This year, we are featuring some of the same breweries that attended last year and much more! Beers offered will range from one-off seasonals to perennial favorites.
All three local breweries will be pouring their award winning beers. Babe’s Bar-B-Que and Brewhouse will be pouring their recent medal winner, the ‘Belgian Vanilla Blonde Ale’. They took home the silver from the granddaddy of all festivals, the Great American Beer Festival, in the “Belgian-Style Blonde Ale or Pale Ale” category.
Coachella Valley Brewing will likely be pouring their newest seasonal offering, ‘Condition Black’. It’s an Imperial Black IPA offered every Veterans Day. Another possible offering will be their new ‘Saison L'Automne’, a fall farmhouse ale with yams, pumpkins and spices.
La Quinta Brewing will have the following on hand: the popular ‘Indian Canyon IPA’, 7.0% ABV, ‘Poolside Blonde’, 4.8% ABV and their fall/early winter seasonal, the ‘Tan Line’ Brown, 5.3% ABV. They will also bring either their new barrel aged Porter, 6.3% ABV or the ‘Sand Storm Double IPA’, 9.3% ABV.
Shining a light on Southern California beers, also on tap will be brews from Lost Abbey/Port Brewing, Stone Brewing, Hangar 24, Lagunitas, Ballast Point, Firestone Walker, Black Market, Refuge Brewery and Golden Road Brewing.
And with the ever increasing influence that homebrewers have on the industry, the festival will highlight these beer making champions with the third annual homebrewer’s competition. Led by local Coachella Valley homebrew club president, Brett Newton, the Beer Judge Certification Program (BJCP) certified competition will only be limited by imagination. So bring your tasty concoction and get some expert feedback from certified beer judges.
Entries will be received at either Coachella Valley Brewing in Thousand Palms or MoreBeer in Riverside starting October 11th and ending November 8th.
Brewers must bring 3 unmarked, unlabeled 12 oz. bottles. The judging will commence on Sunday, November 16th and the winners will be announced at the festival on November 22nd. Prizes include gift cards, a 70-liter Spiedel fermenter from MoreBeer and mad respect from fellow craft beer drinkers.
And this year, the moniker is even more appropriate with an extra rare beer tasting, in flight.
For an extra $175, experience a Cicerone guided tour of beers, while touring the Coachella Valley above the clouds. This rare beer tasting will be held aboard a vintage DC3 and is the first time the Coachella Valley has offered a beer flight, while flying. Experience delicious craft brews while soaring high over Palm Springs.
There will also be more live music than last year, with performances by The Anonymous Five, All Night Shoes and Long Duk Dong.
As with many festivals, the brains behind the event is an ale-loving, craft beer advocate, Brent Schmidman. Schmidman is the man responsible for making craft beer tavern, Schmidy’s, into the loved craft beer spot that it is today.
“We’re always trying to push the envelope with the event and to bring something new. This year we're taking it to a new level, literally! Our in-flight rare beer tasting in a vintage C3 has never been done before. It will be the first ever and we're happy to make beer history, here in the valley. We'll have additional live bands this year and extending the event by one hour to 6pm.
I'm also super excited about some additional breweries that we'll be pouring this year. The first two that come to mind are Avery and Three Weavers. Avery is an amazing brewery and make some insane beers - crazy wild sours and barrel aged beers that are hard to get. I'm also excited about Three Weavers Brewing, a new brewery from Inglewood and they're already making a big buzz in the beer scene. Can't wait to try their beers! There are several others also and we're very happy to have them all. This year will be even better than last year’s event, so we're pretty pumped about it all!”
I have also joined the Palm Springs Props and Hops board to help get the word out and bring - of course - more beer. Another addition this year is a special beer dinner held the evening before the festival, at The Purple Room, in Palm Springs, hosted by yours truly. Join me on Friday, November 21st at 6:30pm, for an intimate dinner featuring several local, Sothern California beers. Executive chef, Jen Town, will be preparing the menu and together, we’ll pair the perfect beer for an evening filled with culinary delicacies. Tickets are $55 and capacity is limited to the first 100 people. This popular venue is quintessential Palm Springs and is considered to be one of the cities original Rat Pack hangouts.
Mingle with the brew masters themselves and find out more about the beer and what to cook with the chosen suds.
The number of craft breweries and brewpubs continues to grow in the U.S., reaching more than 3,000 breweries solidifying the desire for a bigger variety of beer styles and more mouthwatering choices. This gives festival planners more opportunities to offer exciting, flavorful beers that rival some of the finest wines.
Whatever you do, don’t be intimidated. Volunteers, brewers and other festival attendees will be happy to guide you through beers that you may not be familiar with. So, check out this sudsy celebration and the beer dinner and expand your pallet. You can buy tickets and find more information at www.PropsandHopsFestival.com.
The craft beer revolution continues to gain momentum and festivals like Props and Hops are a perfect way to experiment with new and trending California beers. Who knows, you may just find a new favorite.