California Beer Festivals in 2010

California Beer Festival

San Francisco Beer Week returns for the second time, showcasing Bay Area brews. [GAMUT]

Every Christmas I receive a calendar from one of my friends. It is usually something, how do I put this kindly, strange. Nuns playing basketball, zombie-esque sock puppets or cute little kittens. Each year, I use that calendar exclusively for beer festivals and events. I wish I could travel to all of them. In fact, I probably only get to maybe 5%. But, the point is not to chase around the country on the lookout for craft beer festivals because there are just too many. I go through the list and mark which ones are must see, which ones can be skipped and which ones I would go to if I won the lottery. And that is what I will do for you; I will give you a schedule of California Beer festivals that you may want to attend. One caveat, since some events are not nailed down date wise, I am only looking six months into the future. So, break out the calendar you unwrapped this holiday and let’s pencil in some beer festivals.

Brewing Network Winter Brews Festival

The 1st annual Brewing Network Winter Brews Festival will be held at the newly opened Linden St. Brewery in Oakland and will pour a wide variety of winter warmers and unique beers from some of the best brewers in the Bay Area and beyond. With taps from breweries such as Russian River, Firestone Walker, the 21st Amendment, Speakeasy, Linden St., Moonlight Brewing, Magnolia, and many more.

Festivals in the first year generally have some kinks to work out but with the muscle of the Brewing Network behind it and the line-up makes this a TRY TO SEE event. Especially if you are a lover of the winter brews that fade away too quickly from us here in Southern California.

Where: Linden St. Brewery, 95 Linden St. Suite 7/8, Oakland CA. 94607
When: Saturday, January 30th, 1 – 8pm

Stone Winter Storm

This is a different style of festival. You can tell by the fact that it kicks off on Super Bowl Sunday and that they are pouring pretty much every Stone beer in existence. Vertical Epic from ’06. Check. Collaborative beers? Check. Daily surprise tappings? Check and check. One week and 32 taps of old standards and special releases. This is a MUST TRY event.

Where: Stone World Bistro 1999 Citracado Parkway, Escondido, CA 92029
When: February 7th through February 13th

San Francisco Beer Week

SF Beer Week 2009 had a daunting and impressive 155 different events, and SFBW10 is attempting to surpass that bounty. If you can’t find a beer you like at this tenth edition of SF Beer Week then you don’t like beer. This is a MUST TRY if you have the time and money to do it right.

Here are some recent additions from the SF Beer Week website:

  • Canned beer tasting and discussion with Uncommon Brewers at 515 in Santa Cruz
  • Beer and Chocolate event for Charity: Drake’s Brewing Co. and Bittersweet Chocolate Co. at Craneway Pavilion in Richmond
  • Lagunitas on tour: Lagunitas nights at Taps in Petaluma, The Sweet Spot in Santa Rosa, and The Toronado in SF
  • A Sierra Nevada night and an Anchor night at Pi Bar, with paired small plates
  • Meet the Brewers: Adam Lamoreaux of Linden Street Brewery at The Page, Rob Tod of Allagash Brewing Co. at The Trappist
  • Importer night at The Trappist: Vanberg and Dewulf showcase Dupont and Witkap beers
  • Home brewers Beerfest at Park Chalet, with expert panel, feedback, and home brewing demo

Where: all over San Francisco
When: February 5-13

Legendary Boonville Beer Festival

This is an outdoor festival held at the Mendocino County fairgrounds in the beautiful Anderson Valley which is the home of the brewery of the same name. This is the 14th year! Plan in advance for this one to get a good campsite and to get tickets. There are over 100 beers from around 50 breweries as well as food, music and merchandise. Plus it all goes to a good cause, local charities.

Depending on the weather and the crowd size this falls between a SKIP to GIVE IT A TRY.

Where: 16640-16652 CA-128, Boonville, California 95415
When: May 8th

Monterey Beer Festival

The Monterey Fairgrounds is the venue for the assortment of Central
Coast focused beer. You can sample varied styles of Ales, Lagers &
Ciders from 70+ breweries with hundreds of beers to taste. On hand will be the best of beer from around the world, including America, Belgium, Germany, England, France, Australia, Thailand, Italy, Asia, Ireland, Jamaica & California.

What sets this festival apart (aside from lovely Monterey) is the Short Pour Film Fest. This “first ever” Film Fest on the subject of Beer will take place during the Beer Festival. According to their website, the film fest event is free of charge to MBF ticket holders. Short Films from around the world will be judged (prior to the event) and the best entries will show on a large screen in the King City Building at the Monterey Fairgrounds. The films are 3 minutes in length or less and on the subject of BEER. Because of the short films and the relatively unheralded beers of the Central Coast,
I would make this a SHOULD TRY.

Where: Monterey Fairgrounds 2004 Fairgrounds Rd. Monterey, California
When: Saturday, June 5th 12:30 – 5:00 pm

Your homework for the week is to check out www.beerfestivals.org.
They have 218 festivals listed on their site from around the world.
Check out your vacation schedule or see if friends you know live next door to a festival. What’s better than a beer journey?

Beer of the week is Karl Strauss Full Suit Belgian Brown Ale. Now follow this ingredient list First it is a blend of brown and caramel malts, then fermented with a Belgian yeast strain. Rolled oats are then added during the mash to create a creamy mouth feel while Saaz hops were added for aroma. Then to top it off, Fullsuit was aged with French oak chips to contribute vanilla and woody flavors that match the slightly peppery character from the Belgian yeast.

Find more of Sean Inman’s writing on his blog, Beer Search Party.

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Sean Inman

Find more of Sean Inman’s writing on his blog, Beer Search Party.

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legendary boonville beer

[…] a … Pete, see you in Boonville. Posted on April 23rd, 2009 under Hopinions ¢ Tags: Beer …Food GPS California Beer Festivals in 2010Legendary Boonville Beer Festival. This is an outdoor festival held at the Mendocino … CA-128, […]

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