Stone Sourfest 2011 Recap & Pictures
Here’s a brief recap of Stone Brewing World Bistro and Garden’s 5th Annual SourFest. For those that have never heard of it, it’s an amazing celebration of the most tart, sour, and funkiest beers under one roof. Cheers, TFP
The Scene – After drooling over Dr. Bill’s list of draft and bottled sour ales for the past few weeks, I realized I had no plan of attack for Sour Fest 2011. Like last year, it was a beautiful warm sunny day, and I was mighty thirsty thinking of all the beer I’ll get to try that I haven’t already.
The event was supposed to start at 11 am, and I had suspected the shindig would kick off earlier, so I had my loving family drop me off at Stone Brewing World Bistro and Gardens at 10 AM. As I suspected, there was already a line going in for will call, and many folks already digging into what was on the list. There was a station setup at the outside bar, which was split into two lines, and there were tents set up down on the lawn. I haven’t had so much trouble picking something since I was a kid going out for ice cream. I tried knocking out some tastes just by going in numerical order, but that didn’t work, so I hopped around the list based on interest and recommendations from friends.
After about two hours of wondering around from tent, I got a bit hungry, and as luck would have it, Stone had some amazing treats for purchase to get me over the hump, and get me ready for the rest of the event. They had a Duck Burrito, which is their amazing shredded BBQ duck from their tacos, rolled up into a burrito, and a pretzel wrapped bratwurst. After I saw those to items on the menu, I stopped reading it, and ordered it. I’m sure there were other great things to eat, I’ll never know as I was to awestruck by the pretzel brat.
As far as the crowd goes, it seemed like more people this year compared to last year. The only congestion that was noticeable was the bottle line. It wasn’t that they were pouring anything better than what was being poured at the draft tents, so I was puzzled as to the draw of that particular line. Everyone was having a great time, and really enjoying the beer being poured. Compared to last year, it seems many of the folks were farther along in their sour beer education journey. Not as many “Oh wow, that’s crazy wtf” and as there was “oh that’s good, you should try this!” All while this was going down, the Stone staff was hustling around making sure everything was going smooth and that the water coolers were being filled with ice and water.
The Bottle Share – I hope I don’t get in trouble for mentioning this unadvertised attraction, but just as fun as the overall Sour Fest, is the Dr. Bill bottle share in the WELL SHADED gravel pit. Many attendees bring a small cooler or insulated food bag with very very cool beers. Most of the beers are stuff one would land on an online trade, and are most likely something you can’t buy here in Southern California. I tried to impress with a few bottles, only to find out Dr. Bill already had one of them on the bottle list. Doh! Anyway, down in this pit were many of the awesome people we’ve met over the years as well as some brand new people that are now on that list. It was great to crack some really cool beers and socialize in the shade. I’m very light skinded, with very sensitive eyes so this is where I remained for the rest of the festival. If you go to a Stone Brewing World Bistro and Gardens hosted festival, come down and say hi. Everyone is friendly, and you are sure to bump into some tasty beer.
Overall – The well oiled machine known as Stone did it again. Not a darn thing to complain about. Amazing beer, amazing food, fun happy people on a beautiful sunny day in Southern California. Big shout outs go to the following. If I forgot you, that’s cause I’m a spaced out dude, no offense please. Big RC, Dr. Bill, Paddy, Stoad, Patty, Grandpa Richard, Andrew Bell, Big Fuckin Jay and his lovely wife, Matt Ollesh, Chef Loren from Terra, The Compassionate Care Cru (Joey, Jay, Jonny, Chris J. Farley, Mike Upson), Marissa, Bill “Schmeinke”, STOAD, Jake and Jerz, the fellow with the 04 and 06 Lou Pepe Kriek, my ninja friend from Whole Foods Arroyo, Robert French, Jay Price, and so on and so forth.