Third Annual CANFEST Re-Cap and Photos
CANFEST took place on Saturday, November 14th at the Silver Legacy Reno Ballroom. The event, which is Reno’s International Canned Beer Festival, drew a record number crowd with around 1,300 people in attendance and 34 breweries represented. The festival was conceived by the folks over at Buckbean Brewing Company and was organized by local Reno firm Abbi Public Relations.
A VIP hour hosted by official media sponsor Mutineer Magazine kicked off the festivities and at 6 p.m, doors were officially opened. For only $35, guests were able to enjoy unlimited tastings of some of the best canned beers in the country. Crowds flocked to craft beer favorites like San Francisco’s 21st Amendment and Colorado’s Oskar Blues, but there was more than enough to go around as there were very few lines and many brewers to choose from. We were able to get acquainted with a ton of great beer producers from outside of California that we don’t get the chance to see very often. Most notably, the beers coming from Kansas’ Tallgrass Brewing company and Oklahoma’s Coop Aleworks quickly climbed the charts as some of our favorites. Fort George Brewery had an IPA (Vortex) that was delightful and Crow Peak Brewing Company’s Pile O’ Dirt Porter was a solid contender for one of our favorite dark beers of the evening.
While there were a few bigger names on this year’s roster, including Coors and Guiness, many of the brewers in attendance are up and comers in the craft beer scene; producers who have either decided that canning was beneficial to the freshness of their beers, or simply more cost effective. Whatever their reasons may be, the styles of beers that were showcased at this event went above and beyond my expectations. I knew that many brewers who can their beers have answered the call to make products that defy the stereotype of that “fizzy yellow stuff,” but I was still amazed to see unconventional styles being canned, such as Tallgrass’ Velvet Rooster which is a Belgian-style tripel.
Live music was provided by local band Drinking With Clowns and there was no shortage of entertainment as the Reno Bike Project set up mini-bike races inside the ballroom. There were a handful of beer-related vendors present including a vintage can collection and can accessories. Local cupcake shop Mix Cupcake Company was also on hand with samples of their delicious cupcakes including one that incorporated Buckbean Brewing’s famous Orange Blossom Ale.
Event coordinators did a great job with this year’s festival from making sure that there were enough quality vendors as well as enough space to accomodate a large crowd. There was ample security and everyone we talked to that night mentioned that this festival gets better every year. We have to hand it to main event producer and wonder-woman extraordinare Constance Aguilar and her team for putting together such a successful event. CANFEST will make its return next fall, so stay tuned!