November 3rd was a great day for craft beer in my little world. The day started off with Learn To Homebrew Day by the Humboldt Homebrewers and hosted by Humboldt Beer Works. About 8 people took the leap in to learning how to brew their own beer at home which is probably one of the most rewarding hobbies there is. They also got a demonstration on how to make a yeast starter, which will be a future post here at HumbrewNation.
Partway through the demonstration, I turned my attention to someone who I perceived as needing help, and he turned out to be one of my supplier reps, Peter Hoey of Brewers Supply Group, formerly of Odonata Brewing and Bison Brewing. Peter was pleased to see us hosting a Learn To Homebrew day, which he claimed was not common at a homebrew supply store.
That evening was Strangebrew Beerfest 5. I met back up with Peter and we had a pre-flight beer at The Local. I sipped on a Heretic Gamarye as he gave me a lesson on commercial apple cider that will have me reading labels the next time I choose a cider. (hint: make your own…you will know what’s in it)
I’m going to announce my awards in a minute, but first, extra stroke for the Strangebrew folks and their mission. There is nothing better than drinking craft beer for a cause. And this cause is for the restoration of the Eureka Theater and the bigger picture is promoting art and its many forms.
The Eureka Concert & Film Center is dedicated to the education of the general public in film, theatre, music and other art forms, rehabilitating and maintaining its historic facilities for instruction and public performances, displays, exhibits and other events.
They actually manage several events throughout the year. Check out their website.
(announcer voice) And now….the moment you have all been waiting for….awards that mean absolutely nothing…. based on personal perception and slight bias….accolades that participating breweries will be sure not to brag or even know about….I give you the First Annual HumbrewNation Awards For The Fifth Annual Strangebrew Beerfest! (cymbals crash)
Best Sours: Six Rivers for both the peach and apricot
Best Beer With Wormwood: Humboldt Regeneration with their Absinthe Wheat Wine.
Best Jello Shot: Six Rivers for their Chili Ale Jello Shot (there were no other jello shots, so I can honestly say it was the best)
Best Name for a Beer: Mad River for “Some Dickworthy Shit” (would really like to know the back story to that)
Best Beer That Doesn’t Exist: Marshmallow Kiwi Corn Flake Witbier by….. I forget who.
The “Beer I Really Wish I Had Skipped” Award: Mad River “Return of the Mothership” aka “Funkadelica”
The Palate Wrecker Award: Mad River “Return of the Mothership” aka “Funkadelica”
Best Beer That Wasn’t Beer: Six Rivers for “Norby’s Donkey Punch”
Best Brewery I Didn’t Even Try: Redwood Curtain Brewing Company. (Told ya it was biased)
Beer I Would Like To See Year Round: Mad Rivers “Some Dickworthy Shit” (porter aged in Four Roses barrel)
Best Meat Beer: Mad Rivers “Hawaiian Spamalot” (“dry spammed” in the keg)
Yes, Mad River is represented very well in the FAHAFTFASB and that’s probably due to the fact that they came with the most variety. Their booth alone probably had almost half of the Strangebrew 5 offerings. You can tell Dylan Schatz and his crew are thinking about Strangebrew all year long. Their Strangebrew beer ranged from fairly normal one-offs, to interesting beers from funkytown all the way to beers with ingredients that had absolutely no business being in beer. But that’s the great thing about beer. You can put almost any consumable product in it and at various stages in the brew process. Some are winners and some are stinkers.
Rumor has it that Oskar Blues was very interested in coming to Strangebrew and there is a wide ranging interest in it from several out-of-the-area breweries. But the floor of the theater with seats installed is a very small area and it was pretty full as it was. I’m not sure how many breweries it will take (and an increase it ticket sales) before the Strangebrew folks give in and manage a bigger venue and festival.
Thanks to Sonny and the rest of the Strangebrew crew for all their hard work.
And congratulations to the award winners. Please don’t add them to your list of awards you actually brag about.