Last night Stone Brewing Company with the support of Briess, HopUnion and whoever else, welcomed 1700 brewers and wholesalers into their establishment - allowing almost free range of their entire brewing facility, from kettle to keg operations to cold storage of their distributed brands. They highlighted their amazing building design, brewing designs, and the imaginative use of stones and rocks in their bar, restaurant, bathrooms and gardens.
There were beers everywhere you turned. Stone had all of their beers flowing and a variety of other San Diego breweries had stations with tapped delights as well. I sampled the following : Alesmith Brown Ale, The Lost Abbey, Ballast's new IPA, Pizza Port, Stone's Pale, IPA, Oaked Arrogant, Vanilla Porter, and regular Bastard.
Beer celebrity sightings, brewery operation fantasizing, and speculation on which brewer might be the drunkest, were the activies of the evening. In some kind of Dante-esque torture, Chad stood by, unable to taste his favorite elyxirs due to a unfortunately timed acquisition of strep throat.
Standing in the luminous concrete lobby, sipping Oaked Arrogant Bastard and Vanilla Bean Porter, with my friend Terri Burch of Premium Beverage Alliance, we noticed that the weiner to bun ratio (as she puts it) was pretty ridiculous. Mark, from Santa Cruz Aleworks, commented on the lack of women, "C'mon, isn't it really an event for men?" To which, we quickly made our departure to the women's restroom which to our delight, had no line, for once.
More Craft Beer Convention blogging...