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?

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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.