Sunday, June 7, 2009

Monterey Beer Festival Brewing Demo

I have to say it was a totally different and exciting experience attending a beer festival from behind the booth rather than lining up to be served a sample. Having said that, I want to also say that I won't include here the down side of attending a beer festival from behind the booth. It would be to ugly.

Along with fellow Zymurgeeks, I rolled out the brew sculpture to brew up 10 gallons of Rye IPA to demonstrate our homebrewing skills and field questions about the art of homebrewing beer to the curious observers. What better a place to exhibit the process than at a beer festival in our own back yard, the Monterey Beer Festival. On hand to serve up samplings of their finest beverages were many west coast breweries. Right next to us was Santa Cruz's own , Uncommon Brewers serving a delicious Baltic Porter and Belgian ale. Conveniently located right next door to our booth, we could simply hand our glass over for refills, avoiding the extensive line.
The fairgrounds filled quickly with thirsty 20 somethings looking for quality beer and the longest line formed at the Deschutes beer barrel dispensing wagon with several beers on tap including one of my favorites 'Mirror Pond Pale Ale'.

On the opposite side of the grassy field, Jason, the head brewer from Seabright Brewing of Santa Cruz, was on site personally handing out samples of his IPA. With our brewing fully underway, Dave, my brewing partner for the day, and I headed over to be interviewed by The Brewing Network as they broadcast a live feed of the event. They talked to us about our local homebrew club and about how we were getting along with our demonstration. I was a little nervous but don't feel like I came across too weird. Creepy maybe, but not weird. I got the chance to plug my homebrewing classes at Cabrillo College. Thanks guys. You can listen to the entire postcast. here

As we proceeded with the demonstration, people kept coming over to get beer samples.

"We don't have beer." we would tell them, "We're making beer".

Of course their next question was..

"when will it be done?, should I come back later?"

"Yeah, much later."

Naturally, the frequency of this request increased as the day progressed. I started to lose my sense of humor and found myself hiding behind the brew sculpture sipping quietly on my beer. At one point, I set my 'special' beer glass down for a second,(a coveted glass I got at a Bay Area Mashers event several years ago)to soon realize that someone had walked off with it. Fortunately, I caught a glimpse of it clutched in someones sticky hands and rushed to snatch it back. The culprit feigned ignorance and I couldn't argue with that.

As the day drew to a close, we chilled our freshly brewed beer into fermenters for the ride home. It was a good day, we hit our gravity and look forward to enjoying our Monterey Beer Festival Rye India Pale Ale.

Did you attend the Monterey Beer fest? Leave a comment about your experience.

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