What happens when 27 breweries bring roughly a hundred different beers into one building? Awesomeness happens, that’s what.
Last night, 700 Redding residents gathered at the Civic Auditorium to celebrate (and sample) some of the best beers on the West Coast. What ensued was an evening of lively conversation that revolved around which beers were not to be missed (the Not the Stoic from Deschutes and the Lipa Ripa 3x IPA from Fall River Brewing Company) and whether or not stouts were taking over as the beer du jour (they are).
Last night, the Civic was chock full of great beer, great music (thanks, DJ Bucky Dun-Gun), and great people. If the opening ceremony is any indication of the next eight days, we’re in for a hell of a week.
So, what stood out from the triple digit offerings? Check out the recap here:
One thing we heard over and over was “what do you have besides an IPA?” While super-hopped IPAs are the West-Coast staple, most of the patrons wanted to see what else their favorite breweries had on tap. The Best Non-IPA?
- Deschutes Brewery brought out the “Not the Stoic” Belgian Quad brew, aged in Oak barrels and boasting a fruit laden body with notes of chocolate, molasses, and caramel. It sounds delicious because it really is. This ‘mistake’ of a beer really turned into a beautiful mess of flavorful excellence.
- Mad River’s Hibiscus-tinged Jamaican Ale offered up a sweet, almost summer iced tea flavor with a smooth body and sweet finish. The pink-hued brew has a fresh crisp carbonation and was a refreshing summer breeze across our brewed-up palate. Expect notes of berries and sweet hibiscus in this exceptional beer.
For the VIPs in the house, there were a few special brews on the patio that really stood out from the rest:
- Black Butte’s Anniversary Reserve series releases a double version of their Black Butte Porter with a variety of ingredients added to it. For their 26th anniversary, they’ve added cocoa nibs, pomegranate molasses and cranberries to their bourbon barrel-aged XXVI. The result, a rich, deep 11% brew that starts out sweet, then finishes tangy as the cranberries kick in.
- 21st Amendment Brewery’s Monk’s Blood sounds unholy, but its cinnamon and vanilla notes give it a lighter, sweeter beginning than you’d expect. Just as it starts to get too sweet, the dried black mission figs kick in and ease your taste buds into the deeper bourbon and burnt caramel flavors that get you ready for the next sip.
Photo Credit: Carson Blume @ www.carsonblumephotography.com