Brews at the Beach 2013

By: Yelena Keselman

There really aren’t too many things that can surpass spending a day in Santa Barbara with the Pacific Ocean within footsteps and the picturesque peaks of the Santa Ynez Mountains as the backdrop. Now, add live music, great food, and some of the country’s best craft brewers and you’ve got yourself one Spectacular Saturday. “Brews at the Beach” brought together over 30 local and national breweries for a celebration of the flourishing art of craft beer. Local favorites included Figueroa Mountain Brewery from the Santa Ynez Valley and Telegraph Brewing Company located in the heart of the rapidly expanding “funk zone” of Santa Barbara, an industrial area slowly growing into the Mecca for urban wine and beer tasting. The goal of the event was to not only pay tribute to the love of great beer but to bring the community together and raise money for the Teddy Bear Cancer Foundation.

Santa Barbara

The demonstration of beer variety was beyond impressive. Each of the 30 breweries had at least 2 varieties of kegs flowing at a time. Brews ranged from favorites such as Sierra Nevada’s torpedo to seasonal crafts such as Firestone’s Solace. With my 4 oz. glass in hand I attempted to conquer as many as humanly possible.

From advice of a fellow beer drinker my friends and I stumbled upon a great IPA made by Karl Strauss Brewing Company, located in La Jolla, California (near San Diego). They recently launched a limited release series titled “ Karl’s Reserves” which features the Big Barrel Double IPA, a brew that definitely lives up to its oversized name in taste. A strong IPA with an ABV of 9% and an IBU of 90, it’s a great choice for any IPA lover as it goes down surprisingly smooth with a residual hint of citrus fruit taste and medium bitterness. The hops for this particular brew are imported from New Zealand and are notorious for emitting tropical aromas.

craft beer blogAnother very notable beer was the River Ale hailing from Deschutes brewery in Portland Oregon.  It’s a fun, easy to drink beer with an ABV of 4% and an IBU of 28. A medium bodied blonde Ale that immediately struck me with the smell of honey. It goes down incredibly smooth and was the perfect refreshment on a warm day like this one. Deschutes distributes this one year round.

In Summary, this was a great event for beer lovers of all preferences. A presentation of the friendly yet competitive nature of the craft beer industry. Each brewery exhibited creations with a great deal of individual pride yet promoted a sense of fellowship between one another. One last thing I’d like to note is the host did a great job at welcoming designated drivers to the event with discounted tickets for D.D.’s and a booth with non alcoholic beverages They also promoted alternative means of transportation such as walking and biking and encouraged the use of their free bike valet.  Overall a delightfully intoxicating way to spend the day celebrating the beauty of craft beer.

CBC on Twitter 

CBC on Facebook