Stone 16th Anniversary Celebration – Quick Recap W/ Pics
After a two year hiatus on going to the Saturday sessions of Stone Anniversary Celebration and Invitational Beer Festival, Jonny and I came down for the all access experience for Stone 16th. The last two years, we went to the Brewer’s Reception the night before, which is night and day compared to the Saturday festivities. In a nutshell, we had a blast, and I will tell you what you missed if you weren’t there this past weekend.
When Stone moved their fest from the brewery to CSUSM, I felt a different vibe. It was pretty much the same layout as the years prior, some tables, some lines, some beer, but something just didn’t feel as intimate. My jaw literally dropped when we arrived at the campus this year. Stone pretty much made a “Stone Carnival” or “Stone Theme Park.” Seemed like there were tons more breweries, a way more spread out layout, and more happy beer drinkers than before. It seemed everyone got a crack at whatever they wanted to try without much of a wait at all.
It was very warm on Saturday, mid 90’s by my estimation, and all the tents and canopies helped out enjoying the beer without being beaten by the sun. The only line that I saw that was out of control was for the Arrogant Bastard Onion Rings, and that is understandable.
While we said hi and poked around the festival, Jonny and I parked ourselves a top of the festival at Dr. Bill’s Rare Beer Section. Prior to arriving, with an arrogant swagger, I told Jonny I’ve probably tried most of those rare beers, I am Danny Fullpint after all. After marching up those hot steps, I was quickly humbled by the selection of beers the good doctor rounded up for my rare beer tasting enjoyment. Old Guardian 2004! Cigar City Apple Brandy Hunahpu’s, Crooked Stave Blackberry Petite Sour, and I could go on and on.
Between catching up with old friends, meeting new ones, and drinking some of the finest beers in the country, and I can safely proclaim that if you missed out this year, you should feel bad, and should try and make it next year. Whether you are at the beginning, middle or near end of your craft beer journey, this festival had something for everyone.