Firestone Walker Invitational Beer Fest 2013...

Discussion in 'Pacific' started by Devi0us, Nov 17, 2012.

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  1. grilledsquid

    grilledsquid Initiate (0) Jul 10, 2009 California

    To all those who have praised Brandy Hunahpu, what time did you guys get your pours? I don't recall when I got mine (poured from a pitcher) but it was surely after 3 and it was quite awful. Chalk and graphite were the most distinct descriptors that come to mind. I know a few others who said the same thing so it wasn't just me.
    MssrTussaud likes this.
  2. Xul

    Xul Pooh-Bah (2,065) May 18, 2008 California
    Pooh-Bah Trader

    I got mine just after 1 (probably 1:07 - 1:10, somewhere in there), and thought it was very tasty. I didn't think it was a mindblowing experience, but I also didn't detect any off-flavors like chalk and graphite.
  3. Rau71

    Rau71 Initiate (0) Dec 12, 2011 California

    I had the BA Huna second right after DL. I got a lot of cinnamon flavor. Tasted like a desert that I can't put my finger on. I didn't get any chalk or graphite.
    1424IpA and rails like this.
  4. rails

    rails Initiate (0) Nov 8, 2012 California

    I had it all day. Everyone I know that had it raved about it.
    Thirsty_Rob likes this.
  5. AptosBeerDrinker

    AptosBeerDrinker Initiate (0) Aug 9, 2011 California

    I looked at that line and figured it was mostly non-Californians honestly which, hey, if I had come out from the Midwest or where ever I would have been standing there too.
  6. Rau71

    Rau71 Initiate (0) Dec 12, 2011 California

    I'm guessing the majority of people liked it since they won people's choice, and while invasion was good I don't think it carried them to victory.
    rails likes this.
  7. rails

    rails Initiate (0) Nov 8, 2012 California

    2 min wait for kern Citra & JO

    30 min wait for Pliny.

    not a very tough decision for me

    But that's just me

    I did meet some really cool people in the RR line and I didn't mind cause I just kept getting refills of BA huna while I waited.
    Thirsty_Rob and Rau71 like this.
  8. Instapint

    Instapint Initiate (0) Oct 13, 2008 California

    flexabull likes this.
  9. Skuter

    Skuter Initiate (0) Jun 21, 2008 California

    Nice pour of BA Hunahpu! I got like half that size and mine tasted very chaulky (my pour was within the first ten minutes of the fest).
  10. xraided81

    xraided81 Initiate (0) Jan 9, 2008 California

    They pour
    They poured toronado 25 anniversary , but that was at 223pm, I'm not sure if they had other bottles that justified the enormous line, I do remember bottles of sanctification as well
  11. xraided81

    xraided81 Initiate (0) Jan 9, 2008 California

    My BA hunnahpu was within 30 minutes of the fest and was amazing as always maybe somehow it was a tainted pitcher?
  12. distantmantra

    distantmantra Pooh-Bah (2,954) May 23, 2011 Washington
    Pooh-Bah Trader

    Nefarious was made for APEX's birthday party in Portland and is also on tap at Brouwers, Burgundian and Bottleworks in Seattle right now.
    Thirsty_Rob, flexabull and Wowcoolman like this.
  13. AptosBeerDrinker

    AptosBeerDrinker Initiate (0) Aug 9, 2011 California

    Well there you have it. Thanks for the update.
    distantmantra likes this.
  14. biglobo8971

    biglobo8971 Initiate (0) May 6, 2010 Minnesota

    I for one had a blast. That was helped by the people I was fortunate to hang with (Leschkie, Beerdy, Huadog, Schwartzoid, Lymph, Arbitrator, Nosignsofpain (and Adam), Kevin (forgot your BA name, OakedCannuck, and all the wives/girlfriends of these people.
    My take on the festival is that it was one of the more well done that I have been a part of. The heat of course was the only thing that I take as a negative from the whole day. I think the people hosting the event were nice and courteous, the tent attendees seemed to be having as much of a good time as we were, and the beer was pretty darn special. For someone who trades 90% of the time for Cali stuff, I was glad to try every pour that I received.
    So thank you FW and the rest of the great people I met while in Cali, I will have to return soon.
  15. Brewcycler

    Brewcycler Initiate (0) Aug 25, 2012 California

    Well-run event. Just wanted to mention some beers that seem to have been overlooked:

    Triple Rock was more impressive than expected. Their IPAX was amazing and the Keyser Soze is fantastic! The booklet says nothing about either one of those but they did have a whiteboard with some info. Also props to them for pouring me a full glass after 5pm. They seemed to have opened their Keyser keg a bit late?

    Right next to them was my favorite victim of the day: Green Flash brewing co.
    Best session IPA tasted - citra session
    Best barrel-aged stout I was able to get to: Silva ...17 months in a bourbon barrel? we came back for this probably 5 times as there was never a line.

    Wasted my time in the Bruery line and Lagunitas line too ... seriously guys?
    I don't know much about surly but anyone that PLANS on bringing their weakest beers doesn't get re-invited. This hovers on the edge of false snobbery hiding some seriously childish insecurities. Yes, we worship you. May your ego heal. Damnit really though, I expected more from my viking brethren.
    Beerandraiderfan and rails like this.
  16. moosington

    moosington Zealot (543) Mar 29, 2009 California

    Festival was fantastic again. Firestone is adept at putting in some controls for a seemingly bad situation. It very much turned into an IPA Fest due to the heat, though I still made it a point to tick the heavier stuff I hadn't had.

    50/50's IIPA had a ridiculous nose, flavor didn't quite stack up, but it was still very good. The Mosaic Pale was pretty good, too. 2009 Rittenhouse smelled great, but the complexity in flavor is gone. Brandy BART was their best barrel aged offering of the day, IMO.

    High Fives was a ridiculously good beer. Low alcohol IPA with amazing flavor. Got a few of those. Carlsbad Raceway was solid, too. Port brought a solid lineup.

    Sierra's Maple Stout was very even keeled and I liked it, but the barrel aged dubbel didn't do it for me.

    System of a Stout is still the best coffee beer I've had, even in the heat I enjoyed it immensely.

    SLOambic is still legit, but I got more sweetness out of Sour Opal than anything else (tried it early on, before any other sours).

    It was nice to be able to ignore the RR, CCB and 3Fs lines, and the only beer I wanted to try but waited too long for was the Mikkeler/Firestone collab.

    Will definitely be back again next year.
  17. Rau71

    Rau71 Initiate (0) Dec 12, 2011 California

    Since Surly was such a late add I can see why they brought what they had fresh. A lot of these breweries have very tight brewing schedules and if you don't know ahead of time then you can't bring some top shelf beers. I don't know how long the brewing process is for Surly, but I can understand them bringing the beers they did. That being said I expect them to be back next year and really blow peoples socks off, much like Cigar City did this year. A lot of these breweries brought some top notch beers that cost a lot of money to brew, or a lot of time in the barrel etc. and to get to try them all in one place is awesome. Kern River Citra is like a month long process eating up hops and tank space the whole time, and being their size that is a big deal, and they brought some to pour which was perfect for the hot day. They had to know ahead of time when to brew it to bring it to the event. Hell even the big guys like Sierra Nevada and New Belgium brought interesting barrel aged beers which aren't cheap to make.
  18. SubpoenaDeuces

    SubpoenaDeuces Initiate (0) Feb 3, 2011 California

    I wish more people heeded this excellent advice, then I could get BA huna, Keene Idea and BA DL, watch them kick, and let other people show up fashionably late.

    I saw their two trifling offerings and the Lulz resounded through the frontier time auditorium. It was like France44 emptied their LIFO merchandise on unsuspecting tickers.

    Absolutely agree, it was like the base beer with a monocle. It kinda jazzed things up but not a grave departure from well tread territory and easily the most underwhelming BA Huna variant to date, as long as Virgin Oak is left out of the fray.

    This is their "Two and a half" IPA, essentially a halfway house between Hop Venom and Notorious. Fantastic beer IMO. Really enjoyed that one.

    One moment that I don't know if anyone else enjoyed was when after people waited for 30 minutes for Wanderer a second wanderer line formed right next to it. I went over and asked "Is this the Wanderer line or the line to cut the Wanderer line? I have been standing in the other one for 30 minutes, but if I can just cut everyone, that works best for me."

    The guy was like "Bro, this is BRUERY, if they do a Wanderer, then hey, I WILL TAKE IT IF YOU KNOW WHAT I MEAN!" me: "Ok cool, I will tell my friends to come over here, you don't mind if we cut in front of you?"

    Then 1.5 oz pours and stock market pandemonium. Then I was like "why am I wasting time in this line? I have this at home."

    Another highlight, in 103 degree weather having the spiciest hot wing ever crafted from the cauldron of Hephaestus.

    Bell's Wild One Raspberry was amazing.

    Great event, great people. Lines were as expected but nothing earth shattering. 10/10 would get sunburned again.[/quote]
  19. JasonFromLA

    JasonFromLA Initiate (0) Jan 9, 2013 California

    Great event as it was last year!

    Surly was a huge disappointment and seemed to be irritated by people asking if they had anything special to pour.

    Triple Rock was a huge surprise and I enjoyed everything they offered. Their Keyser Soze was fantastic.

    Nefarious was delicious, and Boneyard continues to brew some of the best IPAs out there.

    Odell's poured special beers at random times, and I really think this method is best. Right next to Floyd's, so there was never a line here.

    FiftyFifty poured 2009 Rittenhouse Eclipse while the Floyds line stretched for miles as people waited for a chance at BADL. Enjoyed all of Fiftyfifty's offerings and was nice to see some unique stuff being poured, brandy BART was outstanding.

    Then The Bruery. I didn't bother to get pours of anything, but felt bad for people thinking they would get pours in that huge line when they didn't bring many bottles to begin with. And the line cutting/reforming was a joke. Clusterfork.

    Lagunitas and their Sonoma County Stout was one of the highlights of the event, and hopefully people were able to get some while bypassing that Bruery mess.

    Great beer. Great food. My only hope is that next year the special pours are more in-line with the first year and done randomly without announced times. While it might be disappointing to miss out on a special pour, the amount of world-class beer should make up for that, and this would hopefully help cut down on some of those "Bruery lines". (Although hey, I don't mind all the people going to The Bruery / RR / Lost Abbey / Three Floyds when it means the lines for stuff like Citra were non-existent.)
  20. UCLABrewN84

    UCLABrewN84 Initiate (0) Mar 18, 2010 California

    Many a ballsack dripped that day.
  21. MastaShonuf

    MastaShonuf Initiate (0) Jan 21, 2013 California

    Never poured. I went by several times and hit up CCB and Southern Tier

    It was a shame that barely any was at Kern River or Boneyard for the greater part of the day...once again...good for me. My wife alone put down a pitcher of Citra. Nefarious was damn good.

    Really can't wait until next year.
  22. AptosBeerDrinker

    AptosBeerDrinker Initiate (0) Aug 9, 2011 California

    Seriously one of the highlights of the day for me was walking up to the Beachwood booth at 1:15 with zero line and having Julian Shrago pour me a Hop Ninja. I think the rest of the festival was in the Dark Lord line at this point.
    teamizm likes this.
  23. Earlycsquid

    Earlycsquid Initiate (0) Jan 7, 2013 California

    On one hand, those Whalez bro lines were bothersome. On the other hand it did keep those folks waiting in the Bruery, CCB and 3F line and away from everything else. Man what a good festival.
  24. DougOLis

    DougOLis Initiate (0) Aug 15, 2008 California

    Is Brandy Hunahpu that much better than regular Hunahpu? I'm not a fan of regular Hunahpu (in general I don't like chili beers) but does something happen in the barrel that transforms it and evens it out?
  25. stxSS07

    stxSS07 Initiate (0) Nov 23, 2010 Illinois

    Trade for regular Hunahpu, throw some tree bark and a splash of E&J in it, then come back and thank me for saving you the trouble.

    I'd say just wait patiently until they release Apple Brandy Hunahpu again. That beer can knock out some serious prison pull-ups.
    beachstrength49 likes this.
  26. stupac2

    stupac2 Initiate (0) Feb 22, 2011 California

    Honestly, I think if anything the barrel makes it worse. Then again I haven't had '13 Hunahpu yet, and everyone I know say it's the worst batch made. So maybe it's an improvement over a bad batch, I don't know.
  27. rails

    rails Initiate (0) Nov 8, 2012 California

    I loved it and I think most people there did to.

    They brought just Brandy Hanahpu and a pale ale.

    They won the the peoples choice for the whole festival I don't think they got it for the pale ale.
    mikul93 and Wowcoolman like this.
  28. APreacher

    APreacher Initiate (0) Jun 6, 2012 California

    Wi-five to FW, breweries and volunteers. Great event overall, will definitely return.

    One thing that could improve is some covered seating with tables or picnic benches.

    I did feel bad for some fellow ba's that had to deal with the crazy shhh'ing room monitor at Adelaide.
    Commanche likes this.
  29. Beerandraiderfan

    Beerandraiderfan Initiate (0) Apr 14, 2009 Nevada

    Brandy BART? I missed that? Arghhh! Brandy Eclipse > Brandy Hunahpu (by a country mile!).

    For everyone having trouble with hotels (Best Western/Adelaide) I'd say check out Lake Naciemiento for camping. We've done it the last 2 years of the fest, always awesome, no hassle. They have bathrooms/showers.

    No one bitches at you for drunkenly going into the lake at 2am. No one to "shhhh" you (well park rangers come by every now and then, but they've never said anything to us). I'm really pushing my Nevada contingent to make the trip next year.

    Extra credit: Totally hot + sexy, friendly black chick park ranger on the weekend night shift. I didn't bring any Foothills bottles, but . . . (insert obligatory Sexual Chocolate innuendo).
    usofar and UnknownKoger like this.
  30. stupac2

    stupac2 Initiate (0) Feb 22, 2011 California

    You know who's going to win people's choice before the event even starts. There was no way it was ever going to be anyone besides CCB or FFF, regardless of how good their beer was. They both could've literally brought beers brewed over a dumpster fire and still won.
    domtronzero and Beerandraiderfan like this.
  31. rails

    rails Initiate (0) Nov 8, 2012 California

  32. drgarage

    drgarage Initiate (0) Aug 19, 2008 California

    That's ridiculous. Only Fantomes are brewed over dumpster fires. And sometimes that fire makes it so damn delicious.
    AptosBeerDrinker and stupac2 like this.
  33. Grabbin2nd

    Grabbin2nd Initiate (0) Jul 30, 2005 California

    soggy bottom boys
    UnknownKoger likes this.
  34. drewone

    drewone Pooh-Bah (2,137) Sep 18, 2006 California
    Pooh-Bah Trader

    Sorry to tease, but I voted fifty fifty for people's choice because of the brandy BART. To me the stand out beers were beers I had no expectation for; either because I didn't know they would be poured or there was no hype: Revolution 3rd Anniv, Triple Rock Keyser Soze, etc.
    Beerandraiderfan likes this.
  35. Ynot2

    Ynot2 Zealot (641) Jul 24, 2009 California

    Well fifty fifty got at least 2 votes based on the brandy BART.
    Beerandraiderfan likes this.
  36. TheRealPour

    TheRealPour Initiate (0) Jan 29, 2009 Illinois

    Flying in from Chicago, my first (of many) FWIBF's was a rousing success! I found EVERYONE I met in and around Paso to be amazingly friendly and welcoming. From our hotel staff at The Oaks to the staff at FW taproom to the people working the gates at the fairgrounds and everyone I met in line and just hanging out was amazingly kind.

    My bright green Heady Topper T-shirt inspired many impromptu conversations and plenty of speculations of future Vermont-based entries at future fests.

    The water and mister situation made the dry heat quite bearable. Cheers to that! This coming from a guy who's used to much more humidity with his heat. I found that I was in better shape after four hours of tasting here than at much more 'comfortable' events like the Great Taste in Madison and the Michigan Winter Beer Fest. I attribute that to the NEED to drink water and the allure of the included food. Certainly helped keep my wife and I hydrated and able to enjoy each sample.

    Being from the Midwest I must admit I laughed a bit at the epic Dark Lord line and made a couple passes through the Kern River (Citra nearly lived up to sky-high expectations), Alpine (Keene Idea was swell), Beachwood (Amalgamator!) and Pizza Port (both Carlsbad varieties) lines in a fraction of the time. After all, it was all about trying West Coast beers for me. I did return to a non-existent 3F line later on for a pour of Dreadnaught as I was 'feeling homesick.' Please bring Zombie Dust next year!

    I took a couple years of Japanese so it was tons of fun to stop at Yo-Ho twice and order in their native tongue...blowing their socks off each time. Tasty entries too!

    FW's BA Saison was darned tasty and my only trip through their line. I knew nothing of their varieties and simply asked the gentleman to pour me 'his favorite.'

    In retrospect I'm glad I had visited The Toronado up North a couple days earlier and get my fill of draught Pliny and three other RR offerings so I only felt the need to wait in their always long line once for a beautiful pour of Temptation. The girl pouring at RR was very likely the most friendly server I encountered at the event all day.

    Though I love Surly and have visited their brewery twice, I agree that they were a disappointing entry. I had never tried Schadenfreude so that was a nice taste, but wow if they could have managed to bring a little Abrasive, Furious or even Coffee Bender I would've spent a whole lot more time down that way.

    Sadly I missed Cigar City as I knew Hunahpu was gone, and I regret not trying Invasion, but there was just so much to try.

    A standout for me that I haven't seen written about yet was Revolution's Dos Osos. A collaboration with FW, I can't wait to drive a few miles and pick up a growler or two of this now that I'm back in Chicago. I attribute their lack of love to their relative unknown status on the West Coast, but I took advantage and went back often for pours while on the way elsewhere.

    And to the two random fellas from SoCal who I met in the RR line, thanks for the warm welcome to your lovely state and I sincerely hope our paths cross again.

    All in all a wonderful experience and a very well-executed and well-curated event. I hope to make arrangements and reservations for next year very soon! Cheers FW!
    Commanche, mikul93, Rau71 and 2 others like this.
  37. Rau71

    Rau71 Initiate (0) Dec 12, 2011 California

    Dos Osos is a great beer, they brought it last year and there was never a line so I went often. Same thing this year. I think it is just as good as a lot of the West Coast stuff like Beachwood. I just wish they would leave some around Paso for me.
  38. teamizm

    teamizm Initiate (0) Feb 4, 2005 California

    With all the out-of-market beers there, I have to agree that going to Beachwood and getting Hop Ninja from Gabe or Keyser Soze from Triple Rock or Hoppy Birthday from Alpine were by far my highlights. Goddamn I love being a Californian.
    AptosBeerDrinker likes this.
  39. Devi0us

    Devi0us Savant (1,124) May 3, 2011 California

    This being my first beer festival, I thought the FWI was the tits...Friendly people all around and Kick Ass Breweries with Kick Ass Beers!!!

    To start the day, not even a 5 minute wait for BA Darklord. Then 2 more pours of BA Darklord to end the day one being the very last pour that kicked the keg...did I mention that the last pour was more like 5oz? BA Huna was good but not great, luckily the line wasn't too long...Bummed that I missed out on that Keene Idea but the non-existent line at Alesmith kept me at bay with 5 pours of BA Speedway and 1st in line for some BA Numbskull. Oh, and the tacos next door were on hit...Several pours of Kern River Citra also helped ease the pain of missing out on Keene Idea...had Hoppy Birthday towards the end if the fest but was not feeling it, probably due to palate fatigue...I must visit this beer again...Overall great festival, I look forward to seeing all of you again next year...

    The swamp coolers and misters were a huge help with the heat...I agree with the many, Why The Fuck was the water out in the hot sun?

    ●The Pulled Pork Sandwich with coleslaw.
    ●Many brewers pouring Great beers causing some short lines at other breweries.
    ●Swamp Coolers and Misters

    ●The plates with the slot for the glass. Although ingenious, I hated carrying that shit around all day.
    ●Not knowing what restaurants were serving what. I was looking for those damn chicken wings forever...
    ●Special pours from certain breweries...I know that you're pouring some of your rarer shit but c'mon man...with thousands of people in attendance, a couple bottles ain't gonna cut least pop a case of each so more people can try your offerings.
  40. Earlycsquid

    Earlycsquid Initiate (0) Jan 7, 2013 California

    You know, when I saw someone munching down on something I wanted to try I simply said "Yo man, where'd you get that?!" and it seemed like more than enough folks were happy to point the way. :wink:

    While I'm not going to put too much of the blame on the water being in the sun, simply because the sun moved through the time we were there. Not to mention that, well, there wasn't much shade to begin with. I did like that each spot had a pitcher of water right at the table that I used to clean out/and take a swig of water before trying something new.
    Thirsty_Rob and 1424IpA like this.
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