Saturday, July 7, 2007

The 2007 Great El Dorado BBQ, Brews, and Blues Festival

This event has been marked on my calendar ever since I heard of it: The Great El Dorado BBQ, Brews, and Blues Festival, held today in downtown Reno. At least thirty different breweries, from Sierra Nevada and Widmer to Ruby Mountain and Moylan's, were on-hand to serve the masses who were thirsty for refreshing beer, delicious food, and great music. I, however, was only on-hand for the beer. Here's a run-down of all the beers I had.

I would like to state that this environment may not have been the best for tasting and judging colors, but I tried my best. Reader discretion is advised.

  • Anchor Summer Beer (Anchor Brewing Co.; San Francisco, CA, USA; First Brewed 1984; 4.9% ABV; website)

    This beer had a rich golden color with a bright white head. Its taste was crisp with a nice wheaty finish. I've had their Steam Beer and Liberty Ale, and they didn't really hit my taste buds the right way, but I really enjoyed this beer. I never bad-mouth a beer, and I never give up on a brand if I don't enjoy a particular style, so I'm glad I found this Anchor enjoyable.

  • Lagunitas The Censored Rich Copper Ale (Lagunitas Brewing Co.; Petaluma, CA, USA; 5.9% ABV; website)

    This beer was described to me as a "sweeter, non-hoppy IPA," and they're right. It didn't have that hoppy taste that I don't like, and was pretty sweet-tasting. It had a nice copper color and a great aroma. Maybe IPA-like beers aren't so bad after all.

    Note: The "Censored" is blocking out the word "KroniK," which apparently some retailers had an issue with due to obvious marijuana references. Hence, it was censored.

  • Spanish Peaks Honey Raspberry Ale (Spanish Peaks Brewing Co.; Polson, MT, USA; 4.7% ABV; website (no direct link))

    This beer delighted my nose with its light honey scent and my taste buds with its raspberry overtones. It had a reddish amber color with a caramel colored head. Now I know which beer to ask for when I'm in Montana.

  • Moylan's Kilt Lifter Scotch Style Ale (Moylan's Brewery; Novato, CA, USA; 8.0% ABV; website)

    The guy who served this beer told me that it would kick my ass, and boy, was he right. I had no idea that it had such a high wonder I felt drunk after drinking this. It had an amber color, a slight tan-coloredhead, and a very harsh hoppy taste. It was the first of the beers that I tried that just wasn't my type.

  • Firestone Walker Double Barrel Ale (Firestone Walker Brewing Co.; Paso Robles, CA, USA; 5.0% ABV; website)

    This beer had a dark amber color with an off-white head. It had a slight hoppy taste that transitioned into a nice wheaty finish. A very interesting beer with an interesting fermentation method: in a patented oak barrel brewing system.

  • Santa Cruz Mountain Organic Devout Stout (Santa Cruz Mountain Brewery; Santa Cruz, CA, USA; 5.4% ABV; website)

    This was the darkest beer that I had at the festival. It had a dark brown color with a caramel head, and taste-wise had a hoppy taste with a bitter finish. Another beer that just wasn't my type. It is certified organic by the USDA, however, and Santa Cruz Mountain's beers are the first organic beers to be served at the festival (from the RGJ).

  • Ruby Mountain Wild West Hefeweizen (Ruby Mountain Brewing Co.; Clover Valley, NV, USA; website)

    This beer was a lot different from other American hefeweizen's I've had. It didn't look as cloudy and it was served with an orange à la Blue Moon Belgian White. It had a dirty amber color with a small white head, it was crisp with a light finish. An interesting twist on the American hefe.

  • St. Stan's Red Sky Ale (Stanislaus Brewing Co.; Modesto, CA, USA; 5.8% ABV)

    My last beer of the night, St. Stan's Red Sky Ale had a red-amber color with an off-white head. The taste had a slight hoppishness with a clean finish. I may have been a little buzzed, but I swear that it cleared my palette of that skunky beer taste that had accumulated over the course of the festival. Still, it was a little too rich for my taste, but once again, I may have been too buzzed to accurately judge.

All in all, there were some beers that I liked and some beers that just weren't my style, but I enjoyed them all. In any event, I'm going again next year to try the other breweries that I missed. I still have some leftover tokens that need to be used.


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