Pilgrimage to the 3rd Annual Bay Area Brew Festival

By Boriss • March 4, 2012

The sky was clear and blue as pilgrims came from far and near to worship at the 3rd Annual Bay Area Brew Festival at Fort Mason in San Francisco. 61 breweries, mainly from the west coast, came to offer their holy liquid sacraments to the faithful.

With a small taster mug, I soberly began my journey away from sobriety. Many of the beers were surprising stars. San Francisco’s own Triple Voodoo Brewing truly had the hop gods smiling with their worthy offering, the well-balanced and deliciously hoppy X Knee Deep Collaboration White IPA.  Others stars were Santa Cruz’s Uncommon Brewers‘ Siamese Twin Ale, with a dark and fruity start and a lemongrass and lime citrusy finish.  But perhaps the champion was Rogue Ales‘ Hazelnut Brown Nectar: a nutty, smooth, caramelly toffee ABV that will take you back to Beer Christmases past.

While many of the beers were excellent, I must note that the event overall lacked an air of reverence.  Many of my fellow worshippers were distinctly of the “bro” sect.  While the Beer Church does not judge, I couldn’t help but notice the differences in our denominations.  Unlike more mainstream beer church doctrine, the bros prefer gulping rather than sipping their holy rites, often while lamenting that the sampler mugs were too small or lacked apparatus to be worn upon the head.

My Brew Festival report card:

Abita Brewing Co.

  • Jockamo IPA: C-
  • Mardi Gras Bock: A-

Elevation 66 Brewing Company

  • Caber Tosser Scotch: B

Faultline Brewing Company

  • Belgian Blonde: B+
  • Pale Ale: C

Hoppy Brewing Co.

  • Hoppy Face Amber Ale: B

Kingfisher

  • Premium Lager: B
  • Red: B-

Lagunitas Brewing Company

  • Wilco Tango Foxtrot Ale: B
  • Gnarly Wine: B+

Lost Coast Brewery

  • Downtown Brown English Brown Ale: A-

Marin Brewing Company

  • Raspberry Trail Ale: A-
  • Kilt Lifter Scotch Ale: C

Moksha Beer

  • Craft Amber Lager: C+

Ninkasi Brewing Company

  • Total Domination IPA: A-
  • Renewale 2012 Porter: B

Ommegang

  • Belgian-style Pale Ale: A-

Rogue Ales

  • Dead Guy Ale: C
  • Hazelnut Brown Nectar: A+

Santa Cruz Ale Works

  • Cruz Control Red Ale: C+
  • Hefeweizen: C

Shipyard Brewing Company

  • Applehead American Pale Wheat Ale: B+
  • Wild Blueberry Wheat Ale: B+

Speakeasy Ales and Lagers

  • Scarface Imperial Stout: A

Steelhead Brewing Company

  • Extra Pale Ale APA: C
  • Jamaica Red Ale: C

Triple Voodoo Brewing

  • Inception Belgian Style Ale: A
  • X Knee Deep White IPA: A

Uncommon Brewers

  • Baltic Porter: A
  • Siamese Twin Ale: A