On the first of June, 4,000 beer fans descended on the the California Mid-State Fairground – in heat that pushed into the triple digits – for the second edition of the epic Firestone Walker Invitational Beer Fest. Beer of Tomorrow was there, and we’ve rounded up coverage and reports from around the internet.
The Firestone Walker Invitational Beer Fest is one of the premiere beer festivals in the country Imagined as an excuse to bring together all the best beers and brewers from across the country (and the world), the event has garnered rave reviews and a fanatical following.
Our experience of the weekend’s festivities was beyond description, and so I’ll leave it to others to cover! Here is some of the best coverage of the 2013 Firestone Walker Invitational Beer Fest as covered by the best of SoCal beer media:
- Beers in Paradise’s coverage is thorough and filled with great pictures of the festival.
- Writing for the Westcoaster, OC Beer Blog’s Greg Nagel has a great recap of the festival and a handful of the standout brews.
- The LA Weekly coverage of the event looks at the festival’s impact on the craft beer scene as a whole and brings the issue of local producers vs national – and international – brands into focus.
- Kip Barnes from Bierkast uses the Invitational as an example of what organizers should be doing when putting together a beer festival, and his critiques of the worst elements of beer festivals are pointed and insightful.
- Beer Search Party has a two posts recapping the event; one with pictures and another covering some of the stand-out brews.
- LA Beer Blog has a blithe look at the best (and worst) of the whole festival weekend.
- Epic Beer Girl shares her experience and photos of the Invitational.
- Bernie from Friends of Local Beer has his usual gallery of awesome shots from the party up in a gallery on Facebook. (And here is one of Jules and I taking advantage of our All Access passes to pester Cambria at The Bruery’s table.)
- Here is our own small gallery from the Beer of Tomorrow Facebook page.
- Finally, here is a Reddit thread about the best brews from the festival if you are looking for even more details from the event.
One element to the festival that was unique and somewhat under-appreciated was the short talks given by some industry personalities during the event. These sessions were thankfully recorded by the folks from The Brewing Network, and they’ve been made available on YouTube.
Firestone Walker’s own Brewmaster Matt Brynildson kicked things off this a great Q&A that you can watch below, and Masafumi Morita from Yo-Ho Brewing Company, Todd Haug from Surly Brewing, Cigar City Brewing’s Wayne Wambles, and Agostino Arioli from Birrificio Italiano round out the interviews.