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Single, Fresh, Wet, & Wild Hop Harvest Festival

Single, Fresh, Wet & Wild Hop Harvest Festival @sierranevada Come find us and and grab a BeerSelfie.com sticker!

A photo posted by Beer Selfie (@beerselfie) on

On Saturday we attended one of the best beer fests you’ll find, Sierra Nevada’s Single, Fresh, Wet, & Wild Hop Harvest Festival. This is the third time in five years that Sierra Nevada has put together this wonderful little beer fest in Chico, California. I hope they continue this fest or, better yet, make it an annual event. This year over 50 breweries from across the country poured some great beers. The weather was perfect and the lines were short or non-existent.

Here’s what we tried with some super quick reviews:

Founders Harvest Ale Yep
HopSaint Name Dropper Yep
Hanger 24 Double IPA Really good!
Hanger 24 Chocolate Porter Really good!
Moonlight Homegrown Fresh Hop Ale Really good!
Sierra Nevada Northern Hemisphere Harvest Wet Hop IPA Really good!
Sierra Nevada Celebration Ale Still one of the best!
Beachwood Amalgamator IPA Yep
Rubicon Bend in the Rubicon Pale Ale Yep
Half Acre Sticky Fat American Dark Ale Really good!
Half Acre GoneAway IPA Really good!
Finback Knoll IPA Yep
Founders Rubaeus Raspberry Ale Meh. Kinda cough syrupy.
Kane Sneakbox Pale Ale Intense hops. Kinda catty/onion.
Kane Head High IPA Intense hops. Kinda catty/onion.
New Belgium Le Terroir Awesome!
Moonlight Two Weeks Notice Gruit Really interesting stuff. Herbal.
Upland Hopsynth Dry Hopped Sour Ale Yep
Upland Havest Ale Meh
Bagby Continental Cream Ale Meh, Corny
Bagby Struggle Bus Meh
Double Mountain Killer Green  IPA Not bad
Double Mountain IRA Not bad
Redwood Curtain Simcoe IPA Very Good. Redwood Curtain is great!
Redwood Curtain Dutchbier 5.4 Very Good. Redwood Curtain is great!
Russian River Pliny the Elder Still an awesome IPA
Russian River Supplication Still one of the best wild ales you’ll find

The highlights of the festival were both of Half Acre’s beers, New Belgium Le Terroir, both of Redwood Curtain’s beers, and both of Hanger 24’s beers. If you haven’t been to this fun festival keep an eye out for it the next year or two!

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Death by Cocuonut with petitesurah

Sarah is drinking Death by Coconut

Brewery: Oskar Blues

Style: Irish Porter

Packaging: 12 oz cans, 4 packs

Release: Limited/Seasonal

Distribution: National

ABV: 6.5%

IBU: 25

Brewed with Cholaca out of Boulder, Colorado. Cholaca is a form of pure liquid chocolate that contains only three ingredients: cacao, water and coconut sugar. Uses only fair-trade cacao beans sourced from select farms in Ecuador and Peru.

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Great American Beer Festival Day 3

Another shot with @meghan222000 & @foodsportsbeer at the @tavour #tavourpour2016 @firstdraftdenver

A photo posted by Beer Selfie (@beerselfie) on

Highlights of GABF day 3 were J. Wakefield’s Miami Madness Berliner Weisse and Jester King’s Spontaneous Blend 4. After the early GABF session I headed over to First Draft for Tavour‘s VIP party. You can see the full recap at grubulub.com/gabf-day-3-recap.

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Beer Selfie at GABF

gabf

I’m getting ready to head to Denver for the Great American Beer Festival! I’ll be there all three days (early session only on Saturday), then I’m heading to Tavour‘s Bottle Fest VIP at First Draft Saturday night. Track me down and take a beer selfie with me and I’ll give you a BeerSelfie.com sticker!

bs

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Jim Crooks, Master Blender

Jim Crooks is the Master Blender for Firestone Walker’s Barrelworks. He was kind enough to share some of his background and answer a few questions.

Graduating from Cal Poly San Luis Obispo with a Food Science degree in ’97 , Jim Crooks always had a fascination for bread yeast. He became well educated on the possibilities of what yeast could accomplish in bread, leading him to apply his knowledge to his interest in home brewing. Jim began his career at SLO Brewing Co. in 1999 and was hired by Firestone Walker Brewing Company in 2001 as Quality Control Manager. Over the course of 13 years Jim managed the quality division as annual production grew from 12,000bbls to over 100,000bbls a year. In 2007 Jim began working on a side project creating Belgian inspired wild beers and Lambics. The project, now called Barrelworks, was fully realized in 2012 when operations were moved to a new location in Buellton, CA. Barrelworks is now home to over 1000 wine barrels filled with beer in all different stages of maturation. Jim holds the title of Masterblender, and is responsible for all production and creative aspects for Barrelworks.

What’s special about your brewery?

It’s 100% wild beer. We don’t use any Saccharomyces cerevisiae. We focus on barrel aging.

What’s your least favorite part of the brew day?

Turning out the lights and going home.

What is your favorite part of the brew day?

Sampling 2 and 3 year old barrels and finding out that the time given to patience has paid off.

What was the biggest mess you’ve made making a beer?

My first time trying to get the raspberries out of our 550-gallon tote.

What’s the largest batch of beer you’ve poured down the drain?

Barrelworks hasn’t poured anything down the drain. We are in the business of salvaging out-of-code seasonal kegs from our markets and turning them into sour beer.

What’s your favorite beer festival?

Oktoberfest in Munich.

Have you shared, or are you willing to share, a homebrew clone recipe for any of your beers?

Willing to share.

What’s the strangest ingredient you’ve added to a beer?

Szechuan peppercorns.

What was your happiest moment as a brewer?

Realizing that hard work and experimentation using wild yeast finally paid off into the creation of Barrelworks.

What dumb joke are people always making about your job?

That our clothing and every piece of equipment we have is contaminated with beer-spoiling bacteria.

What beer should be served at your funeral?

Feral One.

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Framboise de Amorosa with itskeriii

itskeriii is drinking a 10th anniversary Framboise de Amorosa Barrel-aged Raspberry Sour

Lost AbbeyBrewery: The Lost Abbey

Style: Barrel-Aged Raspberry Sour

Packaging: 750 ml bottle

Release: Limited

Distribution: Arizona, California, Colorado, Georgia, Illinois, Massachusetts, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Washington

Framboise de Amorosa begins as Lost and Found ale and is sent into freshly emptied red wine barrels. The beer spends over a year in the wood during which time it is spiked with three additions of raspberries.

 

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Defenestration with herhops

herhops is drinking Defenestration

Brewery: Russian River Brewing

Style: Belgian-style Blonde Ale

Packaging: 12 oz bottles

Release: Seasonal

Distribution Area: Pub only

Important Info: Russian River is legendary for their IPAs, but their Belgian-style and barrel aged brews are just as amazing. Many of these beers have limited distribution, or are only available in their pub in Santa Rosa.

ABV: 7.25%

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