Tuesday, 18 August 2009 04:42

Trump National Wine and Beer Festival

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The 1st Annual Trump National Wine and Beer Festival was held on Sunday, August 16, 2009.  Approximately 50 wineries and micro-breweries were in full force on the grass.  The famous golf club provided for an amazing backdrop on the cliffs of Palos Verdes.

The event almost slipped under my radar, but luckily, my friend, Michael Bowe of Angel City Brewery contacted me that morning.  Wine and beer tasting with live music is one thing, but I couldn’t miss out on this 1st annual event at the Trump Golf Course.  The Trump National Golf Club is the gorgeous course and 45,000 square foot clubhouse settled upon the hills of Palos Verdes, with spectacular panoramic Pacific Ocean views.  Knowing that, I laughed as I drove through San Pedro on my way to the event, which is just a hop, skip and a low-rider away from the world-class course. 

The course alone is probably comparable to the value of most of the thriving industry and shipyards in the entire city of San Pedro.  Well, maybe not - but suffice it to say, the course is worth A LOT.  Shortly after Trump bought the grandiose land, a massive landslide caused the 18th hole to fall into the ocean. Trump - being Trump - brought an engineering team in to rebuild the devastated terrain. Using over 100 concrete filled, 20-foot long steel pipes, $8 million worth of a special fabric that is normally used in dam construction, and massive amounts of dirt, the 18th hole was rebuilt. 

That’s... one... hole. 

There was a slight breeze, as bands like Lukas Nelson and the Promise of the Real played, with the ocean waves behind them.  Willie Nelson’s son and the band wailed some chugging blues, as we all chugged some wine and brews. Tickets were $2 and were good for a sample. The deal was the $20 package, which had 20 tickets and included a Trump National-branded wine glass.

Lukas Nelson and the Promise of the Real

Proceeds benefited the Providence Little Company of Mary and Rotary Club of Rancho Palos Verdes.  Wineries such as 4 Wines & More, Andrew Lane, Cakebreak, Chamisal Vineyards, Cline Cellars, Cupcake, EQ, Frank Family, Godspeed Vineyards, Jacob Toft, Justin, Livio Felluga, Qupe, Soljans, and Yarden were pouring adjacent to the wine paired concessions.  Personally, I enjoyed the Angel City "CHE", while noshing on an $8 cheeseburger.

One of the gems of the representing breweries was PALM Belgium’s Amber beer.  It was rich and had a beautiful …wait for it… amber color and it was just way too easy to drink.  PALM Breweries is the only beer company in the world to brew using the four traditional Belgian brewing traditions - top, bottom, mixed and spontaneous fermentation.  I would’ve had more, if only the event hadn’t ended at 5pm.  But it was probably a good time to go, as my comrade was feeling the effects of the tastings and ogling over the singer as they were breaking down. Blythe, Brooke & Austin take time out to smile from their beer tasting

Anheuser-Busch brought 11 selections, including Shock Top Belgian White, Bass, Stella and Bud Light Lime.  Firestone Walker, Angel City, Ballast Point, New Belgium, Pyramid, Alaskan, Deschutes, and Sam Adams were also pouring healthy doses in the lower grassy area.  Yes, the lower grassy area - you couldn't help but feel the separation between the wine and beer boths, as the wineries looked down onto the brewers.

Lagunitas was also there representing their India Pale Ale.  I also had a taste of their Imperial Red Ale. A variation of their original 1993 "Lagunitas Red", it’s a slightly spicy ale with a big malty palate and more than enough hop character to balance.  If you have the means, I highly recommend you pick one up.

Lagunitas Imperial Red AleAngel City's CHE

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