This is your final admonition from me to consider heading north to our State’s Capital and attending the California Craft Beer Summit in September. Just click the link HERE to see the long list of breweries that will be in attendance. I will wait here for you to scroll and scroll and scroll through it.
With a list this long, it is easy to be overwhelmed. You will be forgiven for not knowing where Susanville is or Rocklin or Rancho Cordova. All these cities will be represented during this massive festival. The best plan of attack is to plan how you will attack and then sticking close to that plan despite many temptations.
Here is the thought process behind my tasting trails through a festival:
Drink New – If you walk by a booth and don’t know the name of the brewery or the city, give it a whirl. You might find a diamond in the rough.
Drink NorCal – or just drink the State of Jefferson. Either way, see what the north of the state is brewing.
Drink by Style – Pick saison or pilsner (just not IPA, you don’t want to wreck your palate) and see how that style is interpreted from brewery to brewery.
As you walk the festival grounds, if you get asked what beers you liked, point out the great Los Angeles beers that make us proud.
The Beer of the Week is both a street and the ingredients. For their 20th Anniversary, Stone Brewing has a big and bright new Double IPA. Citracado is their street address in Escondido AND the beer has Citra hops and avoCADO honey as featured ingredients. You can buy the bomber now and shortly you will be able to get a four-pack that also includes their 5th, 10th and 15th anniversary IPAs.
Your week’s craft beer Homework is to go to the California Craft Beer Summit and NOT go to the beer festival but instead head to the Saturday seminars that will be taking place (you can always find a brewery in California and particularly in Sacramento nowadays). Sit in on talks about how to start a career in craft beer with hiring managers from Mikkeller and Russian River Brewing providing expertise or wake up with Julian Shrago of Beachwood Brewing and Jeff Duggan of Portola Coffee Lab to learn about how they team up beer and coffee. Those are just two of the learning opportunities available.
Find more of Sean Inman’s writing on his blog, Beer Search Party.