Call it “Pacific Gravity Road Trip: The Next Generation.”
Most of the homebrew club’s old-timers, longtime members and veteran drunks, for one rea$on or another, sat out the annual bus trip down to Stone Brewing’s (13th) Anniversary Celebration and Invitational Beer Festival on the campus of Cal State San Marcos on Saturday, August 22. So new club members and first-time Stone Fest’ers comprised the lion’s share of the 28 of us who took the excursion. And they were not disappointed.
The bus had ample AC, a working bathroom (although its light was out during the first leg of the trip, making for some interesting maneuvers and challenges at aiming), and the good homebrew and commercial beers flowed. The weather forecast seemed a bit dodgy, and we even hit some rainy drizzle en route down.
But by the time we had checked in and were lined up waiting for the gates to open at 11:00 a.m., the clouds parted, the sun came out, and the heat came on with a vengeance. It was brutal. Many of the beer booths even had sunscreen for the thirsty throngs who arrived without protection. How bad was it? The lines for the (eventually warm) rinse water were longer than they were for many of the beer tents.
That said, the site was much less crowded than last year (the first at this location), with the beer booths more spread out and staggered into different areas. And yes, there were long lines, but they mostly moved quickly. The queues for Avery Brewing and Maui Brewing seemed always to be lengthy.
Why? Well, aside from its great Maharaja Imperial IPA and its 15th and 16th Anniversary brews, Avery also had the very limited (only 5.8 bbls made) Voltron, which also made a brief appearance at the Beachwood BBQ’s Sour Fest that same week. Voltron consisted of five sour beers, including Brabant, Port Alter Boy and Good Sally. It was extremely complex and puckery. Read more