Extreme Beer Fest: Los Angeles (2017)

Discussion in 'BeerAdvocate Talk' started by Todd, Mar 30, 2017.

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  1. Todd

    Todd Founder (6,167) Aug 23, 1996 California
    Staff Moderator Fest Crew Society

    Now that the dust has settled...


    On behalf of the entire BeerAdvocate team, I'd like to thank everyone who came out to support our first Extreme Beer Fest in Los Angeles! And a special thanks to Sam + Dogfish Head for sponsoring, our new friends at the Los Angeles County Brewers Guild (Franny!) for being our non-profit partner, the CMC, and all the brewers for bringing it!

    Despite busting our asses to follow all city and state rules and regulations, we had some—let's just say "unfair," for now—last minute changes thrown at us by officials on Friday afternoon. This forced to follow and convey their brand new rule of "10 tickets for 10 / 2oz pours" to the best of our ability. Our only other option was to cancel the fest, which wasn't an option.

    We're not discouraged and plan on working with others to help educate decisions makers to ensure that this new rule doesn't stick, as it'll no doubt negatively impact the ability to host beer tasting events in the area. Step one was showing everyone that we can host an extremely successful fest with zero police incidents. Check!

    Aside from the above, we hope that everyone had an awesome time! It's a challenge to work with so many new moving parts and unknowns, and we've already identified areas for improvement, but the team would love to hear what you think worked, as well as your constructive criticisms and ideas to make next year's event (?) even better.

    Thanks again for your support, and we hope to see you at future BA events in LA or elsewhere.

  2. Todd

    Todd Founder (6,167) Aug 23, 1996 California
    Staff Moderator Fest Crew Society

    Long story, but the short one is: unfortunately they had to dropout last minute due to distribution and paperwork issues. Aardwolf and BA did everything we could, but it was out of our collective control. We were all bummed, but they have an open invite to join us at either Boston or LA or both.
    2beerdogs, Retsinis, st9647v3 and 2 others like this.
  3. rmpic82

    rmpic82 Devotee (494) Jan 27, 2017 Kansas
    Society Trader

    Great event, @Todd and BA staff, supporters, consumers. I would think those breweries who are wondering what impact they have had in attending the event would be interested to know the following:

    I have already posted two ISO’s from the Extreme Beer Fest agenda - one of them which attended, Burley Oak, and One which I/we missed, Aardwolf! Glad Aardwolf is still in BA’s good graces.

    If anyone else is directly impacting brewery business from the fest, I’d enjoy hearing which brewers compelled you to seek out their brews. Cheers, All.
  4. PBRandJ

    PBRandJ Initiate (104) Jul 18, 2016 California

    Just to kind of echo everyone else here, EBF Los Angeles was a rousing success. Plenty of room, reasonable lines, and I felt like people were really respectful to one another. I didn't see line cutting at all.

    I was excited to try a lot out of state stuff (Weldwerks, J Wakefield, Great Notion etc) but was also excited to finally sample some semi-local breweries that I've slept on like Cellador. I will definitely be making a trip up to Cellador before the end of the year.
  5. Rbarnes4381

    Rbarnes4381 Initiate (169) Oct 29, 2013 California

    They don't really have a tap room that is open, maybe within a year but that is optimistic, because LA city makes everyone jump through massive hoops to get one open. Better off buying bottles at shops.
    Frosty11161, PBRandJ and rmpic82 like this.
  6. PBRandJ

    PBRandJ Initiate (104) Jul 18, 2016 California

    That's good to know @Rbarnes4381! It would suck to drive from Orange County to North Hills to only realize that there's no tasting room. Cheers!
  7. JoshBeerNow

    JoshBeerNow Aspirant (275) Sep 23, 2014 California

    Same thing as everyone else. Great job on the event @Todd. Beer was great, venue was nice and the only thing that was a hassle was the bathroom line. Outside of that, a great first run on the west coast and I look forward to next year!
    Todd likes this.
  8. rfugitt

    rfugitt Initiate (17) Feb 4, 2008 Nevada

    Bathrooms....... I liked the venue setup, much better than the Shelton brothers events .... a few portapotties would have helped.

    Highlights for me were Adroit Theory, Burley Oak, Fremont’s Dark Star variety’s amongst others...
    2beerdogs likes this.
  9. drewone

    drewone Poo-Bah (1,586) Sep 18, 2006 California

    Johnny come lately here - but agreed overall great fest! Amazing selection of beers, so many that I wanted to try. Also plenty of room, minimal to no lines for most and good staging before hand.

    Bathrooms could have been a easy fix by just having a sign posted at the nearest
    bathrooms alerting people that they could go to the other side or downstairs.

    My only other comment was I wish there was more water at each brewery (at least to rinse glasses). There was a couple times I was going to get a sour or IPA and pour as I was handing my glass over saw the dregs of the stout from my previous taste. I noticed some stations had spray bottles or water on tap and in all fairness I mentioned it to one brewery and they said that they were suppose to bring water, but obviously not all did. I did have a water bottle strapped to me that I just started doing my own rinse (which doubled as a way to stay hydrated).

    Really I can't believe this event didn't sell out months ago. Great job everyone!
    Retsinis, warrendietrich2001 and Todd like this.
  10. csniezek

    csniezek Defender (607) May 5, 2004 Massachusetts
    Fest Crew Society

    There were four large blue water stations where you could dump unwanted samples, rinse your glass, and even get a drink of water. Personally I like to combine rinsing and drinking the water, helps one stay hydrated during the fest...

    HOPTOMIC_BOMB Disciple (331) Feb 18, 2014 California

    I’m with you on burley oak brotha, Fudgy slippers was unreal. My beer of the fest. The JREAM variants were stupid good.
    warrendietrich2001 and rmpic82 like this.
  12. Dicers

    Dicers Poo-Bah (1,752) Sep 2, 2012 Colorado
    Fest Crew Society Trader

    There were definitely a few "dead spots" where you were a bit of a walk from water, but overall that's probably a good thing. It helps slow down the amount you're intaking.
    2beerdogs and warrendietrich2001 like this.
  13. warrendietrich2001

    warrendietrich2001 Defender (688) Feb 13, 2013 Nevada

    I have been to both EBF Boston and now LA. In my opinion LA was a tad better behaved. I did not notice one line jumper the entire festival in fact most people stayed with their group there was very little waiting in line grabbing beer and jumping back in line (not that is wrong). One issue I had was Abnormal tapping M4 at 2:00 created a stagnant line as people were in the line early and it was also next to the bathroom which also had a long line. The venue security was really nice and very efficient. In a perfect world there might be a better representation of East Coast / Midwest breweries to give the festival more of a destination / vacation fell to it. All things considered I will be attending LA again next year.
  14. Ponzu4u

    Ponzu4u Initiate (62) Jun 19, 2015 California

    Honestly my only regret was probably not pacing myself better so I could take advantage of the reduced cost of the second session. Overall, I'd say a smashing success. So many standouts, but the Great Notion "blueberry pancakes" (double stack + blueberry muffin) or the J. Wakefield stout managed to rise above for me.

    Line-cutting was definitely at a minimum, you just didn't need to. But there was certainly a bit going on in the lead-up to M4. We were towards the back of the line, and by 2:20 hadn't moved so decided it wasn't worth spending the next 40mins in a line that was growing wider faster than it grew shorter.

    And I will ABSOLUTELY be looking into trades for more from many of the breweries I got to try.

    Oh, and I will ABSOLUTELY be looking into acquiring more from many of the breweries I got to sample.
    #334 Ponzu4u, Dec 13, 2017
    Last edited by a moderator: Dec 13, 2017
    2beerdogs likes this.
  15. Dka67

    Dka67 Aspirant (295) Nov 27, 2014 California

    They have a online store and ship within California.
    PBRandJ likes this.
  16. DJturnstile

    DJturnstile Initiate (71) Sep 2, 2015 California


    Cons - I could have used another hour in the fest to get a taste of more things. Between waiting in some of the longer lines like Weldwerks and the bathroom I missed out on trying about 6 breweries that I wanted to catch. Had some pleasant surprises from places I hadn't heard of like Capt. Fatty's and Trve though.

    I got a lot of comments on my Homer Simpson / Drederick Tatum shirt which was pretty funny. Even Dogfish head Sam got a kick out of it when I had my fan boy moment with him :slight_smile:

    Hope to catch it again on either coast next time I get a chance!
  17. iamthecarlos

    iamthecarlos Initiate (153) Jan 2, 2015 California

    M4 wasn’t that great... definitely not worthy of that shitshow of a line.

    On the other hand, all those medianoches we’re worth the wait and they were available the entire time.
  18. Todd

    Todd Founder (6,167) Aug 23, 1996 California
    Staff Moderator Fest Crew Society

    Re: M4. We really try to urge brewers to not do timed releases. The sole purpose is to create hype, and all it does is create unnecessary lines and more work for everyone. I hate them, and if I caught wind of it beforehand I would've shut it down.
  19. DJturnstile

    DJturnstile Initiate (71) Sep 2, 2015 California

    Finback did that with hawk and whale also, releasing it at 1:30. Not sure if it caused any hype though since people seemed unfamiliar with them and they had zero line through the day.

    Tried to chat the guy up a little (since he wasn't pouring for anyone) about how I missed their stuff having lived in Brooklyn before but he was fairly uninterested :grin:
  20. Earlycsquid

    Earlycsquid Devotee (489) Jan 7, 2013 California

    I'm confused by this since I never had to wait in line for the bathroom. They allowed you to go to the bathrooms both in the lobby by taking the elevator near the cheese spot down. And also the area where the entrance line was had bathrooms. Neither of which ever had any sort of line.
  21. pinballplayer

    pinballplayer Disciple (337) Jul 2, 2014 California

    If one of my wife's friends gets married the same day as EBF next year I'm going to have to decline. Who gets married in December?!?
  22. Todd

    Todd Founder (6,167) Aug 23, 1996 California
    Staff Moderator Fest Crew Society

    I went down the line a couple of times and told people that there were other bathrooms. "I don't believe you," is what I got.

    Regardless, we're aware of the men's bathroom situation and have solutions if we return to the CMC.
    F2brewers, st9647v3 and Dicers like this.
  23. swanfungus

    swanfungus Devotee (497) Dec 23, 2014 California

    Odd. Finback was the first booth I hit in the night session (and I was pretty front-of-line, and wanted to show some east coast love) because I wanted to try BA-BQE, and they mentioned that they were only tapping BQE once Hawk kicked. It didn't seem like a "timed" thing so much as a logistics thing, but maybe the afternoon session went differently.
  24. iebforever

    iebforever Initiate (75) Jan 19, 2009 California

    EBF was very well done! Being the first year you've done this here I didn't know what to expect. The venue, lineup of breweries and beers, efficiency of entering the venue were outstanding. Big bonus that the CMC was so close to mass transit, took the Metro in from Riverside and had to walk maybe five blocks. I'll be there next year!
    rmpic82 likes this.
  25. Laurie0

    Laurie0 Initiate (73) Aug 28, 2015 California

    What a terrific festival. 2 years ago dragged the hubby, his bro and wife to FoBAB in Chicago since barrel aged is my thing and decided this time to "settle" for Extreme since they like lighter brews. Well, no one "settled" - everyone was happy! Agree with all the notes on how well-run it was. It felt spacious yet lively, and the few lines didn't take that long (and hardly any ladies' room line-WOOT!). Except the constant Weldwerks line. And wow was it worth it: that Single Barrel Rye Coffee Maple Medianoche...I still dream of it. And damn it, if my son had just gone to Boulder I could count on 4 years of chasing after their beer. I'll have to "settle" for my second fav and home-area brewer Cellarmaker's BBA Vastness of Space Vanilla Latte - if I can ever find it on tap here.
    Dka67, swanfungus and Majikow like this.
  26. PG2G

    PG2G Zealot (547) Dec 26, 2011 California

    Had a great time at the festival. I loved the venue, plenty of space and it was nice to not have to feel like dying from the sun at a beer festival for once. Selection of breweries and beer was well curated and nothing kicked in what I'd consider an unreasonable amount of time. Keep up the great work, definitely plan to go again next year and very happy to have it in town.
    2beerdogs and rmpic82 like this.
  27. rmpic82

    rmpic82 Devotee (494) Jan 27, 2017 Kansas
    Society Trader

    Some fellas were flying by the men's room line headed toward more brews when they mentioned to the back of the line (me and others) that more restrooms are outside. I was skeptical, too (why, i dunno) but thought what could it hurt? Sure enough, no wait and I was in and out. In "return the favor" fashion I told others the same when I passed a long restroom line, but they gave me the same look as I gave the other fellas....are you suuuure?

    There were more restrooms, so the problem was more squarely on awareness not facilities.
  28. rmpic82

    rmpic82 Devotee (494) Jan 27, 2017 Kansas
    Society Trader

    I prefer no timed releases, for sure, but the long Abnormal line pulled people away from other brewers...so in a way, the only "major" timed release that I noticed (although there may have been staggered pours, etc) was helpful. If someone invites you to a party (BA Extreme) and asks you to follow house rules (no timed pours) it seems a little shitty to do what you want anyway. Such is life...
    Ponzu4u, Fippy_Darkpaw and Majikow like this.
  29. GimmeAGuinness

    GimmeAGuinness Defender (605) Sep 1, 2005 Massachusetts
    Fest Crew Society

    That woulda been hard to do on the 13th floor :wink:
    F2brewers, 2beerdogs and DJturnstile like this.
  30. DJturnstile

    DJturnstile Initiate (71) Sep 2, 2015 California

    Came here to post this! Haha :slight_smile: Unless the 12th floor was just reserved for raw bathroom sewage maybe?
    2beerdogs likes this.
  31. Dschwartz83

    Dschwartz83 Initiate (118) Feb 1, 2013 New Jersey

    Have been to EBF Boston the past 4 years and was so glad to have made it out to LA for this. While 95% percent of the lines in Boston are never more then a few minutes, it was awesome that I was able to just walk up to nearly all booths with no wait at all in LA. Weldworks and the M4 timed release at Abnormal were the only exceptions that I noticed.

    The long lines for the bathroom weren’t fun (I didn’t think to go downstairs) but I actually welcomed the chance to catch a quick break at times.

    My only complaint, if you want to call it that was the limited amount of food options. By the time we thought to take a food break the only options left were cheese or donuts. The tamales had sold out. While I always love cheese and donuts, something a little more substantial in my stomach at that point would have been nice but I survived haha.

    All in all, it was a fantastic fest and I hope to make it back to LA for this event again someday. I made the best of my time in LA too. I think I made it to 10 breweries over the course of the weekend which was awesome. I’m looking forward to EBF in Boston in February. Cheers!
  32. Drunken_Master

    Drunken_Master Initiate (90) Mar 6, 2014 California

    Yikes, You're Pretty Hardcore If You Dig That Event as That's One Im Definitely Interested In However, You REALLY Need To pace Yourself There.

    On Another Note, I'll Chime In with My 2 cents: The Event Was Great, the Location though Some Might Be Like "Wtf Is The place" considering it was in a nearby rough location, may be a turn off. Being an l.a native, I know a lot has changed however In comparison to other locations, sure some people may have preferred elsewhere but it would defeat the purpose of it being extreme. Joking aside, Single Barrel Rye Coffee Maple Medianoche, triple barrel baptist, Fremont coffee & other variants, several other stouts that I can't think off the top of head & least m4 were great. The latter was too much hype; Mostra was serving it up during their anniversary the same day at urge. I Know There Was A Similar Stout That Had Honey As Well & thought well M4 Wasn't That Much Different But Eh, It Is What It Is.

    Disappointments: The Hpb pappy & Scoth Parabola. Good At first But Man Let It Warm And It wrecks Your Palette. Sorry for the auto correct darn kindle.
    2beerdogs likes this.
  33. Laurie0

    Laurie0 Initiate (73) Aug 28, 2015 California

    Yeah...I actually joined up to get the 1 hour early access...when my 3 fellow drinkers arrived, I was HAPPY HAPPY HAPPY to see them. But I really am that person who doesn't drink the whole 2 oz, so there's that.... And agree on Fremont and Epic!
  34. Avitra

    Avitra Aspirant (268) Apr 19, 2014 Switzerland

    Overall very good event, but...

    1. The selection of beer - unbelievable. rare and cool stuff. I learned a lot about a lot of breweries.
    2. The venue itself - spacious and comfortable.

    Less good:
    1. Really the main complaint is food - in the evening event there was pretty much nothing except nachos. No Tamales, and no Beer Belly. I don't know who screwed up in evaluating the amount of food needed, but someone did a really bad job here - more food also means, easier time to drink, so that's a same.
    2. No buying beer option. I hoped that the breweries would be able to sell stuff too.
    Todd likes this.
  35. Todd

    Todd Founder (6,167) Aug 23, 1996 California
    Staff Moderator Fest Crew Society

    It's hard to gauge a first year event, but some vendors simply underestimated the demand. Now they know.
    Because it's illegal to do so.
  36. GimmeAGuinness

    GimmeAGuinness Defender (605) Sep 1, 2005 Massachusetts
    Fest Crew Society

    Things don't always go as planned. Circumstances beyond someone's control don't equate to someone screwing up.
    F2brewers, csniezek and Dicers like this.
  37. RussellHFilm

    RussellHFilm Initiate (0) Apr 1, 2017 California

    I'd like to echo everyone else and say how terrific the event was. I had an unbelievable time-- got to try a ton of beer-- everyone was well-behaved-- event was near public transit-- so many great, great things about this event. I hope it can happen every year here.

    My only recommendation would be to extend the time by an hour to allow for more tasting-- but even without additional time, I will 100% be back to this event every time it's in LA. Huge congrats to everyone involved that made this event the rousing success that it was.
    st9647v3 and Todd like this.
  38. Beer_Jay

    Beer_Jay Initiate (37) Nov 17, 2015 California

    I really enjoyed the festival. I liked the spread-out layout of the brewery booths. It made it easy to walk around without having to cut through lines to get to other booths. The beers were great & all the people were friendly. I didn't use a restroom during the festival, but appreciated that restrooms were readily available in the building following the festival.

    I feel that I should mention here that I never plan to return to EBF Boston again unless you do something about the restroom situation. Right at last call there last year, I had many mafia/dockworker/thug-type security guards surround me (pushing me) & tell me I could not use the restroom. They called the police on me, which I was grateful for. The nice policeman directed me to use the restrooms at the hotel across the street. I am still angry about this. When paying $$ to attend a festival, adequate restrooms should be provided. I should be treated like a civilized person. I should not be told that the restrooms can no longer be used. I should not be told to go use restrooms at a neighboring private establishment. The beer was amazing, but I do not at all appreciate being treated that way. I should have gotten their names & sued them for false imprisonment.
  39. Dicers

    Dicers Poo-Bah (1,752) Sep 2, 2012 Colorado
    Fest Crew Society Trader

    Based on that last line.... If they were telling you to leave isn't that the opposite of imprisonment?
    SDReaper likes this.
  40. rickzusmc

    rickzusmc Initiate (0) Apr 17, 2014 California

    Great festival!
    Great breweries pouring great beers!
    If/when you have the next one in Los Angeles, I will definitely be attending. Location was awesome, easily accessible via metro and great view from the 13th floor. Good to see a lot of familiar faces and everyone pouring, that I encountered, was friendly and pleasant. Good crowed and great vibes. I wish I could have gotten to more breweries than I did, but you know how that goes... maybe releasing the booklet online ,ahead of time, to ticket holders would be nice so I can plan my attack a little better.
    Great festival and look forward to the next one!

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