The Lost Abbey Framboise de Amorosa
While this southern California brewery was pouring pouring more than a few fantastic brews (bourbon barrel-aged Angel's Share anyone?) it was the behind-the-table brews that were the most coveted. Framboise de Amorosa is their sour American lambic with an assertive raspberry character and crisp, dry finish. A rare treat.
Pizza Port Osprey English Summer Ale
In the desert heat, a nice summer ale is a great thing. This brightly hopped English bitter clocks in under 5% ABV.
Russian River Temptation
Nine liters of beer have never moved so fast as when Russian River popped three of their coveted three-liter bottles of Temptation. This chardonnay-barrel aged, sour blond ale is one of the finest American sours and a coveted score at any beer festival.
Hermitage Brewing Ale of the Imp
Tied House brewery's bottle line, Hermitage Brewing, brings an impressive addition to the DIPA scene with Ale of the Imp. 100+ IBUs and a dry, citrusy finish made for one of the best hop-forward beers of the festival.
Ballast Point Victory At Sea Cask
Victory at Sea is one of the West Coast's finest imperial porters. This bourbon barrel, cask-aged version rounds out all the rough edges, blending the coffee and vanilla notes with a strong oaky bourbon character.
The Bruery Humulus Lager
Are you an IPA-lover? How about an IPL? This India Pale Lager drinks bright and crisp, with an enormous amount of citrusy hops to complement the clean finish.
Russian River Pliny The Elder
No trip to the west coast is complete without a nice cold Pliny. It's pure, bright, and citrusy without the usual overly malty backbone to weigh you down.
Bear Republic Maibock
While Sonoma County's Bear Republic is best known for its hoppy brews, they also make a fantastic German lager. Their Maibock provides enough malt sweetness to separate it from the usual summer lager, while the American hops make it particularly refreshing on a hot day.
While Mammoth Lakes Bluesapalooza is mostly about great beer and great blues music, it's also about good friends. Here, two new friends share some fresh Mammoth Lakes Brewing Company beers.
Julian Hard Cider
The new kid on the California cider scene, Julian defies the usual supermarket cider with dry, tannic, apple forward drink. Julian pours lighter than any other cider we've tried on The Cider Press but creates an exciting edition to the accessible cider market.
Mammoth Brewing Company Blonde Bock
The official beer of Festival of Beers & Bluesapalooza is hometown brewery Mammoth Brewing Company's Blonde Bock. This German-style lager, aged for six months in bourbon barrels, is strong and boozy with a complex, malty backbone.
Your faithful author, enjoying two tasters of Noble Ale Works Nobility, a dry DIPA with seriously aggressive hop character and light, malty body.