Wednesday, January 7, 2009

Final Best of 2008

I am a little late getting this post out about my two best beer experiences in 2008. One was expected and one was a surprise. The first was in May. I was in Portland during a heat wave (upper 90s) and we went for an early dinner to the Bridgeport Brewpub in Portland's Pearl District. I ordered Bridgeport's IPA and its sharp, citrus flavor was a perfect way to beat the heat. I like Bridgeport's IPA, and on that hot day it tasted great.

The second memorable beer experience was also on a hot day. I was at the Ventura County fair in early August. And despite the fairgrounds' oceanfront location the day was cloudless and hot. As I walked along the fair's main concourse with all the turkey leg, hot-dog-on-a-stick and cheese steak vendors I found the beer garden. What a disappointment - Bud, Sam Adams and Corona - not worth a pit stop. Continuing down the concourse I saw a small shack that looked like a beer stand. Sure enough it was the Firestone Walker beer stand and it stood out like a beacon on that hot day. It was serving Double Barrel Ale, a Honey Blond Ale and Pale 31. I ordered the Pale 31 that was served in a 16 oz cup. It was sublime. My outlook on the fair immediately improved. This was the best beer experience I had all year. Cheers!

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