|August 30, 2008
After Friday night’s Slow Food Nation Press Preview, the main events began Saturday morning, with two sessions scheduled for the day, and two more on Sunday. I volunteered to pour beer and answer questions in the beer pavilion and Beer Curator — don’t you just love that title — Dave McLean assigned me to the cask bar, one of three area in the beer pavilion. There was a bar for bottled and canned beer, one for draft beer, and the third for cask.
Me and Arne Johnson, head brewer at Marin Brewing, manning the cask bar in the beer pavilion. Once people starting arriving, the time just whizzed by, it was so different from the typical beer festival. First of all, there were very few frat boy types looking only to get a buzz. And even better, the majority of people who bellied up to the cask bar were actually interested in learning what cask beer was and which one they should try. It was so refreshing to have people truly receptive and open-minded, but perhaps the most fun was trying to pick a beer for someone, based on what they normally liked. I felt like a detective gathering clues and trying to solve a mystery. I then got to watch their reaction and see how I did in real time. As far as I can tell, I only got it wrong once.
The bottled beer bar.
The draft beer bar.
Several beer people stopped by throughout the day, like these three. From left: Tom Nickel (owner of O’Brien’s in San Diego), Nancy Johnson (Director of the Great American Beer Festival) and Danny Williams, also from the Brewers Association.
Dr. Bill and Matt Bonney from Brouwer’s/Bottleworks in Seattle.
Tony Magee, owner of Lagunitas Brewing.
Dr. Bill and his fiancee, Rena (sorry if got the spelling wrong).
Greg Koch, co-owner of Stone Brewing, led a toast (shown here with Shaun O’Sullivan from 21st Amendment) in honor of beer writer Michael Jackson, who passed away one year ago today, on August 30, 2007.
Me and Arne again, behind our cask bar.
There was a two-hour gap in between the first session (which was 11-3) and the second (5-9 pm) so I took another stroll through the main building that housed most of the 16 taste pavilions (beer, bread and native foods were outside by the entrance). The ones here are different taste pavilions than the ones I highlighted Friday night.
This is the Charcuterie, where several meats were available for sampling.
The Green Kitchen.
The honey and preserves pavilion spelled out HONEY in crates.
And there was part of a beehive in the middle of the “H.”
Inside the honey and preserves pavilion.
After that, it was back to the casks and another four hours pouring beer and answering questions. Here i am, at the end of a very long, but satisfying day, with Dan McLean, who as the beer curator of the beer pavilion, was responsible for creating the hit of the first Slow Food Nation event.