Mammoth Festival of Beers – 2012 – Day 1

Posted by Darryl | Craft Beer, Festivals | Posted on August 4th, 2012

I love US Highway 395. Not only is it one of the most diverse highways in California, cutting through the Mojave Desert, Owens Valley, and Eastern Sierras, but once a year one of its many destinations is the Bluesapalooza festival in the town of Mammoth; also known as the Mammoth Festival of Beers. A 4 day event, with the Grand Tasting on Saturday, the festival brings together great musicians in a beautiful mountain setting, along with some of the best craft brewers in the business; 64 of them signed-up prior to the start of the event.

We pulled into town Friday afternoon (yesterday, as I write this), in time to make it to the evening’s activities at Sam’s Wood Site. While brewers, their representatives, and other VIPs were able to mingle with each other and share their brews, the event allowed festival goers to enjoy great food from local restaurants while mingling amongst the trees with some of the best blues performers on stage. Beers from Mammoth Brewing – located about 1/2 mile from the site – were available, with proceeds benefitting the California Craft Brewers Association (CCBA).

Upon entering the venue, we grabbed some great tacos from Gomez’s – who’s restaurant is located at The Village with the best Margaritas in town – and then headed to Bar #1 for some Mammoth Brewing beers. I grabbed an Epic IPA and Joan tried their Floating Rock Hefeweizen. Both good beers, with the hefe having a prominent banana aroma and taste that helped make it a really refreshing brew.

With guitar riffs and deep blues vocals filling the air, we strolled around the site where I found friends old and new, including a former coworker who I haven’t seen in years. (One of the reasons I like this event is the people!) Stopping by Bar #2, I grabbed Double Nut Brown, which has an attractive aroma that pulls you into the glass, and Joan continued with another hefe.

We continued our stroll, noting some venue inappropriate footwear (heels? really?), the prevalent spread of #FestivalFeet (a condition I knew of, but a term I first learned from @theArtOfBeer), and headed for Bar #3. All 3 bars featured the same brews, but this time I opted for a bold 395 IPA to finish up my event for Friday night before leaving for our 1.25 walk back to the room where more brews awaited us in the fridge. But with the altitude doing its best to assist the affects of the alcohol, we didn’t open much as we wanted to prepare for all the brews coming on Saturday.

As I publish this I’m readying to walk out the door and head to the Grand Tasting event. With promise of special brews available (and some rare ones from Stone and others!) I expect that this coming day will be another opportunity to enjoy great beer, in a great setting, with live blues music, and like minded, craft beer enjoying patrons.

Check back for more about my 2012 Bluesapalooza adventure.

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