BEERFEST: The Art of Beer: Sacramento

Last night, I had a great time at The Art of Beer: Sacramento, an enjoyable fundraiser for Ales for Autism held at the Aerospace Museum of California.

I was able to try many local beers:

  • Drake’s 1500
  • Bike Dog IPA
  • Mraz EDH IPA
  • Berryessa Pumpkin Death
  • Warped Crash of ’83 IPA
  • 21st Amendment Monk’s Blood
  • Track 7 Trein Wrak
  • Almanac IPA
  • New Helvetia Mystery Airship
  • Old Hangtown Black Ice Black IPA
  • Six Rivers Coffee Porter
  • Triple Rock Ipax IPA
  • Bear Republic Apex
  • Moylan’s Foggy Sunset Plum Saison
  • Heretic Evil Twin Red Ale
  • Speakeasy Black Hand Milk Stout
  • Almanac Bier de Chocolat
  • Quite a nice sampling. Northern California has some very talented brewers.

    Each brewery supplied an art auction item for bid. I was fortunate to win an airplane I bid on from Hangar 24 (although I really wanted the painting on wood from Bike Dog).

    I loved the Art of Beer beer journal provided this year.

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    My iPhone pictures suck, so check out the photo album from Hops to Table here.

    Central Valley Beerfest lineup leave a lot to be desired so far…

    I just found out about a new beer festival, the Central Valley Beerfest in Turlock on June 1st.

    I was hoping it would be filled with local and regional beers from Northern California. I don’t mean to sound like a snob, but looking at their poster, I was extremely disappointed.

    The lineup:

    The Facebook page notes that the following have been added:

    • Snowshoe Brewing (Arnold)
    • Hornsby’s (Modesto – Hornsby’s Pubdrafts/E and J Gallo)
    • Victoria (Grupo Modelo)
    • Mendocino Brewing (Ukiah, but owned by United Breweries Group)

    I don’t mind that the big beers seem to be the focus; I would just choose not to drink them. It’s a beerfest — all kinds of beers should be represented. But the absence of so many good local and regional breweries is a shame and the opportunity to expose beer novices to the world of craft beers is missed.

    It looks like they are still adding breweries to the lineup, so there is hope. I’ll wait a few weeks to see if the lineup fills out before making the decision to attend.

    Any thoughts?

    San Clemente Beer Festival

    I  drove down to San Clemente this weekend for the 3rd annual San Clemente Micro-Brew Festival hosted by Left Coast Brewery and the San Clemente Chamber of Commerce.

    The 17 participating breweries were:

    This was my second time at this festival. It’s becoming an annual tradition as I get to spend a day with my sister (I can’t say her name or show her face because her school district has a very prudish social media policy…that’s another story).

    The crowd definitely seemed bigger than last year and I’m afraid they’re going to outgrow the Left Coast location very soon (actually, I’m not afraid…I hope they can move it somewhere closer to the beach that allows for a nice breeze and wider spaces).

    My one big bitch with this festival is the food. There was only one vendor which had a very long line the whole event. I would add a couple additional food options in the future.

    There were two fun bands (I really liked the second one), but their names escape me!

    Since I love hoppy beers, I used all my tasting tickets on IPAs I’d never tried. All were good, but two really stood out:

    • Pizza Port El Camino IPA – what a great aroma!
    • Beachwood Pole Position IPA – hoppy and citrus!
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    My sister and I at the San Clemente Micro-Brew Festival on April 20, 2013.
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    The crowd enjoys the beer and music.

    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.