Posted on June 04, 2014
I hope you are all enjoying your start to summer! We were in Paso Robles over the weekend where we participated in the Firestone-Walker Invitational. Vinnie, Amir, and I had a great time pouring beer for thousands of happy fest-goers. There was an extraordinary line-up of breweries from all over the world including Garage Project from New Zealand, Beavertown from England, and Mikkeller from Denmark, to name just a few! The only downside of this event is we did not have enough time to go out and sample all of the other breweries amazing beers. If you attended the fest on Saturday, I hope you had as good a time as we did. And 2 more people said they read my blog- I think we are up to 43 now. Thank you, everyone, for reading my blog and for taking the time to let me know. It really does mean a lot!
Okay, so it’s obviously been a busy couple of months around here. I last checked in with you prior to our 10 year Anniversary at the pub in early April, which was really fun and I’m sorry if you missed it! The party turned in to a family reunion of sorts with lots of good friends, customers, and several original employees (many of whom still work at the pub). We popped the corks on 7 vintage 3-liter bottles, one for each remaining original employee to pour, including Toronado 20th and 25th. David and Jennifer Keene from the Toronado were also on hand to help us celebrate. It was a very special night!
Then we went to the Craft Brewers Conference/World Beer Cup in Denver. This is an interesting and dynamic time in our industry. I think there were about 9,000 attendees this year with a remarkable number of new faces. The trade-show alone was so big it was nearly impossible to go through the entire thing in 2 days. I walked away from this year’s conference agreeing with an old sentiment of Bob Dylan’s- the times they are a-changin’.
From Denver, Vinnie and I flew straight to Mills River, North Carolina, where our friends who own a little brewery in Chico are building another brewery. We went out to brew our collaboration beer for “Beer Camp Across America”, which is this kind of crazy project they asked us and 11 other breweries to be a part of in 2014. All of the brews are about finished and the complicated packaging and repackaging must be happening soon. It’s a 12-pack with 10 bottles and 2cans! Anyway, since our 43 blog readers are located all over the country, I hope you will have the opportunity to try these tasty beers. And for those of you who live near Chico, San Diego, Denver, Chicago, Portland (Maine), Philadelphia, or Mills River, I hope you can attend a Beer Camp festival, too. Check out http://beercamp.sierranevada.com/. We are truly honored to be a part of this uniquely cool collaboration!
Then Vinnie and I went to Germany and Belgium for 10 days. It was our first trip to Bavaria and we really enjoyed the local beers, especially at Shonram. We also enjoyed some killer German Rieslings and Austrian wines. Can’t wait to go back! Then it was off to Belgium to visit friends and join the Van Roy family at Cantillon and Rob and Jason from Allagash in releasing our collaboration “Assemblage de l’Amitie”, or Wild Friendship Blend. The breweries blended our spontaneously fermented beers which was bottled and poured for guests only at Cantillon on that special day! Coolest thing ever was pouring/drinking our beer, Pliny especially, at Cantillon!
We are off to Kansas City next weekend the Boulevard festival. Hope to see some of you there!