As much as I love the craft beers from Washington and Oregon, I have to admit there are some pretty darn good breweries in other parts of the country (even California). One trip to the Great American Beer Festival will make that perfectly clear.
So, if you could throw a beer festival – and invite just the breweries and beers that you wanted to be there – would you not invite any breweries in WA or OR? Firestone-Walker seems to think that is definitely doable, and so they did it.
I was struck with righteous indignation at the mere whisper of such a deed, but, I must admit, in looking over the list for the 2015 Firestone Walker Invitational Beer Festival, happening Saturday, May 30, 2015 from 12:00 PM to 5:00 PM (PDT) in Paso Robles, CA., the have managed to put together a pretty impressive group.
It is a bit of an elitist beer festival though. Admission is $80 for those five (make that four) hours, and $200 if you want the VIP treatment. What do you get for that ticket? FW says:
- An afternoon of tasting amazing domestic and international craft beers with the brewers themselves, as well as delectable bites from the best restaurants on the Central Coast.
- The event will run from 12:00pm to 5:00pm, however, food and beer service will end at 4:00pm everywhere in the event except the breweries in the Frontier Concert area. (Main Gate closes at 3:30pm, no entry after this time. NO INS & OUTS)
- There will be live bands playing throughout the day on the Frontier Town stage, with the headliner band taking the stage around 3:30pm.
- “Behind the Beer Sessions” featuring beer tastings and Q & A sessions with the brewmasters themselves.
- A commemorative tasting glass
- Complimentary Parking at the PR Event Center or Paso Robles Hotel Shuttle provided by Paso Robles Pioneer Day Committee (see transportation link)
Well – you might think – there is NO WAY that is going to be successful. I might agree – $20/hr to stand in lines for beer is a bit excessive. We’d be wrong. Both the regular admission and VIP admissions are SOLD OUT.
Here is what will be pouring in Paso Robles this Saturday:
(Click for a larger image)