As followers of Beer Molly know, one of our daughters got married this past weekend. With the planning and logistics, personalities, conflicts, and minor life traumas of what society refers to as a “wedding,” we haven’t had much time to pic or post in the past couple of weeks. But “not much” isn’t “none”, because we did have time to slip out between family obligations and get in a couple of hours of the 12th annual San Diego Strong Ale Festival over at Pizza Port Carlsbad last Friday.
We arrived a little before 9pm, which we had figured would be about the time the crowd would have thinned a little from earlier in the evening (strong ales tend to cull the herd more quickly than most).
No such luck. With just two hours left the place was still packed with humanity. Beermolly and I grabbed our tasting glasses and threaded our way through the crowd and up to the pouring tables.
(Sidenote: The Strong Ale tasting glasses are great. Real glass half-sized English pint glasses that you’ll actually want to use later on.)
The theme of this year’s Strong Ale was “75 Beers for 75 Years” in honor of the repeal of Prohibition in 1933, so I have to assume that the other 30 plus beers were in honor of something else. The Full Pint has a complete list of the beer lineup here (check the handwritten tasting notes). Molly scanned the list and quickly went for Deschute’s Black Butte XX, followed by The Abyss `07 and a Storm King from Victory Brewing. I’m pretty sure she also hit the Sea Monster Stout from Ballast Point, Oskar Blue’s Ten Fidy, and Pizza Port Carlsbad’s Night Rider on Cask. Beyond that she says it’s all a blur (no kidding).
While Molly was running the Imperial Stout gauntlet, I was somewhat more adventurous. I had Two Brothers’ Hop Juice double IPA followed by Drake’s Jolly Rodger, Hollister’s Bowling and Beyond, Roots Organic Belgian Golden, Weyerbacher’s Double Simcoe, Boston Beer’s Utopias (not on the list), and… uh… yeah, I don’t remember much beyond that either.
Anyway, it was a great couple of hours to escape, drink some outstanding strong ales and see our friends before descending back into the time-honored turmoil of “the wedding.”
Hey, speaking of the daughter’s wedding, our love of great beer (and beer people) helped us immensely. We had the wedding rehearsal dinner at Churchill’s Pub (thanks Ivan!), we got Stone Pale Ale and Port Brewing Wipeout at the reception, and Adam Carbonell, head brewer at Back Street Brewery in Vista, CA (who also happens to be an ordained minister) performed the ceremony. Pretty cool, huh?