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California Beer Festival - San Dimas

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On September 6, 2014 the California Beer Festival returned to Frank G. Bonelli Park in San Dimas for a great day on the shores of Puddingstone Reservoir! 

This event is always a great time and this year was no different with over 40 pouring stations, great bands, bikini bocce ball, a best of show judging event and excellent food trucks. There was also a strong number of vendors that were selling unique beer related apparel. 

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One that I thought was really cool was a company that I had never heard of called Beer Run (http://www.beerrun-usa.com/) who displayed a bunch of really cool shirts and ladies underwear, you’ll have to check out their Facebook page to see some photos of the panties! The food vendors were for the most part food trucks but the California Beer Festival brought back Burt’s Garlic Fries and Chicken Fingers, a festival standard!

One different thing about this event was that it wasn't only geared towards beer, the event had several other booths that included hard ciders, ginger beer and mead.  The mead was provided by Chaucer’s and was fantastic as they served it chilled with mulling spices added.  The ginger beer was by Crabbie’s and it was certainly ginger.  I preferred Crabbie’s orange ginger beer as it was a little lighter on the ginger flavor but still really refreshing.

Onto the beer itself, the California Beer Festival had their own Burt’s Honey Wheat Beer which was brewed by Island Brewing Company and had several pouring stations located throughout the event.  It was an easy drinking wheat beer that was just right for the high temperatures!  The Best of Show judging event and my personal opinion found that the best beer of the event was Claremont Craft Ales Second Anniversary IBA (Imperial Blond Ale). This beer was really amazing with a high hop flavor and bitterness but a great base of blond ale!  It has an ABV of 8.0% and over 100 IBUs using mostly Citra for flavor and aroma.  This beer was so successful at the tap room that Claremont Craft Ale is going to be re-branding this beer and keeping it as a year round beer!  For more information on this beer and Claremont Craft Ales you need to head to their website at http://www.claremontcraftales.com/ or their Facebook page.  If you haven’t been to their tap room and you live in the area, SHAME ON YOU!  Get over there and drink some good beer!b2ap3_thumbnail_IMG_1831.JPG

A couple of other booths that I wanted to point out was the Ninkasi booth which was run by the RePUBlic guys. Ninkasi was good enough to let The RePUBlic pour their Vanilla Oatis, HBC 366 (single experimental hop pale ale) and Octoberfest.  These three beers were amazing; it was the boot that I found myself going back to several times. The HBC 366 is actually in the process of being re-branded for continuous sale too which is great because this beer had some wonderful hop flavor to it. 

The last brewery that I wanted to mention is one that typically doesn’t garner any attention from me; Shock Top.  I normally stay away from the big breweries at events like this because I’ve had their beers and I’m not interested in waiting in line for something that I can find at a grocery store.  Shock Top surprised me on this one because they brought a beer that they only use at festivals, their Spiced Banana Wheat.  This beer tasted just like banana bread and was unique enough for me to stand in line for.  It was a touch too sweet for me but most people who tried it really loved the flavor of it!b2ap3_thumbnail_IMG_1884.JPG

The last thing that I wanted to mention is that this was a charity event for the Gen Giammanco Foundation and the primary sponsor Airstream of Los Angeles.  This is a scholarship foundation for student athletes but what I really liked about it is that the funds that were raised in San Dimas will stay in this area!  If you enjoyed this event, there are other events upcoming including the California Beer Festival in Ventura and California Beer Festival at Sea in 2015, more info can be found out there website www.californiabeerfestival.com or their Facebook page!

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