Happy Memorial Day monday, friends! I hope your day is filled with lots of barbecuing, eating, drinking, and outdoor fun–I know mine will be!
This Saturday, Jeff and I went to our very last California Festival of Beers, or Beer Fest. Beer Fest is a 3 day celebration of all things, you guessed it–beer! The event kicked off Friday night with a special limited edition/release beer session, meet & greets with the brewers, and local food pairings and ended with a home brew competition on Sunday. We went to the biggest event–the Grand Tasting on saturday–a 5 hour beer tasting event featuring over 70 different breweries. We had purchased our tickets the morning they went on sale, but were lucky enough to win an additional pair at Spikes the other night and invited some good friends to join us–score!
Beer Fest is usually held in Avila Beach, but this year, they decided to move to the Alex Madonna Expo Center in order to accommodate a larger crowd. As much as I love Avila, it was great having the festival so close–we were able to walk both ways! The expo center is towards the top of a large hill behind the infamous Madonna Inn, so we had sweeping views of the entire valley.
Unfortunately, the weather was a little gloomy for a Memorial day weekend outdoor festival, but at least it made for good camera lighting!
Even though there were over 70 different breweries at the festival, it seems we still spent most of our time at our old favorites. Firestone Brewery was pouring a few speciality beers along with their flagships DBA and 805.
We made it to Sierra Nevada just in time for a special bottle pouring–score!
Our local Central Coast Brewing was there pouring their Chai Ale which I’ve been wanting to try for years. I’d always been a little skeptical of the chai/hops combo, but it worked!
Tap It, another local favorite, was one of the sponsors of the event and had quite the set-up near the front of the festival!
Green Flash Brewing Company from San Diego had one of the most extensive tastings of the day. In addition to their taps, they also brought their speciality bottled beers and had a special tasting for those lucky enough to get to the front.
All in all, it was definitely a fun day, even if we did spend most of it drinking beer we’d already tried. Hopefully we’ll be able to find a similar event in Virginia to introduce us to the local beer!
You can find more information about the California Festival of Beers here.