Bierfestens: California Beer Adventure Series: Logistics

Posted on February 3, 2011


So the irony of planning a BEER TOUR of California is that I’m now sitting in the Hilton Wine Bar in Sydney as I write a fucking beer blog post about my trip. The reasoning is that the boss is away tonight and I have a beer festival tomorrow at Harts Pub with which I will be drinking my fill of beer, so tonight after work I’m drinking a NZ Neudorf Sauv Blanc, which in fact may turn me back onto Sauvs.

I’m unsure who reads this blog other than some ‘stats’ page that provides me ‘interesting’ viewers that come from ‘Viagra’ sites, and places that then want to sell me ‘ROLEXS” that are genuine! Wished I studied pharma and worked in jewelry stores to get rich of these schemes.

Back to the TRIP..

As I’m an Analyst I often work in roles where there is a problem presented, and I’m meant to be part of the solution, or as I see it included in the problem part!! So I started on attain data which is the first stage in any project and from there you need to clean it up and work out what you want to find out of it. Data was attain from the usual suspects Todd and Jasons Beer Advocate website and Joe Tuckers RateBeer Website. These both contain different but relevant data.

BA is primarily used as general source for which bars people have reviewed, and thus provides for a city a system for new uses to attain Bars, Breweries, or Beer Stores. Rate Beer is a site that I do not actually use that much other than to look their top lists that they produce. For that I’m thankful to both sites and recommend that any users subscribe to both and join as part of their community. I am a member of both but unfortunately don’t participate as much as I should.

Out of the data I collected I was at 185 bars,breweries and brewpubs. Of this information I went through to collate various categories based on ‘Type’ of establishment, and a rating system of 1, 2, 3 to identify Most-to-Least wanting to visit. As obviously one cannot visit 185 places in 3 weeks and still have a fucking liver.

This years breakdown of the Ratebeer Top 50 List was very good, and broken down by Bar, Restaurant and by country. The only error I think in the ratings was the lack of AlibiRoom as Canada’s best pub, and even though I love the boys at BarVolo who came 25th.  This list that was data collated by the Ratebeers team gave me names of places that beer beer rate very highly. I 100% agree with Kulminator Antwerp winning the #1 Bar spot, it is the equivalent of an incredible Burgundy in the rough. Not that you could find a bad beer in that city but yeah it was an experience.

The list is now refined by ‘City’ so that San Fran and Oakland are associated differently so that I do not confuse Toronado or Hayward Bistro. Too often beer nerds like myself are bound by time constraints so much rush, and not that this not rushing, but an element of methodology is the aim. By grading the beer establishments based on ratings and preference.

Aside from the main brewers in California we do want to experience the beer and hospitality of the smaller guys and pubs in the middle of nowhere, so that we can try beers that we won’t taste anywhere else. As this planning phase continues I will post the lists per city so that I can attain comments or tips from locals or bier-ophiles like myself.

2 more months of work and planning needs to occur before we land in San Fran which coincides with Craft Beer Week. Definitely not by Chance.

Thanks to the support of the Van Beer Tourist crew in Canada.. we’re all learning together.