft Beer: Past, Present, Future

LOS ANGELES
Firestone Walker & Barney’s Beanery create ‘Boot Camp Beer’ Pale 31

INDUSTRY
Bubble has not burst on craft beer market
Are Beer Sommeliers the Next Big Thing?
American Craft Beer Week 2012 badge available on Untappd