Jeez, epic weekend, starting on Thursday. All because of the Cali Craft Beer Summit and all the brewers being in town. Thursday the peeps from Russian River, Firestone Walker and Karl Strauss were at Pangaea, and it was Scott's bday, so we went there, and then ended up at Lowbrau because people from Faction were there and the tap list was off the hook. The Faction 2 Hop is delicious. Pangaea had Taras Boulba on, which was also a standout amid the brew-haze of the night.
Friday Empress had a crazy taplist, including the Sante Adairus Saison Bernice. The Sante people were in town and loving Empress. And so was I! It's that rare place where just about everything on the menu sounds good and is good. I had a French dip that was heavy on the horseradish and I loved it. EC was loving her beef cheek stroganoff and I had a bite. Wow.
Then on Saturday was the actual fest, with like 130-something California brewers. It started at 4 and I definitely was not feeling it, but once I had my first few pours I was raging (babbling) all over the fest. I definitely did not eat enough food or drink enough water. The lineup of breweries was totally nuts. One of the best ever definitely. As far as whether it was a business success, I know the Summit board was psyched on the events and if the tasting event was small this year, I'm sure it will be much bigger next year. I wonder what Beer Advocate chatter is like? It's a fest that people are going to be driving in for or maybe even flying in by year 2 and 3.
I fuzzily ended the night at Bottle and Barlow drinking a Bike Dog beer with ancho chilies in it - the spiciness of the beer luckily slowed my pace a bit. I kept focusing on this spotted weinerdog, the poor thing probably just wanted me to leave it alone.