Capitol Beer Fest 2014!

A workout buddy of mine has been bugging me for the last four years to drive out to Sacramento this time of year for the beer festival… After holding him off for so long I finally buckled, I purchased tickets for D and I and we drove down to Sacramento, with a couple of friends, to check out the local beer festival.

The line. It was terrible...
The line. It was terrible…

We arrived a few minutes after the festival was open to the public and parking looked to be an issue but we were lucky as my office was a few blocks from the festival and there was plenty of parking there for us to use, so we avoided that headache. Only to find another one waiting for us. Despite covering two entire blocks the festival only had one entrance with two lines one for people who had prepaid and another for people buying their tickets at the event. We encountered the latter first and thought it was long, going down about half a block and moving at a pace I’d call somewhat south of glacial. The pre-paid line looked like it was almost as long, until we tried walking to the end of it. Walking and walking and walking. The prepaid line wrapped around an entire city block?! This is the line for people who had already paid too! What the hell?!

Outside looking in
Outside looking in

Falling prey to the sunken cost fallacy we waited in the line for the next twenty minutes to get in. Where else am I going to find 100+ brewers handing out their wares?

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The plan was to hit up breweries we’d never heard of before, if we could handle that much booze, going back to places we’d heard of. I sampled brews from the following:

  • Mad River Brewing
  • Anchor Brewing
  • Ol’ Republic Brewery
  • Heretic Brewing
  • Drake’s Brewing
  • North Coast Brewery
  • Crispin Ciders
  • Shiner
  • Knee Deep Brewing
  • Hanger 24 Brewing
  • Sacramento Republic FC

I should have been taking notes… But I didn’t. So, I really cant’ recall what I drank and what really stood out to me…. The only thing I can really remember is Knee Deep had a delicious vanilla bean Porter. I’d like to get my hands on that again at some point.

Commemorative flight glass
Commemorative flight glass

It was a fun experience, I’m glad I did it. Though I don’t think I’ll be doing it next year. I’m lucky in that Davis spoils us with two excellent grocery stores that have a large selection of craft brews and a beer shop. I don’t need to go out looking for excellent brew. And I can avoid the lines.

 

Beer Review: New Belgium’s Coconut Curry Hefeweizen

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From the bottle:

The list of spices in this coconut curry hefeweizen is almost as long as the list of awards bestowed on homebrewer, Remi Bonnart. Together, we brewed up a traditional German-style wheat beer whose fruity esters and spicy phenols pair perfectly with the spicy and fruity character of curry spices. Pour yourself a plateful.

From New Belgium’s website:

The aroma is bold and big with coconut and curry tones and a hint of banana from the hefe yeast. With a vast spice list of cinnamon, coriander, fenugreek, ginger, kaffir lime, and cayenne pepper this beer carries a bit of heat but the alcohol soothes the finish. Coconut Curry Hefe will leave an inquisitive smile on the drinker’s mug.

From my notes:

Lovely opaque strawberry blonde color with a white, large bubbled head and nice lacing. Malt and spices on the nose with a hint of coconut and citrus. Coconut milk comes through in the taste as well as several spices. Things are getting complicated here… A little bitter on the finish.

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I’m not sure if I understand all that was going on with this beer. Both the smell and taste were very complicated and messy, it got hard to tell what I was tasting… Different. Not different bad. But, I don’t know if I could say different good either. This beer tastes almost too like Thai curry to be enjoyable. I’m glad I tried it but I don’t know if I’ll ever want to drink it again.

Rating (out of 5):

Deschutes Brewery’s Jubelale

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From their site:

A dark, malty celebration ale with layered flavors and beautifully balanced hopping. Jubelale pours deep garnet in color, medium bodied, with notes of chicory, earth, spice and fruit. To beer lovers, it’s like Yule fire and family

From my notes:

brown, medium bubbled head and a dark coppery red color. Nuts and toast with malt on the nose. Toasted oats with earthy, bitter finish. Continue reading “Deschutes Brewery’s Jubelale”

New Belgium’s Pumpkick Fall Seasonal

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 From the bottle:

What’s that bite of tartness doing in a pumpkin beer? Adding the unexpected kick of cranberry juice to brighten this traditionally spiced seasonal ale. Pumpkick is brewed with plenty of pumpkin juice, cinnamon, nutmeg, and allspice, but it’s the cranberries and touch of lemongrass that send your tastebuds sailing

From my notes:

 Slightly cloudy amber color, thick tan head with very fine bubbles that quickly dissipated. The beer smells of cooked pumpkin with hints of cinnamon, no sweet on the nose. Refreshing mouthfeel, crisp. Sweet pumpkin, cinnamon, and nutmeg taste, light malts. Alcohol taste and burn on the finish.  Continue reading “New Belgium’s Pumpkick Fall Seasonal”