|February 15, 2009|
The final event of SF Beer Week was the Best of the West fest, put on by the Celebrator Beer News. It was held at the Oakland Convention Center at the Marriott Hotel in downtown Oakland, the same venue where the National Homebrewers Conference will be held later this year. Instead of an anniversary party, the Celebrator’s annual party this year instead focused on celebrating beer in the Bay Area, in keeping with the SF Beer Week theme. Fifty-five breweries were pouring nearly 250 different beers throughout the evening and a record attendance was there to enjoy the evening. With so many familiar faces, both locally and from out-of-town, it sure felt like the perfect way to finish out the week. Everyone there seemed to be having a terrific time. After ten days of merriment and trying to attend as many events as possible, I’m certainly feeling exhausted, but overall it’s a good kind of tired.
The line to get in extended all the way down the hallway almost into the lobby.
As in previous years, may people took it upon themselves to come in costume.
The first five people to be let into the Best of the West Fest.
We changed the way we let people in this year, which seemed to streamline the process, allowing people to get in and start enjoying themselves more quickly this time.
Don Barkley, from Napa Smith Brewery, was on hand to pour the official beer of SF Beer Week, which he created for us using the original recipe for New Albion Pale Ale, which was the first modern craft brewery in America.
Inside, the hall had plenty of room for people to sit and enjoy their beer.
Curtis Cassidy (from Marin Brewing/Moylan’s), Matt Salie (from Big Sky Brewing) and Vic Krajl (from the Bistro).
My beer dinner buddy, Arne Johnson, brewmaster at Marin Brewing.
Alice and her cohorts through the drinking glass.
Motor (from Beerschool.com), Sarah Knopp (from Murphy’s Pub) and Jen Garris.
Steve Donohue (from Firehouse Brewing) and Peter Cogan (from The Tied House).
Bacchus and Ninkasi.
Dave Hopwood (from Stone Brewing) and Kenny Gross (from Wine Warehouse).
The intrepid Bob Brewer (from Anchor Brewing).
Pimped out with Christian Kazakoff (at right; from Iron Springs Pub & Brewery).
Jen Garris, Fall Allen (from Asia Pacific Breweries) and Mr. Sunshine, Dave Suurballe.
Aron Derosey (from Beach Chalet) and Brenden Dobel (from Thirsty Bear).
A pair of superheroes.
Nicole Enri (from the Trappist) and Russ Rasmussen.
Daniel Kahn (from Buckbean Brewing).
One of the Viking horde in attendance.
Continue on to Part 2