1. There's nothing wrong with pouring out a mediocre beer - just don't do it in front of the brewer;
2. Drink plenty of water every half hour or so;
3. Eat a big pulled pork sandwich;
You do all those things and, like me, you'll be a festival warrior and a big hit with the family the next morning ("Daddy, I thought you were going to be in bed all day and ignoring us like last time"). The festival, which was held at San Francisco's Yerba Buena Center for the Arts, happened to coincide with some of the most incredible February weather ever recorded, and thus it was short-sleeves under the stars and lots of good vibes, happy people and beer flowing all night long.
You're probably wondering about the beer I tried. Yeah, let's talk about that. There were some whoppers. My only goal was to make sure I tried the debut of ALMANAC BEER CO.'s "Summer 2010 Blackberry Ale", which wasn't simply the debut of this beer but of this brewery, which happens to be helmed by my pal Damian Fagan. This evening was their coming-out party, and this barrel-aged fruit beer, a Belgian golden ale with some saison characteristics, was excellent, and was completely gone before the halfway point of the night. I decided, given the circumstances, the crush of humanity and the inability for careful critical consideration, that I'd rate everything with a plus, two pluses or no plusses at all. Here's the rundown:
- FIRESTONE WALKER - "DOUBLE JACK"
- SIERRA NEVADA - "2x4" (a blend of two Belgian-style ales)
- RUSSIAN RIVER - "SUPPLICATION" (they were pouring right out of the corked-and-caged bottles, tons of 'em)
- BEACH CHALET - "PRESIDIO IPA"