Bierfestens: California Adventure – 4 Weeks To Start

Posted on February 23, 2011


So after the last few weeks of beer festivals at Harts and The Taphouse, and a Royal Sydney Wine show in Sydney the next few are going to be tied up with family and Rugby engagements. The best part of coming back to Australia is the NSW Waratahs actually have a good team this year.

Writing this blog entry while having a beer at Harts, as it never seems right to write beer blogs without a beer in hand, arm or mouth. So this entry is somewhat of a rant of sorts as I get drunk enough to figure out enough things to talk about on the trip coming up.

The great news early in the trip  is that there are two of my ‘old’ local bars in Canada St Augustines (Vancouver) and Bar Volo (Toronto) who are going to be in San Francisco for the Craft Brewers Conference in March. Bar Volo is one of the oasis beer joints in Toronto with Augustines being the new’ish premier bar in Vancouver with 40 taps.

Planning Wednesday – Saturday in San Francisco and the rough idea of bars will be the decided based on proposed events involved with the Craft Beer festivities.  The obvious hits will be Toronado (san fran) that missed the top 50 bar list this year on Rate Beer’s top number, but I have to agree with the new structure to the top list that Joe Tucker has applied to his data. He took out an ambiguity between Bars/Restaurants, so kudos for that and yes this year ‘Kulminator’ in Antwwerp Belgium won top bar and I have to agree with that. Though Delirium in Brussels was a fucking great bar.

Key Data Headings in my BEER SPREADSHEET.. As my laptop is blocking my Microsoft Office Access and I refuse to pay the money for the program, as I’m upgrading systems soon anyway it won’t let me view or do anything to my spreadsheet. Yes people I know Ubuntu and Open Open.. but haven’t got there yet.

TYPE OF BEER PLACE: Beer Bar, Brewery, Brewpub – this identifies whether it is categorized correctly and helps to provide that we are comparing brewpub to brewpub… instead of brewery to beer bar.. each are categorically different but similar in terms of beer.

Without doubt the ability to cover 185 brewpubs, breweries and beer bars on the list in 22 days in the US is nigh impossible but that is where the ability to rate the quality of the brewery or bar appropriately with a scoring of 1, 2, 3 is how I have applied the rating. So we can say North Coast, Russian River, Moylans, Lagunitas, Toronado are given an automatic ‘1’ rating. Bars that have won some type of award from beer related websites are awarded a 2 rating.  Bars that we are unsure about, or look average are given a 3 rating..

Systematically we are drawn down to 60-100 bars, breweries and pubs with 1 or 2 ratings. Looking at how things will go now I view a that 40-80 California beer establishments is highly possible on the trip as I plan to visit several in a day, and then deciding on the best one in which to spend the ‘end’ of the night beers in.

Now onto the 2nd beer of the night, as i listen to Brokers and Financial guys in the bar talking about ‘footy’ and how much money they have screwed off ‘contract’ companies. Great to know that investment brokers drink good beer though with our money!!

So after San Fran, we’re heading to North Coast to home of my favorite widely available stout.. Rasputin and hopefully an imperial of some description.  But yeah heading up North we’ll hit various haunts along the way. But upon returning to San Fran we’ll spend some time in Oakland whereby we’ll visit a range of pubs in that town, not a place on most tourist maps.

The research I have uncovered has been alarmingly positive about Los Angeles which isn’t a town I would associate with a beer town, but has an alarmingly huge beer scene that exists in the city on paper!

More to come!!!