The Bistro’s 15th Annual IPA Fest

Planning a relaxing Saturday, a friend who wanted a copy of Teaching from the Tap suggested we meet up at the Bistro’s IPA Festival. Getting another copy of Merideth’s book out into the world and a hophead’s dream day sounded like a win-win situation to me. Relaxation could wait until Sunday.

Hoppy, hoppy beer…

This was our first IPA Festival. But having been to their Double IPA festival on several occasions, we already had our routine set. Preferring the early bird schedule, we arrived at opening time, joining a handful of people on the enclosed street-side pen that housed the gathering. Our plan was for a few hours of fun, leaving mid afternoon when the crowd swelled.

I would be remiss if I didn’t mention what a team player Merideth was. Not being a huge IPA fan, she volunteered to be the designated driver for the day allowing me to indulge in all the hoppy goodness. I will sure return the favor when we go to a festival that I don’t care for the style.

A lot of work to do…

All the familiar hops (and some unfamiliar) were represented in the over three score beers pouring. Amarillo, cascade, chinook, citra, columbus, nugget, simcoe, and warrior were a few of the hop varieties that made this a very popular day on the Bay Area beer calendar. Not expecting to try them all, if my check marks were accurate, I did manage to drink fully about a third, or 20 of hoppy elixirs.

Despite the beers being all IPAs, there was a wide variety of flavors represented, from floral to piney to citrus.

A very happy hophead…

According to my notes, where checkmarks became stars for brews I liked, my favorites were:

  • Drake’s Aroma Coma IPA
  • Fat Heads Head Hunter IPA
  • Russian River Hopfather IPA
  • Sante Adairius 831 IPA
  • Sierra Nevada Floral IPA
  • Triple Rock Greenhorn

I must really like the ‘C’ hops with Cascade, Citra, Centennial, and Columbus making numerous appearances in the brews listed.

In the official judging, Fat Heads Head Hunter IPA took home its second Bistro gold medal. Silver and bronze went to Ballast Point’s Sculpin followed by Triple Rock’s Greenhorn. The People’s Choice award went to the beer I voted for, Drake’s Aroma Coma.

Another great day at the Bistro…

View all the images from our day at the Bistro…

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2 thoughts on “The Bistro’s 15th Annual IPA Fest

  1. there’s a Fat Head in Pittsburgh, but i think they do all of brewing in Ohio. Neat to see an East Coast brew make your list. Cheers, Andie