The Pacific Gravity‘s annual summer bacchanal kicked off this last Saturday at Dean Sussman’s palatial party pad in Pacific Palisades. For those of you who don’t know about this, Pacific Gravity holds 2 major parties each year; with the summer party being one giant beer and food fest! This year marks the 10th year that we have had the party at Dean’s, as it features a huge yard that can house the club beer dispensing system and all our guests and still have room left over!
The party really started on Friday night when a crowd got together and the yard was decorated with easy-ups, festooned with Christmas lights, and Tiki torches placed so that they added a colorful atmosphere to the party. The weather cooperated by being cooler than expected, slightly overcast but humid enough to feel comfortable.
The theme this year was old school; we went back to our roots to feature carne asada and included all south of the border dishes and advertised a salsa competition as well as best beer and best soda competitions.
As an added feature this year, Larry James from Wine Warehouse set up a silent auction featuring many of the beers he had stored in his garage, and even brought us a keg of Clown Shoes Brewing Vampire Slayer to drink!
I embellished the carne asada with pollo asado and my pork chili verde and just to go crazy. I got up at 4 AM on the day of the party and ran down to the San Pedro Fish Market and scored 15 lbs of fresh tuna, plus we had beans, rice (thanks Mimi!), chilaquiles, enchiladas and more! The club exec board decided to run food all day instead of doing a dinner, and that seemed to work out really well, as the food flowed all day long and we had fresh hot batches appearing throughout the day so the late arrivals did not have to eat cold food!
The club dispensing system was in full use with over 25 kegs and 5 sodas to keep the thirsty revelers satiated. Raffle tickets were sold as well as door prize tickets given out with numbers being called out all day long. The grand prize this year was a full kegging system featuring a new CO2 tank, regulator, and keg!
The party got under way about 2 PM but did not really get into full swing until about 4 PM, but the 150 guests ate and drank like a much larger crowd! As the sun set and the food wound down, the crowd volume increased, indicating that they were having a good time!
Dave announced the winners of this year’s competitions with Norm winning the best beer award for his smoked saison, a beer I drank a bunch of and can attest is worthy! Luis won the best soda competition for his Raspberry/Green tea soda, which interestingly enough paired very well when used as the syrup additive to the Berliner Weisse beer that Tim and I made. The salsa competition was hotly contested with even some pre-party trash talk being tossed around on Facebook, but that was won by yours truly for my Tri-Color Hellfire salsa, much to the chagrin of many in the audience!
I left close to midnight, and there were still some revelers going strong by the bar with Rives holding court and a bottle share. The cleanup was simple and over before I even arrived to break down my kitchen (I overslept–I was tired!) and we all left looking forward to next year!