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Sunday, June 6, 2010

BEER FEST IS A BEER BLAST!

Yesterday was glorious.  I have the sunburn to prove it too.  I got to go the Beer Fest up in Santa Rosa.  Apparently, there were 4 going on throughout the greater Bay Area. I got to shout out a big thanks to Mario Rubio from Brewed For Thought, for getting me on the list as one of the vendors. And I have to say it is a blast to be part of the team at Waterloo Beverages.  We do have some real gems in our Belgian Beer profile.  Opening the beers up at tastings and seeing just awesome reactions to our beer, gives me such a thrill.

Although, we did not open up any yesterday, we certainly had our fair share of some of the best beer around.  I started off in Mr. Brian Hunt's hands when he personally poured me his Reality Czeck. It was as soft and delicate as he described and a great Pilsner to get things started.  I did go back immediately for his Death & Taxes.  I just love this very crisp Black Beer. It gives a great head when it pours that is so distinctive and fun.  I drank it up rather quickly.

From Moonlight Brewing Company, I headed over to the Bear Republic folks to try their Crazy Ivan.  I love this complex Belgo-American IPA. It had me hopping around looking for some eats after I sucked down this Dark Ale.  I just enjoy the fact that they made it and are inspired by their 3R's.  That would be their Racer 5, their Red Rocket and their Hop Rod Rye, which are all triumphant brews.

After hopping around for some beef sliders and some decadent Humboldt Fog Blue Cheese, I visited the Napa Smith guys and had a refreshing Wheat Beer.  I love this Brewery, especially their Amber Ale which I have had many times.  They were also pouring their Organic Pale Ale which definitely has a great fragrance.  I was smelling it and drinking it while waiting on line for a beef sandwich with horseradish sauce.

I stumbled over to Stumptown Brewery for a taste of their Rat Bastard Ale.  These guys are awesome and really made a great Pale Ale beer.  With the help of Third St Aleworks and Bear Republic, who both loaned grain and yeast,  they made their first beer brewed and aged in time for yesterday's festivities.  I noticed how pleasant it really was as I came back for a 2nd pouring after another visit to the cheese table.

I continued to refresh my commemorative glass at the Anderson Valley Brewing Company with a very refreshing Summer Solstice Cerveza Crema.  This beer was perfect for the hot sun beaming on my shoulders and bald head.  And it was definitely creamy and sweet and most drinkable.  The lady pouring it had a great big smile on her face when she was pouring it for me.

One thing that got me excited while waiting in line for some pulled pork was hearing about Uncommon Brewer's Bacon Brown Ale.  The kids were saying it tasted like they had just had a BLT or a burger from the aftertaste.  I did taste the bacon but it was more like a flavoring.  What surprised me was how thick this pour was.  I drank it pretty fast as to keep that foamyness going.  I was completely blown away by their Siamese Twin Ale though.  It is a Belgian-style dubbel brewed with whole lemongrass, kaffir lime leaves and Indian coriander.  That combination of ingredients made it very sweet and very bold at the same time.

Next On Tap, was the Point Arena Pale Ale from the kind folks at Ukiah Brewing Co. A great American pale ale with nice malt and hops.  It was nice to drink as I made my way over to gods at Russian River Brewing.  I needed a Pilney The Elder real bad.  I crave that taste and smell and I saw them out of the corner of my eye.  I was even there for the opening of a very special Supplication.  Mmmmm, the sour cherries in that masterpiece of a beer are so tasty.  I have to admit I also went back at one point for the Damnation.  I just love the richness and the smoothness of there beers.

I remember visiting the Blue Frog for a Pale Ale that I enjoyed.  The Lagunitas folks had a Tap of their Lucky 13 which was pretty outstanding too. A Mondo Large Red Ale as it says on the label and it fits it perfectly.  Hops are there but it is very pleasant to taste.  And speaking of pleasant tastes, I also had a stop at Ruth McGowan's for their flagship Cloverdale Ale.  And I certainly love Amber Ales,  but this one stood out with that perfect combo of malt and hop.

Speaking of my love for Amber Ales, I know at some point, I stopped by the Stone Brewing folks to get some Levitation.  Ale that is.  But I was levitating at this point, for sure.  And this beer just kept me on my high.  It is big, it is special and I lived up to it's name yesterday.

Although I was pleasantly buzzed it never got out of control.  That is, I managed to continue to try things.  Like the Bodega Head IPA from Third Street Aleworks.  I liked the finish on this one.  I am a huge fan of IPA's and this one had that bitter up front taste that I enjoy. I went to the Steelhead Extra Pale next.  This Mad River beer was delicious and I imagined I could drink alot of it on a day like we were having.  But I needed to move onward as the fest was wrapping up in the next hour.


So I hit up Lhasa and Speakeasy before making back to Moonlight to end this day of beer. I felt great, besides my sunburn, of course.  And I have the pictures to prove it.  And apparently, all the memories too.

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