However, whether it was the economy, or simply an off day/night, the Brewfest never reached the soaring heights of a real party, and instead petered along at cruising speed, never bursting to capacity, but never empty either. It might’ve been memorable; instead, it was passable.
The Music Box at the Henry Fonda Theatre is an ideal location for an indoor event of this type, particularly since the Brewfest featured a line-up of bands entertaining the sipping (and in some cases, gulping) waves of attendees. The size and layout allowed the visiting breweries to set up their wares in a way that made their brews easily accessible to guests. From Babycham pear cider to Jewbelation Ale, anyone wandering around could take their little complimentary glass (etched, incidentally, with the wrong commemorative date) and get as many samples of as many beers and ciders as were available, all while taking in some great bands and hanging out with friends old and new.
The event packed it in a little early, due to the dwindling crowds, and a few of the breweries even ran out of beer, so I was unable to taste every type of beer available. However, I will say, I was not disappointed with any I WAS able to taste. Of particular note, for those of you who like a dark beer, was the Ballast Point Victory at Sea. On the lighter side, Firestone Walker had some great pale ales (and some particularly funny coasters).
Though the event invite boasted over 35 breweries attending, I actually only counted 15, but then again, apparently many left early. However, of the ones that remained, I have to admit, all offered good beer that I would recommend to anyone who enjoys a good brew.
Hopefully, if they revive the event for next year, it finds a larger audience and all the breweries not only stay for the whole event, but also have enough beer for the attendees.
According to the promo, the event featured the about 35 breweries (although I personally did not even see half of that), including:
Blue Palms Brew House
Ballast Point Brewing Company
Woodchuck Dark Cider
The Lost Abbey
Angel City Brewing
Magic Hat Brewing Company
Grand Teton Brewing Company
Schmaltz Brewing Company (makers of He’Brew and Coney Island Craft Lager)
Dum Dum Girls
The Deadly Syndrome
The Diamond Light
The Tender Box
Article/Photography by The Beer Goddess contributor Gen Vitanzo