Self Serve Beer? Out of this world…

 

 

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It was the weekend before school started for the mini Bier-people so what does any beer loving mom do? She decided it was time to go down to the new neighborhood of beer, Torrance. Have you been down there? Do you like beer? Then you should. In a few blocks radius you can visit Cosmic Brewery http://www.cosmicbrewery.com, The Dudes Brewing http://www.thedudesbrew.com, Monkish http://www.monkishbrewing.com, Strand Brewing http://www.strandbrewing.com , Absolution Brewing http://www.absolutionbrewingcompany.com and Smog City http://www.smogcitybrewing.com .

All those in one area? That is totally worth a trip down there if you aren’t a local to the area.

IMG_3498We went specifically to visit our friends at Cosmic Brewery.

 

I have personally loved them since my first sip of Cosmonaut. IMG_3485  Sigh. Yum.

http://www.cosmicbrewery.com/cosmonaut.html.  I found Cosmic at a Beerfest a few years back and they were my brewery to watch. And I was right!  I mean aside from their incredible, brand and labels and super good beer, NOW they have a tasting room..that has self serve taps. Yes! Just like Yogurtland but with beer. Cool right?

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Its very easy to use, just give the bartender or bartendress on duty your ATM or Credit Card (they slide your card but don’t charge it just to link your name to a tasting card) and they give you a cool Cosmic card. You take that card over to the taps and slide it in above the tap where the description of the beer is. Then pour. You can pour a sip, a flight or a pint and just be charged what you pour!

 

So if you aren’t totally sure about a beer you have never tried you literally can try a sip and pay for a sip!

When you return your card at the end of your drinking they charge you for only what you poured/drank.

 

The tasting room is great! Plenty of tables, cool music playing, free popcorn, well behaved kid friendly, and there’s always a food truck not far away.

When we were there we found this bachelor party. IMG_3511 Kind of a genius way to spend the day considering you can walk to other tasting rooms and not even have to worry about getting an Uber. Its sort of like going to Solvang and walking from wine tasting room to tasting room but with BEER!

If you aren’t familiar with their beers you should be! Their Hellhound BrownIMG_3476 and Bag Pipe Ale (Scottish Wee Heavy) are awesome, and we got a sneak taste of the Tulips on my Organ (Farmhouse Saison).

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My husband Mr Beerman who is quite the Saison drinker said it was fantastic.

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And I who am not a fan of the Saison even found it really tasty. They have many more beers on the way and told me they are ready to add another row of taps!

I encourage everyone to head down to visit the new tasting room. You are going to want to make friends with Chris and Sabrina

before they blow up even more… they are going to be huge and you (and I) can say we knew them when they first opened. Cheers!

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Cosmic Brewery is located: 20316 Gramercy Pl. Torrance, CA 90501 (424)259-2337

Follow them on Twitter: @CosmicAles

Like them on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/cosmicales

 

Tasting Room Hours

SOFT OPENING HOURS

Monday Closed

Tuesday Closed

Wednesday Closed

Thursday Closed

Friday 3-9pm

Saturday 12-10pm

Sunday 12-6pm

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5th Annual LA Vegan Beerfest

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What is the 5th Annual LA Vegan Beerfest? It’s a different festival than Mr. Beerman and I are used to going to. This one has so much more than just beer. It’s a festival with over 40 breweries and just as many Vegan Food Truck/ booths and if that wasn’t enough why not throw in some incredible live music!
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I love that a festival that has become so popular was really just the idea between 3 buddies, Nic Adler of the Roxy, Tony Yanow of Tony’s Darts Away and Quarry Girl, an infamous blogger who is one of Southern California’s most famous sources of information on vegan food. So they thought, huh we love beer, music and vegan food..I have an idea…and five festivals later here we are. IMG_4958

I went to this festival last year and had a great time. This year I wondered if it could match the greatness. I saw the fest sold out much quicker than before. Word was out..this was the place to be if you are Vegan…or love beer…or Both!

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Initially yes it was more crowded. I did wait in line about a half hour to get in the doors. But the thing is from a beer standpoint this festival is different than the others I attend. There isn’t that ticking clock on your head like you have to get in there when it starts cause you only have 180 minutes to make it through hoards of people to taste new beers. This beerfest is far more mellow.IMG_4987 There was never a line for a beer (well one but that’s coming up in my review)..you just sort of hung out got a beer when yours was empty. You could bring chairs and blankets to sit on to enjoy the bands. It was more of an all around festival as opposed to a race to drink.

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As the day wore in it got more and more crowded for sure. But I have to say I never ever felt uncomfortable. The crowds were there, but I always had a beer in hand. I got the food I wanted. I could hear the bands from everywhere. Looking back on our pictures I think “dude there was a crap load of people there”. But just never felt that way at all.

Now I must be forthcoming in the fact that I am not Vegan, I do have many Vegan friends and was even with one at the fest. So I can’t talk too much about the food. But I will say my friend John who is Vegan and my friend Jason who is a vegetarian were over run with glee over the sheer amount of choices. I mean in ONE place you could get food from:

Food Vendors
Beyond Meat Truck | fb.com/beyondmeat | @beyondmeat | IG: beyondmeat
Amanda’s Bakery | Facebook | @AmandasBakeCafe
Azla Vegan | fb.com/AzlaEthiopianVegan | @AZLAvegan | IG: azlavegan
Bramble Bake Shop | fb.com/bramblebakeshop | @mielmonster | IG: mielbramble
Cafe Gratitude | fb.com/cafegratitudela | @cafegratitudela | @cafegratitudeVB
Chicago Vegan Foods | fb.com/ChicagoVeganFoods | @ChiVeganFoods | IG: chicagoveganfoods
Crossroads Kitchen | fb.com/crossroadskitchen | @crossroads8284 | IG: crossroads8284
Doomies | fb.com/doomieshomecookin | @Doomies | IG: doomies
Follow Your Heart | fb.com/FYHProducts | @FollowYourHeart | IG: fyhproducts
Golden Road Pub | fb.com/goldenroadbrew | @goldenroadpub | IG: goldenroadpub
Gracias Madre | fb.com/GraciasMadreWeHo | @GMWeHo | IG: gmweho
Grilled Cheese Truck | fb.com/grilledcheesetruck | @grlldcheesetruk
Guru Tacos | Facebook | @gurutacos
Ihsan’s Falafel | fb.com/ihsansfalafel | IG: ihsansfalafel
Kind Kreme | fb.com/kindkreme | @kindkreme | IG: kindkreme
M Cafe de Chaya | fb.com/welovemcafe | @WeLoveMCafe
Mamas Hot Tamales | @MamasHotTamales
Mandoline Grill | fb.com/MandolineGrill | @MandolineGrill | IG: MandolineGrill
Mohawk Bend | fb.com/mohawkLA | @MohawkLA | IG: mohawkla
Pepples Donuts | Facebook | @vegan_donuts
Plant Food For People | Facebook | @plantfoodforppl
Rabbit Hole Cafe | fb.com/rabbitholecafe | IG: TheRabbitHoleOfficial
Real Food Daily | fb.com/realfooddaily | @realfooddaily | IG: officialRFD
Sage Vegan Bistro | fb.com/sagevegan | @SageVegan | IG: thekindsage
Seabirds Truck | fb.com/SeabirdsTruck | @SeabirdsTruck
Shojin | fb.com/theshojin | @shojinlove
Southern Fried Vegan BBQ | fb.com/SouthernFriedVegan | @sfvbbq
The Frankenstand | fb.com/TheFrankenstand | @TheFrankenStand
Tony’s Darts Away | fb.com/tonysdartsaway | @tonysdartsaway
Tuning Fork Gastropub | fb.com/tuningforkgastropub | @TuningForkLA
Waiakea | fb.com/waiakea | @waiakea | IG: waiakea

And I am surely not opposed to Vegan food so when in Rome….IMG_5035I tried a Doughnut from Pebbles Donuts…Blueberry goodness! Mr. Beerman had chocolate chocolate our friends had the caramel apple….really good stuff!IMG_5036

I also stopped at the Mohawk Bend Booth http://mohawk.la/ cause dammit if you haven’t had Tony’s Darts Away http://tonysda.com/or Mowhawk Bend Potato Chips, just seriously stop what you are doing right now…I’ll wait…go get them. Seriously I don’t know what they do to create these chips but every time I am at those bars I get them, so I couldn’t walk past the booth without some!

Someone in line behind me had a Vegan “Big Mac” and I apologize for not knowing who was serving those but damn it was the best smelling plate of food of the day! WOW!
And Sage Vegan Bistro created these vegan nachos and buffalo cauliflower.
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Okay now on to what I know! Beer! So being the Self Proclaimed Queen of Session Beers I was so happy to see that the breweries brought their best sessions. Even the IPAS were low in ABV.

There were a few out there that were higher and I need to take a moment to call out Bravery Brewing who in my mind had the best NON SESSION there. Old Rat: english style old ale 9.0% abv/55 ibu. http://www.braverybrewing.com/beers.html This was a smooth smooth beer, this beer could get you in some trouble, you just couldn’t tell it was stronger than a 5%. Well done!

Some other call outs of the festival:

IMG_4966First and foremost hands down the LONGEST line at the fest was ACE CIDER. Granted it was a Vegan fest and this was the only cider there, but I don’t think that was it. http://www.acecider.com/ I think it was their new cider, PINEAPPLE. Oh man. I have been chasing this one down. I love pineapple in any form. Bucket List checked when I went to the Dole Plantation last November. And some other alcohols have attempted the flavor. Hey I love flavored vodkas I always order my lucky Blueberry Stoli and Tonic at a blackjack table in Vegas. Okay it was lucky once a night I won $900 and I have been chasing that dream ever since with that drink. (The first step is admitting you have a problem)…but usually the flavored vodkas miss the mark with actually tasting like the fruit. They are almost synthetic tasting. Which explains why Fruit Loop Vodka from Three Olives tastes exactly like Fruit Loops. True story. I was at a wrap party for a TV show being sponsored by Three Olives it was there, I tried it, I liked it, stop judging.

Back to the Ace Cider, the pineapple was so good that the entire group I was with all looked at one another and said “well we are going to need some backyard pitchers of this, this summer”. Just back up a palette of bottles into my car.
They also had their Pear. A very refreshing cider as well. Some ciders are just too sweet, but the Pear was great. The Pineapple however, rated my very first FIVE STARS on Untappd.Untappd_logo And I wasn’t alone. This line was off the hook but we stood in it three times. It was that good. They are slowly releasing these bottles of summer goodness. So keep an eye out.

IMG_5008My favorite Figueroa Mountain Brewing was there! Oh Figmtn http://www.figmtnbrew.com/ you never let me down. I have since this weekend become a big fan of their BIG CONE, it’s a Black Ale, and 6.8%. Normally Black Lagers and Ales sort of mess with me. I don’t know if it’s color. Not that I don’t love a good stout or porter, but that’s it. My mind is expecting a thicker, creamer taste. And to be honest most are just “meh” to me. But this is a great beer! Well done again Fig Mtn! Keep making beers….we’ll keep drinking them!!IMG_5009

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Another brewery that never lets you down is Firestone.http://www.firestonebeer.com/home.php How freaking smart were they to bring not one but TWO kegs of their 805 Blonde.

I have spoke of this beer before. Its light but super tasty. You drink Bud or Coors, but want a better tasting craft brew? Its your session beer this summer. And I kinda loved the man serving the beer who told me he hit 1000 beers on Untappd in 6 months. IMG_4968(I need to go to more festivals).

Eagle Rock BreweryIMG_5064, http://eaglerockbrewery.com/main said it once I will say it over and over. They know what they are doing. They brought my favorite XPA Revolution. If you want to start drinking IPAS but they are still too “strong” or “hoppy” for you…let this be your gateway beer.

IMG_5051Angel City Brewery http://angelcitybrewery.com/ brought their Goldline Pilsner 5.6% and Angeleno IPA, 6.1% both super good, session and they win for having the nicest server at the fest! IMG_5053

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Golden Road Brewery http://www.goldenroad.la/ didn’t forget how much we LOVED the Almond Milk Stout 5.6% from last year so they brought it back again! Yay!! Thank you!

So good.IMG_5038

So my two call outs for this festival were

IMG_4978 Bootleggers Brewery http://www.bootleggersbrewery.com/?page_id=32.
Palomino Pale Ale – 5.5% ABV, 19.5 IBU
Borrowing from their website:
“Palomino Pale Ale is our interpretation of an American style Pale Ale. We brew this beer using only the finest American barley and hops and add even more hops as it ages to give it a great balanced citrusy taste and aroma. This beer is sure to please anyone who enjoys the refreshing taste of American hops without the bite of an IPA.”
IMG_4979And their
Rustic Rye IPA – 6.2% ABV, 90.9 IBU
“Our Rustic Rye IPA balances the malted barley and spicy rye grains with a floral and earthy hop flavor and aroma. The maltiness of this beer is balanced with its finish of a crisp, clean hop bite. The combination makes for a truly memorable and refreshing beer.”

Both of these beers have been around a few years now but I have somehow missed them. Both score high points on my tasty and very session. I lean toward the Pale Ale as I love a good 19.5 units of bitter (remember from my last blog) but both were great finds!

And my favorite Brewery of the fest, while I must admit I had a head start on this one as they had a week prior done a Tap Take Over at Story Tavern, http://www.storytavernburbank.com/ isIMG_5056 Speakeasy Ales & Lagers out of San Fran. fb.com/speakeasybeer I sort of fell in LOVE with their Scarlett Red Rye. But they had like 8 beers at Story and they were all the MOST DRINKABLE beers I have had. All session, all great. At the festival they had Betrayal an American Strong Ale 8.2% but really smooth and tasty not a session but would be fantastic with dinner and Big Daddy an IPA at 6.5% also super drinkable. Find Speakeasy you will thank me later.

Breweries at the Fest included

Abigaile | fb.com/TheBreweryatAbigaile | @abigaile

Ace Cider | fb.com/AceCider | @AceCider | IG: acecider

Anchor | fb.com/anchorbrewing | @anchorbrewing | IG: anchorbrewing

Angel City Brewery | fb.com/AngelCityBrewery | @AngelCityBrewery | IG: angelcitybeer

Automatic Brewing Co. | Facebook | @AutomaticBrewCo

Anderson Valley Brewing Co. | fb.com/AndersonValleyBrewingCompany | @avbc | IG: andersonvalleybrewing

Ballast Point | fb.com/BallastPoint | @BPbrewing | IG: ballastpointbrewing

Bison | fb.com/Bison | @bisonbrew | IG: bisonbrew

Bootleggers Brewery | fb.com/bootleggersbrewery | @BootleggersBrew | IG: bootleggersbrew

Bravery Brewing | fb.com/braverybrewing | @braverybrewing | IG: braverybrewing

Deschutes Brewery | fb.com/deschutesbrewery | @DeschutesBeer | IG: deschutesbeer

Drake’s | fb.com/drakesbrewing | @drakesbrewery | IG: drakesbrewery

Eagle Rock | fb.com/eaglerockbrewery | @eaglerockbrew | IG: eaglerockbrew

El Segundo Brewing Co. | fb.com/ElSegundoBrewingCo | @ESBCBrews

Epic Brewing | fb.com/epicbrewingco | @epicbrewing

Faction | fb.com/factionbrewing | @factionbrewing | IG: factionbrewing

Figueroa Mountain | fb.com/figueroamountainbrewing | @figmtnbrew | IG: figmtnbrew

Fireman’s Brew | fb.com/firemansbrew | @firemansbrew | IG: firemansbrew

Firestone Walker Brewing Co. | fb.com/firestone.walker | @firestonewalker | IG: firestonewalker

Golden Road | fb.com/goldenroadbrew | @goldenroadbrew | IG: goldenroadbrew

Hangar 24 | fb.com/hangar24brewery | @hangar24brewery | IG: hangar24brewery

Karl Strauss | fb.com/KarlStraussBrewingCompany | @karl_strauss | IG: karl_strauss

Lagunitas | fb.com/lagunitasbrewingco | @lagunitasbeer | IG: lagunitasbeer

Kinetic | fb.com/kineticbrewing | @kineticbrewing | IG: kineticbrewing

Modern Times | fb.com/ModernTimesIsYourFriend | @moderntimesbeer | IG: moderntimesbeer

Monkish Brewing | fb.com/monkishbrewing | @monkishbrewing | IG: monkishbrewing

New Belgium | fb.com/newbelgium | @newbelgium | IG: newbelgium

Noble Ale Works | fb.com/noblealeworks | @noblealeworks | IG: noblealeworks

North Coast Brewing | fb.com/northcoastbrewingcompany | @NoCoastBrewCo

Ohana | fb.com/ohanabrew | @ohanabrew | IG: ohanabrew

Omission | fb.com/omissionbeer | @omissionbeer

Oskar Blues | fb.com/oskarbluesCANS | @oskarblues | IG: oskarblues

Pizza Port | fb.com/pizzaportOB | @pizzaportOB | IG: pizzaport

Saint Archer | Facebook | @saintarcherbrew | IG: saintarcherbrew

Sierra Nevada | fb.com/sierranevadabeer | @sierranevada

Smog City Brewing | fb.com/smogcitybrewing | @smogcitybeer | IG: smogcitybeer

Speakeasy | fb.com/speakeasybeer | @speakeasybeer | IG: speakeasybeer

Surf Brewery | fb.com/surfbrewery | @surfbrewery | IG: surfbrewery

Wolf Creek | fb.com/wolfcreekbrewery | @wolfcreekbrew | IG: wolfcreekbrewery

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All the bands were so fantastic! What a great addition to any Beerfest!

Bands
He’s My Brother, She’s My Sister | fb.com/hesmybrothershesmysister | @HMBSMS | YouTube | Myspace | Soundcloud
Fathers & Suns | fb.com/fathersandsuns | IG: sunfat | Soundcloud
Heaps n’ Heaps | fb.com/heapsnheapsmusic | @heapsnheaps | IG: heapsnheaps | SoundCloud
Megan Jacobs | fb.com/meganjmusic | @megan_jacobs | IG: oldsol | Soundcloud
The Battlefield | fb.com/wearethebattlefield | @_thebattlefield | IG: wearethebattlefield
Jimmy Lovato

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One of my favorite booths ever was present at the festival! WRECK CHECK. They were there to provide “free blows” to anyone who wanted to see how much they have had to drink.

Look I take cabs everywhere we are drinking. Sure I am more responsible now in my …ahem not 20s then I was when I was in my 20s. But Im guessing if there was a DUI Breathalyzer test at some of the bars I frequented early on in my drinking life I may not have driven home EVER.

Granted the technology is not always 100%. If I had a big gulp of a 9% IPA and blew I would blow off the charts. But in general it’s pretty accurate. We visited their booth pretty early on after just a few of the tasters and I blew a 0.089 Not crazy. Not tragic. Not even feeling drunk. But you know what? That is above the LEGAL limit to drink and drive. And I wouldn’t have known that.IMG_5022

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End of day a $20-40 cab ride to an all day festival is a small price to pay in comparison to a $12000 DUI. And the $12k you will end up spending is the best case scenario. That’s if you don’t hurt anyone. You probably paid for parking somewhere anyway. Be safe just don’t ever ever drink and drive.

There are so many options out there. Taxis which we use all the time Thank you Taxi Magic LA https://taximagic.com/en_US (Taxi Magic app makes it absurdly easy to get a cab get home and click to pay. Um…its an app for the drunkest of fest goers), Uber, https://www.uber.com/ or Side Car http://www.side.cr/.

When we were waiting in line to get in I saw so many of these cars and cabs dropping off fest goers. I was so happy. So thanks Wreck Check for making everyone more aware that a few of those little tasters is a few too many to drive home! https://www.facebook.com/WreckCheck

There was also fun chalk art,IMG_5049 and the snap it booth, and they were selling great merch this year. So many things were there I didn’t even get a chance to take pictures of all of it. But the good news is you can follow them on twitter @veganbeerfest and #veganbeerfest and see pictures from everyone who was there!

My final call out was to maybe the greatest part of the festival…the Fans that blew water.IMG_4992 No I mean literally the fans that provided spritzing and cooling off to those of us coming off a 100 degree week in LA. Mother Nature was kind enough to cool it down a bit, but still 80 degrees in a big lot in the middle of Hollywood gets hot. So thank you fans. Thank you for being there.IMG_4994

Another most successful LA VEGAN BEERFEST for sure! Thank you Nic, Tony, and Quarry Girl for coming up with this brain child. Its pretty genius!

IMG_4975Until next year!

PS you all saw this right? I know I was drinking so just making sure….IMG_5054

LA BEERFEST 2014

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Its April you know what that means? Beerfest Season has begun! There are several Fests over the next few weeks to take note of but drinkeatplay’s (you know the folks who brought you the 80s Prom, The Gatsby party, and the LA Bacon festival!) LA Beerfest http://www.drinkeatplay.com/labeerfest/ was the first Mr Beerman and I ever went to and it’s become an annual tradition! If you don’t know about the fest you need to mark your calendars now for next year. It’s always in April and it’s only $40 for 3 hours of partaking in over 80 breweries best beers! 85 in fact!!
This year was the 6th annual LA Beer Festival and in their words it “brings together dozens of craft breweries, food trucks, live music and DJs, as well as thousands of attendees”. The Fest has two sessions, from noon to 3pm and 5pm to 8pm.

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This year the location changed from the Paramount back lot. I won’t lie. I saw the map they posted and I lamented over it as I was stringing up pretzels for necklaces.IMG_3531 It looks squishy. I was nervous. But low and behold it was the best year yet!

The music is pumping as well as some fists (age ranges from 21- gosh I should find the oldest attendee next year) as you make friends and drink some beers. IMG_3533IMG_3618I love the attendees at Beerfest. At least the 12-3 slot has some of the friendliest folks you’ll ever meet. We happened to be with friends wearing Lederhosen so it was like we were with Disneyland characters. IMG_3565They took pics with fellow beer drinker, we shared pretzels from our necklaces, and I found chivalry wasn’t dead even in the bathroom lines. Thank you dude I don’t know for letting me go first.

I started my Bierlady blog after last year’s fest. In that year I have probably tried, drank, enjoyed, not enjoyed, but drank a beer from most of the 85 breweries. So I wasn’t really on a mission to drink it all. I was on a mission to find a great session beer with summer approaching, find a great new Red, and to find a brewery I have not tried but found awesome. And I did!

So first off I have to mention an app called UntappdUntappd_logo https://untappd.com/ If you are a beer drinker, or just have trouble remembering the day after what you drank you should get this free app on your smart phone. It allows you to check into the beer you are drinking rate it, take a pic, write a tweet, toast a friend who’s also has the app or just store it so you remember what you had and if you liked it you can find it again. So I tried. Oh readers, I tried to check into every beer. But the sun was bright, you know how hard an Iphone is to read under the light of the blinding sun. So I tried and failed to check into all my beers. Probably for the best considering my Untappd is linked to my twitter (shameless plug please follow me @thebierlady) so if you didn’t know I was at a Beerfest it probably just looked like I was on a bender.

Let’s start out with some old favorites. I mean the guys who NEVER let you down. My current favorite brewery is Figueroa Mountain http://www.figmtnbrew.com. They are really fantastic. You can find their big bottles at some smaller liquor stores, or if you don’t want to go far they are at your local Bev Mo. I won’t digress too far on topic as I have blogged about their greatness before. Just saying they didn’t disappoint. The best part ofIMG_3601 FigMtn is they are brewing every kind of beer, not just the CA trend of IPAs. They DO a great IPA. In fact their Hoppy Poppy is one I can drink. Their Bag of Cats melds IPA and that old fashioned “bread” taste of your dads beer. But today I will mention their RED! http://www.figmtnbrew.com/our-beers/#danish-red-lager Their Danish Red is an award winner. Gold Medal at the 2011 and 2012 Los Angeles International BeerFestival. If you can find them on draft at a bar do it. If you can take a trip up to Buellton even better. Screw the wine, go get a beer!

Next up for our Summer outside Drinking needs the tried and true Firestone Walker Brewing Company.IMG_3600 http://www.firestonebeer.com/ These guys have gotten pretty big over the past few years but they have stayed pretty true to their recipes. I have to take my hat off (if I were wearing one) to their 805 Blonde.IMG_3602 For all you who can’t hand over your Coors or Budweiser, first of all what’s wrong with you? There is a time and place for Bud and if you are reading my blog you are not bowling, so if you want a really tasty clean crisp low alcohol, I could drink this for hours in my backyard beer: This is your beer! 805 Blonde! 805

I was giddy with anticipation to try ACE Ciders Pineapple. http://www.acecider.com/ I wondered if they would be there and they were! But insert SAD TROMBONE here when I got to their tent it was gone! Empty!IMG_3633 With an hour left of the fest! But the very nice ACE server assured me I could find it in So Cal in June. Which is pretty much just in time for summer BBQs.

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I was super happy to see Old Orange Brewing http://oldorangebrewing.com/. I found these guys at the Bev Mo Holiday Beerfest back in December, and they were still great! Find them. Not only great beers, but really cool labels. So even if you don’t know beer makes a good gift for a friend who does!

Beachwood BBQ & Brewing! http://beachwoodbbq.com/brewery.html I remembered them from last year’s festival and since we have found them bottled at our local liquor store (that has everything) Vendome in Toluca Lake http://www.vendometolucalake.com/.
IMG_3556Man these guys are good. I have to shout out to their RED as well. Knucklehead Red was I dare say one of my top beers at the festival. GREAT mix of an amber and a red. Only 5.7%. If you can find it get it. It will not disappoint you!

Ok on to the new…
I found IMG_3552Wiens Brewery out of Temecula http://www.wiensbrewing.com/. Not only really really nice people but a great Lager! I tried their Front Street Lager at 4.9% fits the bill as a great session beer, nice crisp lager. Great BBQ beer!

I think the BIGGEST find of the festival at least for me wasIMG_3581 COSMIC ALES http://www.cosmicbrewery.com/Home_Planet.html Nothing makes me happier than to find session beers with flavor. These were FANTASTIC. All of them. And look at the variety. Kudos to brewers who aren’t afraid to make a great blonde, brown, porter, Belgium. IMG_3580

Look Im not anti IPA if its good I will shout it out. But they don’t ALL have to be IPAs. If you can do all the different kinds of beer out there with flavor and Yah…. I will mention it…. some pretty awesome bottling, then you have my attention.

*Note the Bierlady is here to find folks who are afraid of craft beers new beers to try. So if you love your Pilny the Elder Im not here to poo poo that. More power to you. But Im reaching out to the folks who ….dammit are you still drinking that Coors when I told you to put it down? So for YOU guys, at the Yard house about to order another Bud Light. STOP! There are great beers out there that wont scare you!

Back to Cosmic.photo 1 Again I love when booth folks are friendly and happy to share their beers with pride. Im excited for these guys to grow. I think they are ones to watch!

Some other beers I drink at home but found their booths worth mentioning:
Goose Island http://www.gooseisland.com/ out of Chicago they have some great beers.IMG_3620 I’m fan of their Honkers ale. It’s a tasty beer and really with a goose on it and called Honkers how could it not be good?

It wouldn’t be a beer blog from me if I didn’t mention Kona Brewing http://konabrewingco.com/. I know I know, not California and bought out by the big guys. But they too have really done a good job sticking to their brewing recipes. I guarantee. No really money back guarantee on this one. If you want a good beer and you normally drink the grocery store ones that have been around forever get a Kona Longboard. You can find them anywhere, right next to that beer you are about to buy. Yes they are more expensive but they are worth it.IMG_3612

I didn’t get to everyone thank goodness LA Vegan Beerfest is in 6 weeks. http://www.veganbeerfest.com/
I missed some of my favorites like Surf Brewery in Ventura, http://surfbrewery.com/beer.html Ballast Point who does Sculpin IPA that is delicious and will put you on your ass after a few. Shes says having been there. http://www.ballastpoint.com/beers/year-round/.

And my local, so local I could almost walk Golden Road Brewing http://www.goldenroad.la/golden . This is hands down the most fun place to drink! They know their IPAs. I promise to find you at the Veganfest!

So in summary the Beers to Find before your first Summer BBQ.

#5 Wiens Brewery http://www.wiensbrewing.com/ Great Lager, excited to try more from them, Local CA Beer!
#4 Firestone Walker http://www.firestonebeer.com/home.php, they don’t disappoint from Double IPAs to their Blonde they’re a great brewery.
#3 Figueroa Mountain http://www.figmtnbrew.com/, Dad and Son Brew team, how great is that. Some of THE BEST Craft brew out there. Run don’t walk to Buellton.
#2 Beachwood BBQ & Brewing, http://beachwoodbbq.com/brewery.html, stood out for me in every festival. This BBQ place knows how to brew!
#1 Cosmic Ales http://www.cosmicbrewery.com/Cosmonaut.html, the one to watch. They are out of the gate strong and I think they’re gonna blow up.

I feel I have to include this. I don’t know where we got it. It was in Mr Beermans pocket when we got home. Im sad I didn’t see them. But these folks win for something. The branding is outstanding, sorry I can’t say for sure what they tasted like. I love this though! photo

Special Shout out thank you to our friend Wendy who normally runs a doggie daycare https://dogvacay.com/pro/wendyandriggins but took care of our “puppiesGs all day so I could have the ever important #Mom/Bierlady balance. If you want THE BEST PLACE to leave your dog when you need to she is your gal!

Always remember to drink responsibly! We took UBER https://www.uber.com/ there and Taxi Magic https://taximagic.com/en_US home! NEVER EVER Drink and Drive!

Excellent work DRINKEATPLAY! Thank you again for one of the best Festivals of Beer around!

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LA HOLIDAY BEERFEST

IMG_4822’twas the night before Beerfest
And all through the house
My husband and I prepped with a lil Karl Strauss
The beers would be plenty
Over 200 to be shared
Wonder if we can try them all- yes we’ve been dared
Challenge Accepted yelled Mr Beerman as the taxi arrived
Wondering which beer to start with
would we make it out alive?

The Fest was held at Golden Road
Great CA Craft Brew to be sure,
Sponsored by Bev Mo also part of the lure

Wont lie I loved the Woodchuck Cider the best
but who doesn’t love a sake bomb
Hand tap to my chest
There was chocolate and hazelnut
a ginger beer to make a Mule,
The place was so festive, full of lots of good yule!

The day was joyful with many of our friend
After 4 hours we were sad for Holiday Beerfest to End.


The day was December 7th and a team of 6 of us headed to our first ever Holiday Beerfest in LA. The event was held at Golden Road Brewery http://www.goldenroad.la/. IMG_4828I have mentioned them in past blogs as they are one of my favorite places to go. Not only do we get to have great beer, but we can bring the kids. This particular journey there was kid free though. As they were sponsored by Bev Mo and promised 200+ Beers.

The thing I immediately noticed about this fest was that it was not just CA Craft Beers, there were a good amount of them, some I hadn’t tried yet, but they had beers from all over the country and the world. That made for some good tasting! IMG_1479

I can’t talk about every beer I tried, because quite frankly toward the end I don’t know what I tried…it was four hours stop judging. But I will point out some I think are musts for not only the holiday season but in general.

So the Bierlady has been on a bit of a Cider kick these days. Not sure why. Cider technically isn’t beer, but I can’t change my name, so indulge me. A friend of mine gave me a mixed 6pk of beer for my birthday and in it I found a Woodchuck Cider. I had seen them before but never tried them. What a delicious Cider.http://www.woodchuck.com/ They are up there on my list of favorites with Crispin http://crispincider.com/ and Ace’s Pumpkin. http://www.acecider.com/about/ace-ciders/ace-pumpkin-cider/Both also represented at the Fest. IMG_1447
I tried several of their Ciders. They brought several of their ciders for tasting. 802 “A drier Woodchuck. Its made with caramelized sugar to tone down the sweetness a bit and give it its bronze color”, Granny Smith “Made from only Granny Smith apples”, Amber “The original” and a Brewers choice. Now they had the Winter Series Woodchuck and I think it was my favorite taste of the day. It had a vanilla after taste that made it so different and super holiday just really delicious!

wood I’ll be looking for that one today! They also had 2 from their Cellar Series a Smoked Apple “Apple pomace is smoked using a blend of maple and applewood chips. Our original small batch hard cider is run through the smoked pomace. The result is a full-bodied deep amber cider. Strong crisp apple notes with hints of vanilla are balanced on an applewood smoked backdrop.” And their Dry Hopped, “Woodchuck Dry Hop is the first cider in our new Cellar Series line.IMG_1459 Infused with hops, Woodchuck Dry Hop brings a new unique flavor to the cider category and it represents our dedication to pushing innovation in hard cider.” Both of these were really unique and tasty. I don’t think I could drink a pint of the Smoked apple but it would be awesome to cook with. I will for sure try a turkey in that! The guys at Woodchuck were super nice too! IMG_1458 And pointed out that their Ciders are Gluten free for those looking!

Speaking of Gluten free, this review goes out to my friends who are looking. Now I love a beer that really tastes like bread. Ive mentioned some in the past Fig Mtn’s Oktoberfest, New Belgium’s Blue Paddle…. Now I don’t want a gluten free beer, I can eat a loaf of bread with the best of them. Bring on the Garlic buns, wheres the crossiants, but if you are looking I found this lager to be really tasty. Lammsbrau from Germany is about as close as you can get to “real Beer” taste when you are Gluten Free. http://lammsbraeu.com/ IMG_1452

A beer that both Mr. Beerman and I took note of was Chocolate Box Oatmeal Stout. IMG_1426 From Asskisser Ales http://asskisserales.com/beer.php. I don’t know it this was a special brew cause I can’t find it on their site, but did find this: http://www.ratebeer.com/beer/ass-kisser-chocolate-box-dark-oatmeal-stout/184389/ Normally I don’t buy into the chocolate beer. I find it a bit gimmicky and can’t find one that’s really good. THIS IS REALLY GOOD. So good we went back after we did a round about the fest and it was already gone. I would also note that if you mixed this with Rogue Ales, Hazelnut http://www.rogue.com/beers/hazelnut-brown.php That could be one of the best dessert beers of all time!

Here was a find! I thought there wasn’t a CA Craft beer I didn’t know about or have tried, but these guys were new to me and SO nice. Old Orange Brewing out of Orange, CA http://oldorangebrewing.com/Old_Orange_Brewery_Beer.htm. I tried their Backseat Blonde and their Rumplestilskin Irish Red ale and they were fantastic! IMG_1478The super nice lady who was sharing the tastes was the brewers sister. She said they are a small company but getting out there. I encourage you all to look for them. Not only to support CA beers, but they are just a damn good beer. I look forward to trying their other beers!

I can’t not talk about the Sake Bomb.IMG_1467 IMG_1465 That was one of my favorite parts of the day. Bev Mo sells a Sake Bomb kit for about $12 and it wasn’t that bad. I mean if you have been to Tokyo Delves in No Ho you know a sake bomb doesn’t have to be the best quality to be way fun. This was tasty and cute and I think a great gift! http://bushibomb.com/home

I have to give a shout out to Widmer Brothers, IMG_1448out of Portland, also the home of my favorite Kona (they distribute for Hawaii). They were representing a few of their good ones. Including a Bourbon Barrel aged cider that was really smooth. http://widmerbrothers.com/beer/#barrel-aged-brrrbon-11 And just a quick shout for the Pipeline Porter from Kona. Kona you never let me down!IMG_1449

Mr Beerman wanted me to mention Ballast Points Indra Kunindra a India inspired stout. Lots of cumin, curry, coconut flavors. Again not a beer he could drink pints of, but it was interesting and yummy enough to mention. I bet it would make for good cooking!!IMG_4798

I would be remiss if I didn’t mention Taxi Magic for providing everyone (I hope) safe rides from the event. IMG_4824IMG_4823IMG_4781And Wreck Check. I love these guys! Hands down the most fun at the event! They let us BLOW anytime we wanted to check our alcohol level. SO fun. And puts things in perspective. We may have been yelling “blow blow blow”!! and the crowd cheered everyone on. But I hope it once again proved, 1 beer or 200 call a taxi, use an app, share a ride. It’s the right thing to do, for your safety and everyone else on the road.http://wreckcheck.me/

Oh my gosh there were so many good beers there. I bet I will have a follow up blog once I finish going through all my notes. I have to go wrap some Santa gifts, and you know have the Bierlady/Mom balance going on… But I have to give a final shout out to Golden Road Brewery IMG_1464 for not only hosting but providing their delicious brews. My favorite this time was their Surfliner, very coffee tasting, very tasty. IMG_1432If you haven’t been to Golden Road you should go. Not only do they have great folks working there, CRAZY NICE owners, and good beer, but you can bring friends, or family or just yourself and enjoy a beer outside or in. AND they have a cool tour of the brewery… What Bierlady did you go on the tour? I did. I wont lie it was about 3 hours into the fest. So I remember….some things…but I will say we took a lot of excellent pictures! So stay tuned. Next blog…the inside of a brewery.

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My Christmas gift to you…I would 100% recommend this fest for you all to attend next year! Great fun, 4 hours, unlimited pours, $45. The gift that keeps on giving!!

LOS ANGELES VEGAN BEER FEST

Sorry the blog on the LA Vegan Beerfest took a few days to come out. Let’s just say it was a rough weekend of recouping. Remember when we were 22 and could go out til 4am come home sleep 2 hours get up shower and go to work then roll it all again the following night. Yah well at 42 you go to a 5 hour beerfest on Saturday and an ABC wrap party (open bar) Sunday and you aren’t ready to sit down and write about drinking for at least three days. So I apologize. Here we go….

The Fest!

The Fest!

On Saturday May 4th I attended the LOS ANGELES VEGAN BEERFEST brought to you by Tony Darts Away, Quarry Girl and The Roxy in Hollywood, CA tickets were $40 for all the beer samples you like from 1-6pm. Also included were bands and food trucks (food was at an added cost). If you wanted to go in an hour early at noon VIP tix were on sale for $50 and they also had a VIP seating area. I went with my friends Tricia and John, (they have done prior beer fests with me and Johns a Vegan so we blended).

First let me point out that the Vegan part of this mostly was the food. YES there were Vegan beers there and yes they were served, but some there were not…the Vegan part was mostly the food. I point this out as I have had several people ask me the question “Aren’t all beers Vegan?” You would think. No dairy, no meat, BUT some beers do use gelatin for color, and some even use fish bladders. Isinglass is used as to stabilize the foam or head and clarify beer. It comes from the bladders of fish that are harvested for food. Collagen is the active ingredient that is gained from the bladders. This is more common in European beers than American brews (Guiness uses isinglass)

I thought the booths were super aware of their audience. At the Crispin Cider booth one of the ciders they were sampling was a Honey apple and they were quick to point out that there was honey in it and asked if I was okay with that. Considering I had a giant tri tip steak sandwich before heading out to the fest I smiled and said “that’s fine, thank you for asking”.

They even had sidewalk chalk fun!

They even had sidewalk chalk fun!


I should really begin with this Festival was awesome! So fun. So well done. So mellow. No one was rushing. No one was pushy. Just so fun. Just a giant thumbs up! And some of the nicest people ever were running this show. I can’t tell you how Twitter friendly they were. Whoever was running their social media was on it. Answering questions, tweeting, retweeting, just being so friendly, and dammit I loved these guys!

Ok back to the actual festival.. First it was smaller than the last fest I attended. About half as many breweries I think 40 were there,IMG_5765 but literally no lines. For good or bad I think I drank from well over 24 with multiple tastes (wait til you hear how my day ended) I never ever waited for a beer. There were a lot of people but it wasn’t crowded it all. IMG_5661 The longest line I was in was to get Vietnamese Vegan Nachos. Im guessing maybe most of the folks were there for the Vegan food trucks (there were lots) and the bands.
Borrowed from their own website the food included:
Chicago Vegan Foods |Mandoline Grill | STREET | Seabirds Truck | The Frankenstand | TheFrankenStand | Mohawk Bend | Fresh Fries Truck |Gracias Madre | Sage Vegan Bistro | Kind Kreme Cafe Gratitude | M Cafe | Madeleine Bistro | Food For Lovers | Amanda’s Bakery & Cafe | Green Truck | LA Vegan Crepe | Tony’s Darts Away | Golden Road Pub | Southern Fried Vegan BBQ | Follow Your Heart | San Diego Pretzel Company | Sweet Crush Ice Bar |Doomie’s Home Cookin’ | Guru Tacos

BANDS: Saint Motel http://www.saintmotel.com/ Terraplane Sun http://www.terraplanesun.com/ Branches http://branchesmusic.com/ The Janks http://thejanksmusic.com Casey Wickstromhttp://facebook.com/caseywickstrommusic Vegan Boss http://facebook.com/veganboss

The bands were a fantastic soundtrack for the day. All of them were amazing!

But I’m here to talk about the beers.

BREWERIES:
GoldenRoadhttp://goldenroad.la , Hangar 24 http://hangar24brewery.com, Anchor -http://anchorbrewing.com, Noble http://NobleAleWorks.com, Anderson Valley Brewing Company http://avbc.com, Sierra Nevada – @SierraNevada http://sierranevada.com, Triple Voo Doohttp://triplevoodoobrewing.com , Firestone Walkerhttp://firestonebeer.com, Deschutes -http://deschutesbrewery.com, North Coasthttp://northcoastbrewing.com , Figueroa Mountainhttp://figmtnbrew.com , Stonehttp://stonebrewing.com, Eel Riverhttp://eelriverbrewing.com, Maui -http://mauibrewingco.com, Oskar Blueshttp://oskarblues.com, Bootlegger’shttp://bootleggersbrewery.com, Epichttp://epicbeer.com, Monkish -http://monkishbrewing.com , Lagunitas http://lagunitas.com, Speakeasyhttp://goodbeer.com, Cismontane http://cismontanebrewing.com, TAPS http://tapsfishhouse.com, Bison http://bisonbrew.com, Drake’shttp://drinkdrakes.com , New Belgiumhttp://newbelgium.com, Automatichttp://automaticbrewingco.com, Surf Breweryhttp://surfbrewery.com, Karl Strauss http://karlstrauss.com, Dogfish Headhttp://dogfish.com, Crispin Ciderhttp://crispincider.com, El Segundohttp://elsegundobrewing.com, Wolf Creek http://wolfcreekbrewingco.com, Ninkasi –http://ninkasibrewing.com, Ballast Point http://ballastpoint.com Monks’ -http://christdesert.org/Abbey_Beverage_Company/, Kinetic http://kineticbrewing.com, Tap It http://tapitbrewing.com, Fireman’s Brew http://firemansbrew.com , Ohana Brewing Company http://ohanabrew.com, Kombucha Beer fb.com/unityvibration

Many of these breweries I have tried. Many I love. Can’t deny I love Firestones Pils I found at the last fest and I’m a big fan of their Velvet Merlin Stout, but I have to say my big favorites of this fest included Golden Road’s Almond Milk Stout, Oskar Blues Mamas Little Yella Pils (Had that one on Mr Beermans birthday but its so clean I had to have a few at the fest), Surf Brewery’s Mondo’s Cream Ale, Kinetics Rusted Coffee, Fireman’s Brew Redhead and I can’t tell you how many samples I had of Crispin Ciders Bird on a Wire Lets talk about these finds.

Golden Road http://goldenroad.la is one of my favorite places in LA. Its really close to my house and as I have mentioned in previous blogs, their Pub is outstanding. So for this fest they created a Vegan Stout with Almond Milk.IMG_5664 SOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO yummy. It was about 5% give or take a point (forgive I really need to take better notes when Im drinking). And this was maybe the 3rd beer I tried and went back multiple times during my five hours to try it again. IMG_5665

Oskar Blues http://oskarblues.com just doesn’t let me down. Mamas Little Yella Pils is so good. I love this beer and my friend John was looking for a clean crisp golden beer. IMG_5652This was it. I think he may have had samples of this one more than any of the other beers combined. If you want a good pilsner for outside drinking this summer. Get this one.IMG_5653

Surf Brewery – http://surfbrewery.com is one of my new favorite breweries! Out of Ventura, I really need to make it up there to their tasting room. Lately Mr Beerman and I have been enjoying their Mondo’s Cream Ale with our Sunday Grilling tradition. Its like a Boddingtons but I think lighter and less carbonated. I was eager to find them at the fest since we were drinking their bottles from Bev Mo. The draft version was even better. I also tried their ale, and their strawberry wheat (which ran out fast must have been a crowd pleaser). My favorite is still the Cream Ale, but I encourage you to grab a bottle if you see them in your store. Good stuff! IMG_5673 IMG_5672

Kinetic http://kineticbrewing.com is a sneaky find. I almost am sad to mention that they told me they are not bottled yet. SO I think you need to find them in a local bar. Their Rusted Coffee was just that. It was SO coffee. But not in a dark stout, or even porter way. This was an amber in color lighter than expected beer that to your nose was 100% a pot of coffee. It was nuts. I loved it. Smelled like Coffeebean tasted like a delicious ale! Find it! IMG_5659

Fireman’s Brew Redhead http://firemansbrew.com Ok those who know me may think I like this beer just cause of its name (The Bierlady is one… a red head not a fireman, but Mr. Beerman is…, a fireman not a red head), but it was a good red ale. Its found in your local grocery store. Not particularly a craft beer. But it was a nice change toward the end of my day.IMG_5666

Okay so my last BIG find was Crispins – http://crispincider.com Bird on a Wire.IMG_5684 Its no secret that as of late I have become a cider person. When did that happen? Twenty years of drinking and I never had more than 3 ciders til this year. Now its my big find of a Beerfest. Well I can honestly say Tricia and I got our lil 4 oz glass filled up more than I can remember of this delicious, delicious, treat. http://www.crispincider.com/cider/products/barrel-aged/bird-on-a-wire/ This cider is blended right in whiskey barrels and at 6.9% its no apple juice. It has this aroma of apple with a slight smell of bourbon and although Tricia is a bourbon drinker I am not. SO don’t let that scare you. It was just the right balance. So far I have liked every cider Crispin does. And I put them heads and tails above Ace, Strongbow and any other Cider Ive tried. They even have a brochure online for Cider Cocktails. How fun is that! Try them all. But for sure try this one!IMG_5685

So at the end of the fest I wanted to do a breathalyzer. Just to see what those little sips add up to. Wreck Check http://www.wreckcheck.me was a group encouraging folks to try a breathalyzer and see how the beer was affecting them.IMG_5667

I spoke to them for a while. Suggesting things like Tony Darts Away who is a bar by my house in Burbank and one of the hosts of the festival maybe have a shuttle or bus running from the bar to the festival next year. Since so many fest go’ers were patrons of Tony’s I’m guessing we all lived in the same hood. Which was about a $45 cab ride. I was lucky enough to have Mr. Beerman drop me and I took the Festival suggested SideCAR ride home http://www.side.cr

Side car is a great idea. It’s a ride share program of sorts. Folks in LA looking to make money can apply and as long as they have a clean driving record, go through a background check, etc they can drive you home in their own cars. I was worried at first but SideCar has a GPS on the driver and you can send your location and GPS to say your loving husband waiting for you at home. I tried it! A nice man picked us up, dropped off Tricia and John then carted me back to Burbank. For less than a cost of a cab. You have a record of this person on your phone and can even request them for future rides.

And so we blew…When Tricia did it she clocked a .119. They wrote “Solid DUI” Now we weren’t driving so this was just for fun. So don’t panic. Now it was my turn. I wasn’t worried…I just drank beer, yes a few hours worth, but I was feeling tipsy at best. Not sick, not slurring, not walking funny, just feeling happy. I clocked .241 IMG_5764on a Festival breathalyzer. That’s triple the legal limit to drive. And I showed no real signs of being super drunk. Hmm…that says to me no matter what you drink. No matter how tiny your samples are. No matter how good you feel. Be careful. Be smart. Call a cab. Or if you are in LA call Uber. Use the SideCar App…you have choices.

Overall I have to HIGHLY recommend this Festival to anyone who loves beer. And if you are Vegan or like great bands BONUS. It really was a great day.
See you all at the 5th Annual!!
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