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Category: Travel

Craft Beer Summit Preview with Moksa’s Derek Gallanosa

CA Craft Beer Summit

Beer Selfie will be at the California Craft Beer Summit and Festival in Long Beach this September! We’ve never been so we checked in with Derek Gallanosa, head brewer for Moksa Brewing, to find out what to expect.

This will be my first time at the CA Craft Beer Summit/Fest. What should I expect?

Be prepared to meet a lot of people in the industry. The majority of craft breweries will be in attendance so create a wishlist of who you would like to meet.

What are some highlights from past CA Craft Beer Summit/Fests for you?

I haven’t been to the seminars but the festival is definitely worth your time. You get to try breweries that normally do not travel outside of their areas.

What does Moksa have planned for this year’s Summit/Fest? Why should people stop by the Moksa booth at the fest?

We will be sending beer to the Long Beach Beer Lab for Thursday night and then Beer Belly on Friday. As far as our booth we always try to bring the best stuff we have. It’s no use attending a festival if you’re not trying to stand out.

How does the CA Craft Beer Summit/Fest compare to other beer events you’ve been to?

It’s more education and networking focused.

What do see as Moksa’s place in the California craft beer scene? How does California craft beer relate to the rest of the beer world?

Moksa is quite different from a lot of breweries in the fact that we receive over 90% of our revenue from our taproom sales allowing us to have more capital to put back into the business. Also the marketing plan is to “Market Globally, Sell Locally.” I travel to beer festival invitationals all around the world to promote Moksa and Sacramento and California. Basically I am using our platform to promote the beer communities that we are a part of.

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Pales in Comparison

Kim and Jeff Jaxon have been taking epic road trips across the country and back each summer for the past few years. Dubbed Pales in Comparison, in homage to their favorite hometown craft beer, they’re visiting dozens of breweries along the way. I checked in with them as they head east on this summer’s journey.

Kim and Jeff

Tell us about Pales in Comparison. What are some highlights from past trips?

In July 2015, we meandered across the U.S. in search of good beer, kitsch locations, and beautiful vistas. Our main goal–and the inspiration–was to go from Sierra Nevada Brewery in our hometown of Chico, California to Sierra Nevada Brewery in Asheville, North Carolina. But we got there via Oregon, Idaho, Montana, North Dakota, Minnesota, Wisconsin, Ohio, Virginia…you know, the directionless route. We created Pales in Comparison as a site to share our road trip adventures and to create a hub for video blogs, Instagram, and other social media so we could more easily share with friends and family. We had such a great time and learned so much, we knew we needed to head out again. We’re now on our third cross country trip, increasing the travel time to 6 weeks on the road. 

Our favorite breweries in 2015 were Blacksmith Brewing Company in Stevensville, Montana and Laughing Sun Brewing in Bismarck, ND. Both places started as a labor of love, have deep ties to their community, and make great beers. 

In 2018, we stumbled upon an incredible nano brewery in Darby, Montana called Bandit Brewing. They didn’t have a bad beer in the list, and they are making clean, hoppy, delicious beer.

route map

What are some of the highlights of this trip so far?

By far, Palisade Brewing Co in Palisade, CO has been one of our favorite stops so far. We were able to sit with both brewers, try beers right off the line, including a farmhouse ale brewed with beets, which was so much better than it sounds. We also found Lost Cabin in Rapid City, SD and they had one of the best Pale Ales (Bruce Banner Pale Ale) on the trip so far. Just last night, we were at Devil’s Kettle in Athens, Ohio and had some amazing sours and an Imperial Blonde called Spider Silk that was full of honey-flavored goodness. 

What are you looking forward to on this trip?

As always, we’re looking forward to a return to Sierra Nevada in Mills River and trying out a few more of the 60+ breweries in Asheville. If you could only drive to one place in the USA and wanted the most beer selection, Asheville should be top of the list. 

What are some of the challenges of a long road trip and visiting so many breweries?

You really do have to do your research: there are a lot of variables like making sure the one brewery in a small town is open on the day you’ll be there (Mondays and Tuesdays are challenging). Finding a brew pub that’s the right driving distance, with a place you can stay nearby, and a brewery that is open and has beers you want to try can be a fun puzzle to solve. We start planning months before with multiple windows open: brewery map (which lets you search a route), google maps, Airbnb, hotel sites, camping sites, and of course, brewery sites. And the weight gain struggle is real; we try to walk or hike each morning, but when you’re drinking beer for 6 weeks with a side of cheese curds…you know, pounds. 

How can people follow along?

You can find links to Instagram, our YouTube channel, and Vlogs from each year on the website: palesincomparison.com

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Q&A: What’s Your Favorite City to Visit for Craft Beer?

Tampa

Magnus of @Babymankerjesus


Oh so many. Brussels for chocolate and lambic, Los Angeles for my extended family at Monkish Brewing and all our friends there but I must say that Tampa has such great food, people and now an amazing list of breweries. Drinking Malort at Hidden Springs Ale Works, hugs and pastry stouts with my sweethearts at Angry Chair Brewing, proper pilsners at Green Bench Brewing, world class meads from Pye Road Meadworks. Yeah, Tampa has got it all!

Atlanta

Eric from @UncapEverything


Whatever city I haven’t visited yet. I would love to hit the West Coast and soak in the craft beer vibes there, but if I had to chose from what I know, I’d have to say ATL. It was truly the beginning of the love that I now have for craft and the people there are so welcoming.

Dublin

@thebrewlocker


There’s an unlimited amount of places to visit in Dublin. The beer scene is incredible, the people are so friendly, and it’s home to the Mecca-Guinness!

New York City

Tiesha, Co-Founder of Beer Kulture


Of course I’d have to say home, New York City! There’s no place like it. When I think of enjoying a good beer… I think of the vibe, the experience and the people I’m enjoying beer with. There’s simply no place or vibe like that of a crisp beer on a hot NY Summer day, chilling on the stoop with the people you love. It’s unmatched.

Tampa

@babels_cameron


Having cut my teeth [in the craft beer industry] in Tampa Bay, the Tampa beer scene will always be special to me. What makes Tampa Bay such a great region for craft is simple: excellent breweries (over seventy and counting…) backed by skilled, innovative brewers; an AMAZING state brewer’s guild, a solid beer week (and perennially-rad climate that encourages fests), and a sizeable craft bar and gastropub contingency — including gorgeous new Fermented Reality Biergarten — that supports local beer.
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