2011 Monterey Beer Festival

Not even the gray skies could dampen the revelry of the crowd at today’s 10th annual Monterey Beer Festival.

Merideth with Mike Pitsker of the Celebrator Beer News

As our local fest, the MBF gives us an opportunity to see Bay Area beer friends on our own turf. From the vantage point of our beer craft merchandise table, we watched as Matt Sallie with Big Sky Brewing kept busy with a steady stream of thirsty festival goers. Mike Pitsker from the Celebrator Beer News and his wife Lisa were all smiles as they stopped by to chat.

To our left we had two breweries make their inaugural visit to the fest. Highwater Brewing poured the very popular Hop Riot, helping to introduce the Monterey Peninsula to one of the hottest new breweries around.

Though he didn’t bring Hops on Rye, it was good to see our friend Steve Donohue from Firehouse Grill & Brewery make the trip down to Monterey. His Hall and Oatmeal Stout was perfect for the overcast and blustery day. We were definitely in good company and it was nice to see familiar faces serving great beer.

But of course there is more to MBF than just seeing our friends and this year we were treated to two special brews. First was Sierra Nevada’s Beer Camp #8 beer: California Common on draft. By now you guys are well aware that we took part in creating it, so I won’t bore you with more gushing about how great of a beer it is, but…surprise!

Peter B's brewer Kevin Clark pours the collaboration Single Hop IPA

We also had a hand in creating the day’s second highlight beer: Peter B’s Columbus Single Hop IPA served through a hop rocket filled with Summit hops. Brewer Kevin Clark worked his magic to turn our collaborative idea into an amazing brew that even this avowed non-hophead could enjoy. Bits of fresh hops floated in the head atop my glass of this flavorful 5% ABV, 80 IBU session IPA. Big props go out to Kevin for all his hard work!

We made an easy day of it, as a red eye flight to the east coast now awaits us. Even so, it was a fun day meeting new people, catching up with old friends, and drinking great beer.

View all the images from the 2011 Monterey Beer Festival