This past weekend was nothing short of amazing in the craft beer world as Shelton Brothers, importers and distributors of small batch beers and ciders from all over the world, brought The Festival 2014 to the Port of Los Angeles in San Pedro. The Festival 2014 took place over the course of four sessions split up over Saturday and Sunday afternoon. There were literally beers from all four corners of the world with close to 100 breweries represented and probably close to 400 different brews to choose from. Someone commented to me that it would be impossible to try all the offerings in one session. The fact of the matter is that it would be impossible to try everything there over the course of the four sessions.
The Saturday sessions were very well attended, but with all the amazing brews available there were only two booths that even had a line, 3 Fonteinen and Cantillon; by Sunday even they had no lines. It is not very often that you can go to a beer festival and have no lines for Beachwood, Firestone or The Bruery. I understand that San Diego Beer Week started on the same weekend, but if you drove to San Diego instead of staying in LA I am afraid you blew it. The selection of beer at The Festival would be pretty tough to beat anywhere.
Like many of you, when I go to a beer festival I like to try beers I have not had an opportunity to try before; at The Festival 2014 I was able to try numerous beers from breweries I had never heard of. Of course, there were plenty of breweries I had heard of, just never experienced and I did my best to make up for that.
After two days and four sessions of incredible beers, I did arrive at a couple of conclusions; the first of which is that overall, the United States is producing a much wider variety of beers and they are tastier. If you like sours, Europe is probably the place to go, but we definitely have some tasty stuff being brewed here. Another thing I found interesting is that when talking to the brewers of these European beers is that many of them are using American grains, hops and yeast. The reason I found it so interesting is that there are so many new breweries opening around here that are using grains and hops from Europe.
Standouts for me include Scheherazade by Celestial Meads, Darkstar November by Bottle Logic Brewing, Nyx-goddess of the Night by Faction Brewing and Blå Spøgelse by Mikkeller. Of course, Sadie by Beachwood, Parabola by Firestone and Black Tuesday by The Bruery were definitely appreciated by everyone that had the opportunity to try them.
For ease of viewing, pages 1 through 11 are from the first session Saturday; session two will be found on pages 12 through 14. Sunday’s photos begin on page 14 with Sunday’s second session beginning on page 19.
Thank you to Brouwerij West, Shelton Brothers, Sharefest, all the breweries and volunteers that made this an outstanding event; we look forward to your return. Cheers!
You must log in to post a comment.