Overcast clouds and a bit of rain didn’t stop the Bay Area from some big bites at Fremont’s Burger & Brew Fest last Saturday.
Fremont’s city hub closed it’s street to celebrate local cuisines and California craft brews. For $35, guests were allotted ten 5-ounce tasting pours — that’s 50 ounces of brewski! — and with reps presenting anywhere between 2 to 8 beers each, there was something to please every palate.
The Breweries: Das Brew / Hanger 24 / Speakeasy / Mendocino Brewing Company / Golden Road Brewing / Stone Brewing Co. / Peak Organic / Goose Island / Elysian / 10 Barrel Brewing Co. / Deschutes Brewery / Shock Top / BudLight / Joe IPA
Now, I’m not going to lie to you; I’m a bit of a lightweight when it comes to beers. But, like I said, with so many options at the Brew Fest, I knew I was bound to find something to appease my picky tastebuds. So I got the ball rolling with a few light lagers. Das Brew’s Mean Monkey Hefeweizen (4.5% ABV, 15 IVU), a nice pale wheat-based ale, had enough body to feel like I was drinking a real beer, but the delicious hints of fruit and spice balanced out the yeast perfectly, it was super refreshing for a nice summer day.
Then there was 329 Days of Sun Lager by Golden Road Brewing (4.8% ABV, 25 IBU). This Lager was
probably the lightest of all the beers I tasted, and I’m not complaining. 329’s taste was so subtle and the finish so crisp and clean, it could perfectly pair well with any meal — not just burgers.
But, when you’re at a beer tasting, it would be a waste not to go out of your comfort zone a little. And I couldn’t resist trying a few more unusual offerings. Especially when the rep from Stone Brewing Co. mentioned a “lemon-zesty” beer.
Stone Delicious, an Indian pale ale (7.7% ABV, 75 IBU) is, indeed, a simultaneously citrusy yet bitter beer. The brewery combines Lemondrop and El Dorado hops to add a bit of sweet to the hop spice. A crazy concoction that just actually works — ideal for anyone looking for something outside the box.
Speakeasy’s Prohibition Ale (6.1% ABV, 50 IBU) was probably by far my favorite beer that I tasted that day. With its red-amber coloring, it just looks beautiful. Good news: it tastes beautiful as well. Like I said, I’m not, by any means, a beer aficionado, my palate is more attuned to picking out the flavors in a complex wine. Well, this ale is perfect for anyone like that. Right as it’s poured, you can smell citrus fruits, oak, spice, and a hint of caramel. When I tasted it, I felt like I was drinking a beautiful bouquet of autumn fruits in a pinewood forest.
Sign me up for a refill. I’m taking this beer with me to lunch…
The event provided tons of options from local shops, food trucks, and good old stand-bys like The Counter and Whole Foods.
The Food: Mario’s French Dips / Tacos De Los Altos / Whole Foods / Madam Floodpuppy’s House of Catfish / The Counter / Hungry Kong / Grillaz Gone Wild / Capello’s Barbecue / Arirang Korean Barbecue /
There were also quite a few local vendors providing samples of their sauces, marinades, and BBQ rubs.
Of course, when all is said and done, I couldn’t pass up a good veggie burger for lunch. So I hit up Capello’s Barbecue food truck for a deliciously house-made veg burger. To me, what makes a great meat alternative patty is when you can see the vegetables. Carrots, broccoli, even walnuts — they were all there in this amazingly fresh burger.
The day was a success. I got to try some new brews, get my tongue blasted by hot sauce, and left with a belly full of burger. Thanks, Fremont!