OT- Training Night For Epic Beer Weekend

Submitted by bonobojones on May 31st, 2013 at 8:02 PM

   This Friday's drinking is a liver primer for a big day tomorrow.  My tiny town of Paso Robles California will play host to one of the great beer fests, the Firestone Walker Invitational.  Here is a partial tap list  of what will be poured.   A bunch of Cali brewers are there (Stone, Russian River, The Bruery, Lagunitas..)  But the real treat are the places, (3 Floyds, Bell's, Cigar City, Odell, Avery, Surly...etc.) that are not available here, so this is our big chance to taste the best beers from other states.  And to top it all off, only brewers are allowed to rep their beers, no sales/marketing guys, so you get to talk directly with the brewer to ask questions. And if you ask nicely,  they usually bring all sorts of extra random special project 22's to sample as well.  Anyway, since I've never gotten to taste most of the beers from out of state, any advice about who I should seek out would be appreciated.


Rather be on BA

May 31st, 2013 at 8:29 PM ^

I am unclear as to whether you have tried Michigan beers or not.  Anyways, below is a list  beers or breweries I have had and enjoyed from that list.  Sorry if you are familiar with some of them.  Those are just what I have had not including the Cali beers you know already.

Bells (duh)


Dogfish head

Bear Republic


Three Floyds

As an aside, I just picked up a bottle of Founders Doom BBA DIPA, gunna taste test it against the regular Founders Double Trouble when my roommate gets home.  So, cheers!




May 31st, 2013 at 10:17 PM ^

Have not had Black Note yet (saw one bottle, $20, at ChurchKey in DC at their Hopslam cask night) but This One Goes to 11 is a fantastic brew.

On the East Coast, Pliny the Elder is Bigfoot.  Would love to try...

PS Will be trying Dogfish Head 61 minute for the first time tomorrow at their brewpub in Rehoboth Beach, DE.  Convinced the wife that it was the perfect day for the beach :)


May 31st, 2013 at 8:30 PM ^

If you get a chance, try Surly. They are microbrewery out of the Twin Cities. I would try the Bender (IPA), however does not taste like your traditional IPA. It is a tough beer to get a hold of in the Twin Cities, so the take the opportunity to get it while you can in CA.


May 31st, 2013 at 9:57 PM ^

I've almost gotten to the point where being in G.R., I feel like I'm cheating if I don't drink a local. Which is fine, because there's so damn much good beer here. But every now and then a friend in Corvallis sends me a Rogue 6 pack and that stuff is welcome in my fridge anytime.


May 31st, 2013 at 8:32 PM ^

Damn, that's a really solid lineup and not at all limited to West Coast offerings. Would love to try some of those BA brews (Speedway, Brandy Hunaphu, DL Variant).  The Alpine IPAs are phenomenal (at least equal to Pliny IMO). Is the Kern River Citra fresh? Thought it was a one weekend per year release.  I traded for some after release earlier this year and it was tremendous.  Have't had pleasure of trying anything from FW's sour program. That stuff doesn't make it out to East coast that I've ever seen.

My version of beer nirvana will occur the weekend of the U Conn game this fall. I'm arriving a day early and will be visiting Hill Farmstead then staying overnight in Waterbury to drink Heady Topper, Lawsons, etc. Can't wait.




Rawls NTR

May 31st, 2013 at 8:37 PM ^

I'm also in CA, but some of those CA items are pretty rare, such as the Kern River Citra DIPA - supposed to be one of the best DIPA's up there with Pliny and Heady Topper. Also Stone's Tropical Ruination (mango and habanero) should be awesome and I've had the double dry-hopped Levitation - that's some damn good stuff. I would bet Firestone will break out some awesome rare stuff too and would be sure to try everything they have that you haven't seen on a shelf out here.

Rawls NTR

June 1st, 2013 at 1:29 AM ^

I would prefer to go to a local tap takeover or beer week event where they are more likely to break out the rare stuff than go to the $50 dollar per head beerfests that they just bring the same stuff you find at BevMo or even the supermarket.  But this event is no ordinary beerfest - this is a primo event that attracts the topbrewers in the country.  Cheers to you for going - have an awesome awesome time.


May 31st, 2013 at 8:56 PM ^

I dont know too many cali microbrews, but I just got a Lagunitas Hop Stoopid to try later. But for now I had a couple Dogfish Head 90s and a huma lupa so ill probably put it off until a bit later.


May 31st, 2013 at 9:19 PM ^

Make sure you try Lagunitas Undercover Investigation Shut-down Ale. It's around 10ABV so make sure you get to it early so you can enjoy the taste. Cheers!

Rawls NTR

June 1st, 2013 at 1:37 AM ^

Honeslty, try anything with a CA label.  You're most likely to find Stone and Lagunitas.  Sierra Nevada, obviously, as well, but you won't usually see their more rare beers.  If you can find some Bear Republic Racer 5, snatch it up, Green Flash might make it out there and is well worth it.  Knee Deep is going to go national in the next few months - they make some pretty popular double and triple IPA's (Hoptoligist, Belgo Hoptologist, Hop Shortage, Simtra).


May 31st, 2013 at 9:29 PM ^

Avery is hands down the best micro brew lineup I have had. Their mass production stuff is good, but their bombers are amazing-- maharaza, HOG HEAVEN etc... pricey, but amazing beers. And if Pliny the elder (or pliny the younger) make an appearance, get on that.