San Diego Beer Week 2014 Guild Fest – Recap With Pictures
We are mid-way through San Diego Beer Week 2014. Our newest intern Nick shares his experience in last weekend’s Guild Fest along with pictures below. If you are interested in an intern position, please drop us a line at [email protected]!
Guild Fest is the official kick off to San Diego Beer Week on Nov. 7 and 8, taking place right on the ocean at the Port Pavilion on the Broadway Pier. This year over 50 breweries participated and showed off their best of the best. Not only is Guild Fest an amazing event to attend, it is one of the largest beer fests held in San Diego. Guild Fest also raises money for San Diego Brewers Guild and charities such as the Surfrider Foundation and Fight ALD. The San Diego Brewers Guild’s mission is to promote awareness and increase the visibility of fresh, locally brewed beer through education and participation in community events. A festival this large held in the Craft Beer Capital of America just can’t be held in one day, it is broken down into two sessions.
The first session of Guild Fest was a VIP Brewer Takeover that takes place in the evening, where brewers from each brewery bring a selection of special beers. For this session of the event, I volunteered to pour the event for the San Diego Brewers Guild which helped me understand the festival to its fullest potential. As a volunteer, the rules were very strict due to ABC regulation, I was not allowed to drink any of the beers poured that night, as well as not serving anyone who I deemed intoxicated. Luckily, at the VIP Brewer Takeover, I had no problem with people who were intoxicated, but I’m positive that on the next session people were turned away. Most volunteers have a difficult time having to pour and serve people, without pay or tasty beer, so please, respect your volunteers!
Brewer’s VIP Takeover includes a commemorative tasting glass, unlimited pours, and unlimited food for the brewers and attendees included in the ticket cost. Almost every beer served that night was a one off or limited beer; there were even some cask beers! I was lucky enough to pour for Saint Archer that night with the Director of Brewing Operations Yiga Miyashiro, Head Brewer Kim Luts, and Kim’s wonderful wife, the Head Roaster over at Bird Rock Coffee Roasters, Heather Brisson. Talk about a craft beer power couple, they are the two responsible for the Saint Archer Coffee Brown that I was pouring that night. Brewer’s VIP Takeover wrapped up around 9 pm, and I took the trolley within walking distance to get ready for the next day.
Guild Fest’s second session began at 1 pm for premier access, 2pm for regular passes, and ran until 5pm. The second session was almost 3 times as large as Brewers VIP Takeover; passes covered a commemorative tasting glass, unlimited tastes and food for sale. Radio station, FM 94.9 was represented with a stage hosting some of San Diego’s most talented musicians such as Dead Feather Moon. Guild Fest also held educational events, which were 30 minute sessions from San Diego State University’s College of Extended Studies Business of Craft beer program, UC San Diego Extension Brewery Certificate program, and SoCal Business of Beer. The hour early admission really made a difference, allowing me to taste several beers early that I would have had to stand in line for later that day.
I did not taste a beer I did not like all day, but there were two beers in particular that stole the show for me. Since it was a bright, hot day I was on the lookout for refreshing beers. The two that completely stole the show for me were Green Flash’s 12th Anniversary Beer, a sour pale ale, and Ballast Point’s 2001 Hout Series, a sour ale aged with blackberries. Other than the great beers at Guild Fest, my favorite part had to be the fact you could sit back, take a break and watch sail boats go by. One could also see the USS Midway docked directly next to us, which is a great site to be seen. Guild Fest is a must attend event for SDBW, but don’t worry if you missed it, there are still many wonderful events to attend before the 10 day week ends. Taste responsibly!