CANFEST 2014 | Recap & Photos
Last weekend we made the trek back up to Reno, NV for the Sixth Annual CANFEST which took place in the Tuscany Ballroom at the Peppermill Resort Hotel. It’s been a couple of years since we’ve dropped in on this early pioneer of heralding canned craft beers, but we were greeted with the same big-yet-small town Reno charm.
Producers of Canfest 2014 really outdid themselves this year with nearly 2,000 attendees and over 100 beers poured from cans available for unlimited tastings. Considering the VIP ticket price was only $65 and included early access and a buffet spread, this fest is definitely a great value for those wanting to branch into craft while having some not-so-crafty brews on standby, too.
In an ideal world, macro beer wouldn’t grace this festival’s doors. However, although Reno has a strong love of small breweries and craft beer, the location of this festival does lend for some room for those (sorry to say it) “gateway” drinkers to get their feet wet. Plan ahead and choose wisely though, and you won’t even notice the sprinklings of Corona, Tecate, and Shock Top amid some truly spectacular brews. Entertainment included live musical acts and even a silent disco.
This year’s festival was sponsored in part by Henderson, NV-based Joseph James Brewing. If you haven’t tried any of their beers, you are missing out. Kyle Weniger is really making some magic over there with not only his rarer barrel-aged projects and specialty one-offs, but also with his core lineup of canned beers including their Citra Rye Pale and their Hopbox IPA. Their team were fun, engaging, and a great fit for this brand.
Additional beer stand-outs for us included Ashland, Oregon’s Fort George Brewery who brought a delicious collaboration called 3-Way IPA. The IPA from Boise, Idaho’s Sockeye Brewing was also quite solid, as well as Hoptopus from Virginia Beach’s Beach Brewing. California was repped well with one of my personal favorite craft cans, The Kimmie, The Yink, & The Holy Gose from Anderson Valley Brewing Co. and Golden Road’s Wolf Among Weeds* to name a few, while the many offerings from Sun King Brewing and Santa Fe Brewing round out our weekend favorites.
With the canning trend getting hotter and hotter, we’re eager to see how this event evolves in the years to come.
*Full Disclosure: While I am employed by Golden Road Brewing, all content on this site are my own opinions and are not reflective of the brewery.