’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/. I 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!
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.
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!
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. 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! 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/
A beer that both Mr. Beerman and I took note of was Chocolate Box Oatmeal Stout. 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! The 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. 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, out 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!
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!!
I would be remiss if I didn’t mention Taxi Magic for providing everyone (I hope) safe rides from the event. And 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 for not only hosting but providing their delicious brews. My favorite this time was their Surfliner, very coffee tasting, very tasty. If 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.
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!!