Alpine Village is well known for their yearly Oktobefest Beer Extravaganza, but they are also working on expanding their craft beer influence as well. September 1st, 2012 marked their first official craft beer themed event “Bier Fest.” With a massive beer list, generous tasting pours, and live band, Bier Fest was an event I’ll be looking forward to going to next year. The only downside to this year’s event was the turnout. Unfortunately, for the venue, the crowd was on the light side, but that turned out to be a great thing for the many craft beer nuts attending. After standing in line at some of the local craft beer festivals around town, it was a nice change of pace to be able to walk straight up to your next tap on the checklist (yes there was actually a checklist) and be served right away.
Alpine Village’s Bier Fest had over 100 taps to choose from, and you really couldn’t go wrong here. Beers and brewers from local spots like Angel City, El Segundo, Kinetic, Monkish, IEBC, Bootleggers, Iron Fist, Bruery, Black Market, and Hangar 24 were present. There was representation from some of the great up and coming breweries like Figueroa Mountain (Great Branding BTW), Ruhstaller, and Port Town, as well as some of the larger players like Stone, Firestone, Ballast Point, Golden Road, Sam Adams, and New Belgium. From Sours to Spiced Beers, everything was covered.
Interesting tidbit, this was Angel City Brewery‘s unofficial homecoming, as the previous iteration of the brewery was located at Alpine Village. However, this is a new team with new beer, and a fresh perspective of the LA beer scene. Their setup, complete with the beer wheel of fortune, was operated by Ashley, who was wearing German Garb, and Ian. Their flagship Eureka Wit was on tap, and it was great. It’s been fun tasting the evolution of this wit bier through its various iterations from Wit A & B, to Test Wit B, to its current Eureka form. Kudos also to Angel City for always keeping it real. They are doing a great job meeting everyone and contributing to the LA Craft Beer scene.
I have to say that the star of the taps, to my taste buds anyway, was the Saison Printemps by Kinetic Brewing Co in Lancaster. I haven’t had Kinetic before, but I’ve read a lot about them and have been following them on the social media side for some time. Events like these are perfect opportunities to become acquainted with unfamiliar breweries and beers, so we did just that. Printemps is a 6.4% saison made with local alfalfa honey. The saison funk and flavorful honey sweetness are balanced perfectly, and it was really refreshing. I love saisons, but I have to say that I was really impressed with this one in particular. If you see it on tap make sure you try it for yourself.
I acted as the designated driver for the evening, which made it easy for me to do actual tastings. I didn’t follow suit with some of the craft beeries that were getting obliterated on Firestone 14th Anniversary, although the idea was enticing. There really wasn’t a bad beer in the house, and the light crowd was a definite perk. I think that in years to come this event will get more crowded, as it should. It’s a great venue with an impressive tap list. I can see this being a yearly tradition, and I’m already looking forward to the next one.
Special thanks to Otto Radtke and Jeff Moores for organizing the event. You guys did a great job! Also, congratulations again to our contest winners Chad and Lili! Hopefully you had a blast with some rockin’ beers.
Until next time…Auf Wiedersehen!
P.S. It was great seeing all you beer nuts out there! Pipe Dream Brewery, Bier Buzz, Tomm Carroll, Martin Svab, Bernie Wire, Rives Boreland – To all of you, Cheers!