11th Annual San Diego Strong Ale Festival Pt. 1
The 11th Annual Port Brewing Company San Diego Strong Ale Festival 2007.
Part 1- The Pre Game Show. As an avid fan of the high abv beers made in California, I jumped for joy when learning this festival would be something I could attend. In TheFullPint.com fashion, we loaded up the car, rented a cheap hotel, and got ourselves ready for an amazing weekend.
Although the festival started at 11 am on the dot, we weren’t quite ready to do ourselves in on strong ale that early in the day. We got our tickets, which were being sold by Tomme Aurthur of Port Brewing/Lost Abbey, and then proceeded to check out Pizza Port Carlsbad, the fine folks who are hosting this event.
Pizza Port Carlsbad is a large, open restaurant that has old style wooden tables and benches, similar to picnic tables. They have a bar with an incredible selection of beers on tap, and a counter to order your pizza. I have heard so much about Pizza Port’s Hop Suey, and had to have a glass. Jon had a Port Brewing Truck Stout, and Pooter had a Double Chocolate Stout. As I was ordering the beer, met a cool guy named Zack. Zack was ordering a favorite of mine, Pliney The Elder. The pizza we wound up ordering was Pizza Port’s Fest Pizza. Pretty much heaven in a pizza box. This pizza comprised of brown mustard, sour-kraut,grilled onions, grilled red peppers, bratwurst,and cheese on a rye and caraway seed crust. I will surely try to replicate this one day.
As I sit down and begin to enjoy my Hop Suey, I look at the ale line up for the days festival, and realize I just got myself a pint of 10% abv. ale to start off my day. This brew could be a second cousin of Hop 15, but surely is a great one. It can be seen through, it smells like juicy fruit, dank buds, and oranges, and tasted incredible.
Before the Pizza could arrive, my new found friend Zack, who ordered the Pliney The Elder, found out he was in a hurry to leave, and donated his pitcher of Pliney The Elder to TheFullPint team. How incredible. So I am two to three pints deep in Strong Ale before hitting the festival. It actually warmed me up, so it wasn’t a bad situation at all. Once the pizza arrived, I had my pizza-gasm, and was ready for action.
After transporting the ride back to our hotel, we cabbed our way back to start the event. There were big fluffy clouds, that would occasionally spit on us for a minute, but did not get us down in the least bit. What would we try first? Before I go any further, I must tell you, there are 60 + strong ales on tap, confined within a small patio adjacent to Pizza Port Carlsbad restaurant. The place was packed to the gills like a high school or college party.