Scottsdale Beer Festival 2013 – Recap W/ Pics
Last Saturday marked the first ever Scottsdale Beer Festival, held at WestWorld in Scottsdale, Ariz. While not as impressive at the Strong Beer Festival that took place earlier this year, I wager no one can complain about yet another beer festival featuring the ever popular offerings of the craft beer industry.
Holding a beer festival at WestWorld is a great idea (large open spaces with a beautiful desert mountain backdrop), but the aspect I was most curious about was the decision to hold the festival from 6 p.m. to 10 p.m. From the outset, I was skeptical about this. Festivals I’m familiar with almost always happen in the meaty hours of sunlight, typically noon to six. I was worried mainly about light and rowdiness.
Thankfully the rowdiness fear turned into nothing; which wasn’t so much surprising as was enlightening. I have a tendency to stereotype Scottsdale drinkers into a shallow, angry, alcohol-fueled bunch of socialites. This festival helped me realize I was wrong about that. My second worry (about the darkness) didn’t prove to be valid, as every tent had its own light. Though, after pours were received, it still was very strange to be standing in an enormous dark grass field drinking beer samples. It sure made the photography difficult.
The beers were great, though there wasn’t anything super rare that got me excited. Some of the highlights included Lagunitas Fusion 16 (a lighter, more session-able and better tasting version of their IPA), Rough Draft Eraser IPA and Hop Therapy DIPA, Anderson Valley Heelch ‘O Hops and Dragoon “The Dos” Anniversary Russian Imperial Stout. Honorable mentions include, O’dell St. Lupulin, Logsdon’s Saison, St. Feullian’s Tripel, Grand Canyon IPA, OSHO Blonde Hoppy Ale and Port’s Board Meeting (which the lady pouring emphatically called Board Room).
All in all, I had a great time at the festival. The two bands that played were fantastic reminder of my non-existent memories of the 80’s (I was born in 1990…). I can never get enough of Guns N’ Roses covers performed by a bunch of dudes wearing wigs and leather. They were awesome enough to ham it up even more once I started taking pictures of them.
I hope this festival continues, as it is blatant evidence of the craft beer industry’s growth. The location is awesome, the time is unique and the beers are quality. Here’s to the Scottsdale Beer Festival gaining more attention from breweries, insuring that more impressive and rare beers make an appearance at future iterations.