February 19, 2010

Ten-day SF Beer "Week" is too long

I love love love that I live in the best beer drinking region and that we have our own San Francisco Beer Week to put on a fancy show for the locals and diehard beer lovers who make the pilgrimage. But c'mon, ten days of balls-out beer bashes is a bit overboard.

At least I seem to recall it was.

Within a couple days, I was having a hard time remembering what I'd done and what beers I tasted a couple days earlier. I know I kicked things off with the opening gala which was a hoot. I remember Speakeasy Brewing bowled me over as the showstealer of the night with both their Zin-aged Payback Porter and bourbon-aged Scarface Stout.

I actually remember the Bistro's Double IPA Fest (only because I actually ran a half marathon early the next morning!) As a result of the run, Half Pint & I felt more than entitled to splurge at the Anchor beer lunch at Hopmonk Tavern. As always, a great meal and, as always, a treat to hear the godfather of craft brewing, Fritz Maytag, pontificate on craft beer and Anchor's role in establishing the rules of the game. Sitting in the warm beer garden alongside Joe Tucker and Mario Rubio from Ratebeer.com (and its blog the Hop Press), hearing Fritz spin his yarns while drinking Liberty Ale or Anchor Porter, well, it just made the Super Bowl viewing party that followed that much sweeter, as did the Saints' triumph. Geaux Saints.

I seem to recall moderating the first ever SFBW panel, which was on a favorite subject of mine, barrel-aged beers, but beyond that I can't recall much. Oh sure, I could post one of the dozen short videos that Half Pint shot using our new Flip videocam, but that would require me learning how to post a video and I'm too much a technophobe to do that. Besides, you should've bought a ticket and attended. In other words, attendance was light but that just meant more beer (and St. George Whiskey) for all of us. But yes, it was highly educational and the following nights' panels on technical brewing and pioneering/trailblazing brewers moderated by the Brewing Network's Justin Crossley are reported to have been equally exhilarating.

Speaking of barrel-aging, I seem to recall hitting Barrel Night--my favorite event from the inaugural SFBW--at Triple Rock.

Seriously, that was only Tuesday night. The whole "week" is a blur. And the Homebrew Chef Sean Paxton's 8-course (really 9-course) beer dinner didn't lighten the load any. It was a staggering accomplishment. It was tasty as all get-out. It was... a lot.

Good thing I went on another run that week. A beer run. Make that a Beer Run. Inspired by Bryan Kolesar from the Brew Lounge (who, alas, was snowed in in Philly and couldn't make it) and with help from Derrick Peterman, the Bay Area Beer Runner, we actually pulled it off, and all before the Toronado's Barleywine fest!
Watch this video.

All I know is, when it was over, I vowed to take a week off of beer. But who am I kidding. I haven't been able to take a single day off from having at least a single beer. Regardless, thank God it's not for another 51 weeks, and I'll be counting them down.