11th Annual San Diego Strong Ale Festival Pt. 2
The 11th Annual Port Brewing Company San Diego Strong Ale Festival 2007. This is the second part of thefullpint.com ‘s coverage. Click here to read part one. The first strong ale I was looking forward to trying was Green Flash 5th Anniversary Ale. I love both their West Coast IPA and Imperial IPA, so I knew I was in for a treat with this IPA. This was very unique to Green Flash’s IPA offerings. I tasted a bit of pepperiness, it was not as thick as their Imperial, and was very drinkable. The other reason I picked this ale first, was because Firestone Walker’s Parabola Bourbon Barrel Imperial Stout was already out. Too bad huh?After a sample or two, Jon and I started to loosen up, and got over the fact everyone was elbow to elbow.
Jon created great TheFullPint.com t shirts. The t shirts were so great, that to our surprise, other people at the event were coming up to us, and asking us one of three reactions: Where can I get one of those shirts, do you guys know TheFullPint.com, or I love TheFullPint.com. My jaw completely dropped on the last two responses. We have only been live since September, and had no idea anyone would have a clue who we are. That, and the fact we are on a nonexistent marketing budget. We met so many cool people, I wish I had written down the names. The people I did remember were Nate, Hop, Brittan and Roger Bott. We met lovely ladies as well, but after all that strong ale, it has escaped my already foggy mind. Back to the strong ale!
In no particular order, we tried casked Avery Czar, Bear Republic Racer X, Great Divide Oaked Aged Yeti Imperial Stout, Victory Golden Monkey, The Lost Abbey Gift of Magi, Pizza Port Night Rider Imperial Stout, Stone Brewing’s 2006 Double Bastard Oak Chipped, Firestone Amber Strong Ale (Did not get the official name, it was at the cool people table off to the side), Ballast Point Victory at Sea, and Ballast Point Three Sheets Barley Wine on cask. You might be wondering how after our lunch of double IPA, and that line up, how we managed to even remember that. Well, I wouldn’t be able to share the nuances of each ale, all I can tell you is they were fantastic, and agreed with our systems. Not one upset stomach, no acting out of line, nothing. Just big smiles, and lots of friendly people to meet. The peak of the evening was egging on two nice females to display affection to each other(see pic below). Boy they did, and I enjoyed every minute of it.
As the night got later, sounds of taster glasses dropping became more frequent. Every time you would here one drop, the entire crowd would oooh and ahhh over it. I have only been to a half dozen beer festivals, and I think by far, this was the best one. I think a tad bigger venue would be ideal, but as stated, after a few tasters of 9% abv ale, you really forget to notice. Everyone seemed jovial, and courteous, which isn’t always indicitive of close confines and booze. I would love to share more of my experience, but honestly, it is very fuzzy after all of our taster tickets were spent.