Thursday’s ad is for Guinness, from 1951. While the best known Guinness ads were undoubtedly the ones created by John Gilroy, Guinness had other creative ads throughout the same period and afterward, too, which are often overlooked. This ad, one of many that used Lewis Carroll’s Alice in Wonderland is entitled “Guinness In Festival Land,” which is the same title as a different ad with a giant clock from the same year, 1951. That’s because the Festival of Britain took place in several locations, although the main area was South Bank Exhibition, which included the Dome of Discovery, which is alluded to in the ad. There’s also more about the festival at the blog A London Inheritance. The poster was done by British illustrator Eric Fraser.
Monday’s ad is for Guinness, from 1951. While the best known Guinness ads were undoubtedly the ones created by John Gilroy, Guinness had other creative ads throughout the same period and afterward, too, which are often overlooked. This ad, one of many that used Lewis Carroll’s Alice in Wonderland is entitled “Guinness In Festival Land,” and shows an odd clock of sorts and features a poem in the style of Lewis Carroll. The poem is about Guinness, of course, but it’s even more about the Festival of Britain, and specifically the Pleasure Gardens at Battersea, which was held in 1951.
The festival ran for several months during 1951 and appears to have been quite large. There were three beer gardens and a large area known as the parade. Along the parade, they actually built the Guinness Festival Clock from the ad. There’s a great story about the festival from the blog A London Inheritance.
This weekend, beginning Friday September 11, the California Craft Beer Association is holding the first-of-its-kind Craft beer Summit, a two-day event in Sacramento celebrating the rise of beer in the Golden State. It should be an amazing event that if you’re a beer lover you won’t want to miss, and will include many different experiences, ending with the the largest Beer Festival ever held in California!
It’s being hailed as the California version of the “Great American Beer Festival,” and with 150 breweries pouring their beer — as many as 400 different beers (including several brewed just for the event) — it’s an apt description. The CCBA is describing the event as “the showcase event for craft beer – a premier California craft beer festival. People from all over the state (and country) can come to Sacramento to see (and taste) our thriving craft beer scene. Our beers are coveted across the nation, so here is your opportunity to try all of them!”
But it’s also much more than just a beer festival. The summit will bring together retailers, wholesalers, brewery owners, beer enthusiasts and home-brewers for an educational, hands-on experience where they will be able to see, touch, smell and taste beer. There will be Educational Seminars both days, beginning at 9:00 AM, cooking and homebrewing demonstrations, panel discussions, talks by industry pioneers and insiders (including yours truly), an Expo and much more. You can find out more about the event here, and tickets are also available online.
Still not convinced? Here’s 8 Things You Don’t Want to Miss at the California Craft Beer Summit and Brewers Showcase Beer Festival posted by the CCBA.
For our 96th Session, our host is Joan Villar-i-Martí, who writes Birraire, which is also his nickname. He’s asking us all to attend a beer festival, either in person or virtually, and take a position one way or the other, or even somewhere in between, on this question, which, if you haven’t guessed, is the topic. “Festivals: Geek Gathering or Beer Dissemination?.”
The discussion at hand is “Festivals: Geek Gathering or Beer Dissemination?” I guess it is pretty much clear, but apart from exposing whether the answer is A, B or C (the latter being “it depends”) I expect participants to give us some insight into their local beer scene to better understand the importance or irrelevance of Festivals in each area. My guess is that it can be quite different depending on the popularity of beer in different countries and cultures.
So get thee to a beer festival, or search your memory banks for your festival experiences. To participate in February’s Session, just wax on and/or off about your take on the humble beer fest. Then on February 6, post your thoughts in the comments section to Birraire’s announcement.
Here are the winners from this weekend’s Great Alaska Beer & Barley Wine Festival in Anchorage, Alaska.
- Pelican Pub & Brewery Stormwatcher’s Winterfest
- Sleeping Lady Old Gander Barley Wine
- Deschutes Super Jubale
And here are a few photos from the event, courtesy of Tom Dalldorf from the Celebrator Beer News.
Dick Cantwell, brewer/co-owner of Elysian Brewing in Seattle, with an English volunteer, and Sam Calagione, from Dogfish Head Brewing in Delaware, enjoying themselves at the Elysian Booth during the festival.
John Burket, head of craft brands for Odom Distributing, Sam Calagione, from Dogfish Head in Delaware, and Dick Cantwell, from Elysian Brewery in Seattle, Washington, checking out the selection offered in a staggering 42 cold box doors at a retail outlet in Anchorage, Alaska.
Saturday began, as it always does, with a media brunch sponsored by Samuel Adams, followed by the GABF awards ceremony, which is essentially the craft beer industry’s Oscars. Afterwards, there were many side events on the last day, along with the crowded Saturday Night Session and the inevitable trip to Falling Rock to end the evening.
From the awards ceremony. Arne Johnson and Shane Aldrich, from Marin Brewing in Larkspur, California, winning one of their four gold medals, this one for Triple Dipsea Belgian-Style Ale in Category: 61 Belgian Style Abbey Ale. Marin Brewing also won three more gold medals, for Tiburon Blonde in Category: 59 Belgian and French-Style Ale, Pt. Reyes Porter in Category: 64 Robust Porter, and Star Brew Triple Wheat in Category: 74 American-Style Wheat Wine Ale.
Geno Acevedo, from El Toro Brewing in Gilroy, California, at the beginning of Saturday’s evening session.
Thursday morning began, not counting judging, with a quick trip to Great Divide Brewing‘s Hospitality Reception for brewers and the media. I’ve been going to their soirée for as long as I can remember. Then the first session began at the Denver Convention Center. The first session is not usually as crowded as later ones, but all four session sold out in advance, which is the first time that’s happened. As a result, Thursday night was every bit as packed as Friday and Saturday. New Glarus ran out of beer in less than three hours.
At the Great Divide Brewery on Arapahoe in Denver, the only couple to have both won Beer Drinker of the Year, Cornelia Corey and Ray McCoy.
At the Denver Convention Center, this year’s festival fittingly included tributes to Michael Jackson throughout, including this large banner that hung in the center of the hall.
The panelists from one of the “In the Brewing Studio” discussions, this one on women in brewing. From left: Carol Stoudt (from Stoudts Brewing), Jennifer Talley (from Squatter’s Pub Brewery), Natalie Cilurzo (from Russian River) and Teri Fahrendorf (formerly with Steelhead Brewing)
I spent a fun weekend with the family attending the 10th annual Northern California Homebrewers Festival. Friday night we had a great beer dinner by Sean Paxton, the Homebrew Chef, and Saturday all day we enjoyed some excellent homebrewed beer. The theme for the festival was sour beers and beers made with wild yeast.
Homebrew club booths at the 10th annual Northern California Homebrewers Festival.
For more photos from this year’s Northern California Homebrewers Festival, visit the photo gallery.
Today is the first day of Oktoberfest in Munich, Germany, one of the world’s most famous beer festivals, though the German consider it a folk festival. I confess I’ve never gone and while I’d like to go at least once in my lifetime, I suspect it’s one of those experiences where once will be enough. As has been the tradition since 1950, today the Mayor of Munich, Christian Ude, tapped the first keg signaling the start of the festivities. In German, this tradition is called “O’zapft is!” meaning “it is tapped.” The first liter of beer poured was consumed by German premier Edmund Stoiber.
The festival will last sixteen days, ending, as it does each year, on the first Sunday in October. Since 1990, a modification has been introduced into the schedule so that is the first Sunday is either October 1st or 2nd then the festival will end on October 3rd, which is a holiday, German Unity Day, celebrating Germany’s reunification. This year, Oktoberfest ends on October 7. Unlike most beer festivals, it’s all day affair, with beer first served during weekdays at 10:00 am with last call not until 10:30 pm, and on the weekends things get started an hour earlier at 9:00 am.
There are over 100,000 seats in fourteen tents on just over 100 acres. About 72% attending are from locals from Bavaria with about 15% from outside Germany. Many of these aren’t used to handling a lot of alcohol and some pass out as a result of over-indulging. Locals call those who pass out “Bierleichen” (or if female, “Bierleiche”), which means “beercorpse.” Over the sixteen days of the festival last year the more than six and a half-million people attending Oktoberfest consumed an astounding:
- Beer: 6.9 million litres (1.82 million gallons, or over 14.5 million pints)
- Roasted steers: 102
- Sausages: 144,635 pairs
- Roast chickens: 494,135
- Knuckles of pork: 43,492
Undoubtedly even more will be enjoyed this year.
One of the many Oktoberfest waitresses in the traditional “dirndl” dress (from the BBC’s Oktoberfest in Pictures) though the steins of beer are covering her bow. According to an AAP account, “[t]he dirndl has in any case become a fashion item this year. The knot in the bow reveals key information to potential suitors – on the right means the woman has a partner; on the left indicates she is available.”
Though the first Oktoberfest took place in 1810, it didn’t become an annual event until 1850. Here’s a history of the event, from the official website:
The Royal Wedding
Crown Prince Ludwig, later to become King Ludwig I, was married to Princess Therese of Saxony-Hildburghausen on 12th October 1810. The citizens of Munich were invited to attend the festivities held on the fields in front of the city gates to celebrate the happy royal event. The fields have been named Theresienwiese (“Theresa’s fields”) in honor of the Crown Princess ever since, although the locals have since abbreviated the name simply to the “Wies’n”.
Horse races in the presence of the Royal Family marked the close of the event that was celebrated as a festival for the whole of Bavaria. The decision to repeat the horse races in the subsequent year gave rise to the tradition of the Oktoberfest.
The Oktoberfest continues in 1811
In 1811 an added feature to the horse races was the first Agricultural Show, designed to boost Bavarian agriculture.
The horse races, which were the oldest and – at one time – the most popular event of the festival are no longer held today. But the Agricultural Show is still held every three years during the Oktoberfest on the southern part of the festival grounds.
In the first few decades the choice of amusements was sparse. The first carousel and two swings were set up in 1818. Visitors were able to quench their thirst at small beer stands which grew rapidly in number. In 1896 the beer stands were replaced by the first beer tents and halls set up by enterprising landlords with the backing of the breweries.
The remainder of the festival site was taken up by a fun-fair. The range of carousels etc. on offer was already increasing rapidly in the 1870s as the fairground trade continued to grow and develop in Germany.
174th Oktoberfest 2007
Today, the Oktoberfest is the largest festival in the world, with an international flavor characteristic of the 21th century: some 6 million visitors from all around the world converge on the Oktoberfest each year.
And since the Oktoberfest is still held on the Theresienwiese, the locals still refer to the event simply as the “Wies’n”. So “welcome to the Wies’n” means nothing other than “welcome to the Oktoberfest”!