This weekend was the inaugural Bay Area Brew Fest and you better believe that Hapa’s Brewing Company was there to check out the scene. Over 60 breweries were there to strut their stuff and pour samples for the thousands of attendees. Here are some of the highlights:
Beer sampling mugs Inside the festival
Attendees were each given a 4oz mug for sampling which was plenty big enough considering these mugs could be filled an unlimited number of times. The festival was held at Fort Mason in San Francisco and was sold out.
We started the day with a visit to Anderson Valley Brewing Co’s sampling table. I chose to sample their oatmeal stout. The beer was very dark in color with a thick billowing head. The beer has a full bodied feel and hints of coffee. It was very enjoyable and a great way to start the day!
Anderson Valley Brewing Co. Mad River Brewing Co.
Our next stop was the Mad River Brewing Co. display. There, they were serving up samples of their John Barleycorn Barleywine. If you are unfamiliar with Barleywine it is a strong ale with a high alcohol content. This barleywine had a sweet malty flavor and warmed the body with its high (9.5%) alcohol content.
After several other samples I found Rogue Brewery. They were sampling their Hazelnut Brown Ale. I wanted to compare this brown ale to the one I currently have in the kegerator. This version of a brown ale was sweeter with less punch from its hops. It is also brewed with hazelnut giving it a nuttier aroma and flavor.
The next sampling was the Little Sumpin Wild Ale from Lagunitas Brewing Co. This was a very interesting beer as it uses a lot of wheat malt but does not have the light citrus flavor of a typical wheat beer. Lagunitas brews this beer with ample hops that give an otherwise light summery beer strong and complex flavors.
Rogue Lagunitas Brewing Co.
The last sample I’ll discuss is called Batch 19 and is brewed in limited amounts by MillerCoors. The name of this beer is owed to the fact that Prohibition began in 1919 and the recipe used for this beer is dated pre-Prohibition. This was also the only lager that I sampled while at the festival. Batch 19 has a clear golden color and the malty notes are balanced well by its hoppiness.