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Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Sacramento Beer Week 2013 :: Capital Beer Fest Tasting Notes

2013 Capital Beer Fest

Capital Beer Fest Collage2

Capital Beer Fest was a ton of fun. There were SO many awesome beers and ciders to sample - it was a craft beer drinker's playground!

The food tasting during the VIP part of the event was a little frustrating because of the huge lines for the food tasting and the slowness of the food samples being delivered to the tables. This is something the organizers should consider revamping for next year (I'm talking to you Heather, Dan and Rick - Kisses!).

We were considering standing in line to get some samples, but when we saw people carrying around teeny tiny miniature shot glasses with literally a single bite of food, we decided we'd rather spend our time drinking beer. This was a smart choice on our part because once the VIP session was over, it was as if they were opening the flood gates to beer heaven - thousands of people streamed through the doors as we stood against a low wall eating our DELICIOUS Drewski burgers.. It was unreal (the crowd... well, and the burger).

On that note, it was super rad to have the food trucks on site. Sacramento is lucky to have some amazing food trucks. Delish!

Here are the standout beers that I tried during the VIP portion when it was chill enough to jot down light notes. I was having WAY too much fun to recall every beer I sampled once the gates to beer heaven opened and the masses poured through them. Plus, that's when all of my friends showed up, so I took off my "craft beer writer hat" and put on my "party on, Wayne!" hat.

Boulder Kinda Blue Blueberry Wheat: Very easy drinking and straightforward wheat beer; crisp and balanced, clean finish. Blueberry flavor is mild and gives it a little tang - more berry in the aroma than in the flavor. Very sessionable summer beer. Can't wait to drink this by the pool.

Hangar 24 Orange Wheat: Fresh orange aroma, earthy wheat malt flavor with a lightly tangy and dry finish. Pretty balanced, but more on the dry side. Crisp, lively carbonation. Very refreshing.

Coronado Orange Avenue Wit: Crisp, citrusy, earthily spiced, honeyed goodness. Read more of my tasting notes at the very bottom of THIS post.

{Can you tell I'm into fruity wheat beers now that summer is approaching?}

Knee Deep/Track 7 Collaboration Ale: This beer is awesome! Read my full tasting notes here.

Ruhstaller Founders Blend: Ok, so by the time I got to this beer, it was the end of the event. Needless to say, I can't remember EXACTLY how it tasted, but I do remember liking it... I mean, it's the only beer that really stood out in my hazy-ish memory of the end of the fest, so let's be honest, it must have been good. So I wanted to make note of it here so that maybe you'll try it. I'll have to get my hands on a bottle so I can give it a proper write up.

:: :: :: 

After the fest, we took the free shuttle bus downtown and did some more drinking. Mad props to the organizers for providing the shuttle!

A note on the location: it's a bit difficult to really smell and taste your beer when you are surrounded by the faint aroma of animals and their dung. While I really appreciated the openness of the pavilion, it is where all of the animals chill during the State Fair (and other events, I'm sure). The Cal Expo location was awesome (tons of parking), but that pavilion... perhaps they should consider taking over the Cove and building A next year? Logistically, maybe a bit awkward though... so maybe animal smell is worth the ease of using the pavilion.

Eh, I had a fantastic time, regardless, so who am I to complain?



{image courtesy of}
Hashtags :: #sacbeerweek #SBW2013 #craftbeer #locallove

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