Sunday, January 6, 2013

Bay Area Brew Fest Gets 2013 Off to Good Start

First beer festival of the year (for me anyway) started in San Francisco, at Ft. Mason, with the 3rd Annual Bay Area Beer Festival. Huge pier building, used for all sorts of events and I can tell you that it didn't take long to be full of people, tiny beer mugs in hand.
These little guys hold 4ozs of the world's best beers!

The calm before the beer rush. Ft Mason, SF, CA

Approximately 3/4 of the building showing. Floor soon to be covered with eager beer tasters!

 To see the complete lineup of breweries participating that day, here's the link.

I Love Beer coaster (Google Affiliate Ad)

So, what was my first beer of the day (year)? Well, I surprised myself by avoiding some of the lighter pale or blonde ales that usually kick off a tasting for me, but when I saw a red rye within just a few steps from the opening gate, as it were, I was hooked.

Here's what the brewery says about Heretic's Evil Twin, my first taste:

"This blood-red ale may not be what you might expect from a malty and hoppy craft beer. Evil Twin has a rich malt character, without being overly sweet. It has a huge hop character, without being overly bitter. It is a great example of a bold, rich, balanced craft beer, without being heavy and hard to drink in quantity. Our Evil Twin is only bad because it is too good to resist."
I wasn't as eloquent; I just said, "wow, I like it!"

Despite the Speakeasy eyeballs, the Triple Voodoo rep filled my mug.
Another standout for me was from Triple Voodoo: Inception, a Belgian Style Ale which was quite a departure from the typical Belgians I have tasted (and I don't drink a lot of them, I must confess). I liked the prickly carbonation which carried thru to the finish, which was dry with noticeable hop flavor. This is one that I would have tried again, had I more time.- 8% ABV
Here's a description from Triple Voodoo's website:
"Triple Voodoo Inception Belgian Style Ale is not brewed in traditional Belgian style like traditional Trappist ales. Inception is bright and clear with a sharp alcohol note in the beginning and an added twist of black currant in the center of the flavor profile. The beer finishes clean and has a solid malty backbone. This unique flavor profile was achieved using a special hop varietal. The high hop load also makes it reminiscent of an IPA and gives it that unique California characteristics."  

I continued on, as the crowds grew, looking only for new beer opportunities. On a quest like this, I have a rule of not trying any beer with which I am already familiar. Saves time and helps avoid lines, many times.

 Some sights along the way:

Lots of picture taking in between sips.

Those whose picture was taken.

Beer drinkers are known to be style icons (Ha!)

Great idea for instant style enhancement....
 ... except it started raining outside about midway through:
Rain drops begin to dampen some outdoor lovers' beer enjoyment

Continuing on... pouring and tasting:

Pouring some Scarlett Red Rye, which I consider one of the best Ryes around.

Uncommon Brewers....
.... and their uncommon brews. Yep, it's got bacon in it!!

A serious moment of reflection at 101 North, one of Petaluma's growing number of new breweries. Their Heroine IPA is fabulous and I have the waist line to prove it!

Three Twins Ice Cream reps like beer fests too!
When I saw the Three Twins Ice Cream truck, I thought to myself: nice idea. Then after finding the Ballast Point table, I wanted to pair their Vanilla Bean Speck with Ballast Point's Victory At Sea Coffee Vanilla Imperial Porter!! Combined, you'd have a great float! By itself, this tasty porter is perfect for sipping in front of the fire or passing around the table after dinner. ABV of 10% but, hey, you're staying home anyway, so go for it!

Cuisinart Pure Indulgence Frozen Yogurt-Sorbet and Ice Cream Maker (Google Affiliate Ad) 

Our Loozeeana man.... the Abita Jockamo IPA screamed for jumbalaya, the spicier the better!

The seven different malts gave this Pale definite character. Very drinkable.
Drakes can do no wrong, imho.

Seems a waste but it's necessary dump the unwanted beer.

Hard times demand great beer!

I liked their IPA, lighter body but good hoppy finish.

Firestone Walker is another of my favorite breweries. Hopmonk uses their Pale as the Tavern Ale (little tip for you).

You can't drink it all, pacing is everything.

Nothing but a crowd, all the way back to the front doors.

Hang over cures were free.... didn't have one so I can't say if they work or not.

Ok, I'll say it: a hoppy fellow!

Lagunitas was pouring Sucks from the bottle for early arrivers. Soon ran out.

One of the longest lines was for Ninkasi... lots people I asked didn't know why, they just joined the line!

With a name like Orgasmic Beer, who wouldn't be happy.

I'm sure there's a joke in there somewhere....
 So, it's time now to announce my favorite for the day. I always manage to find one beer that stands out, one that I remember long after the event and one that I certainly intend to have again. I don't call it best of show or anything like that, cause that's very subjective and hard to call. I just pick the one that impressed me the most, that day, that tasting. And the winner of Headforbeer's  favorite of the 3rd Annual Bay Area Brew Fest is, Heretic's Evil Cousin.
Here's how the Heretic website describes it:

Evil Cousin is Heretic's take on a West coast imperial IPA. This beer is a bold, in-your-face hop monster. It has a light, easy drinking malt character that allows the hops to stand out. The hop character in this beer is intentionally on the dank side; big, sticky, and aggressive. This beer is for those of you who can't get enough hops. Join us on the dank side.

I loved this beer, it's what a hophead like me lives for!

Gotta go, sun's shining today, and there's more beer out there to be sampling! Salut!

1 comment:

  1. Lookin' good, Marv! Good and plentiful pics. Looks like you've definitely found "your thing.! :)