Brews on the Bay 2012, SF Brewers Guild Beer Festival

On September 15, 2012, the San Francisco Brewers Guild put on a spectacular beer festival with their annual Brews on the Bay. Each year, this festival features beer from each member of the guild aboard the SS Jeremiah O’Brien, a World War II Liberty Ship. This year the variety of beer and breweries was large, the weather was great, great food trucks were in attendance, and it was very well organized.

The San Francisco Brewers Guild recently admitted several more breweries bringing their number up to 15 total SF Breweries. This made for a fantastic beer festival. Festival goers had the opportunity to try over 50 different beers, including both regular offerings as well as some special releases.

Although I did not try all of the beer available, of the beer I tried for the first time, a few really stood out. First was Catcher in the Roggen by Beach Chalet, which is a German-style Roggenbier. Roggenbier is made with barley, wheat, rye (roggen), and usually fermented with a German hefeweizen yeast and I really feel that Aron Deorsey, head brewer of Beach Chalet, captured the style excellently. Next, I really enjoyed Dark Star Mild from Magnolia. It’s a mild ale with tons of flavor and at less than 4% ABV, a true session beer. This beer is nutty, roasty, and a bit earthy with notes of cacoa beans and cola. Finally,  Thirsty Bear had a 2012 Wet Hop ale packed with tons of hoppy goodness and a touch of that onion-like wet hop aroma. Tons of my favorite San Francisco beers were also being served but these I had tried for the first time and they really stood out.

As the afternoon progressed the event got very busy, especially on the port (left) side of the boat, but despite the crowd, I never had a problem waiting too long for beer. For the most part, I never had to wait. Furthermore, if you got tired of the crowd, all you had to do was go to the other side of the boat or get off the boat and chose from one of the 5 great breweries on the pier. Also on the pier were several food trucks and bathrooms with no line.

Overall, it was a great event, sunny, tons of fun, and very well organized.

About the Photos

Although I had my DSLR with me at the event, I decided to challenge myself to taking an entire series of photos with my iPhone using the “toy camera” app, Hipstamatic. I sampled three randome settings and settled on the Bettie XL “lens” with Claunch 72 Monochrome “film.” It was a fun experiment and many of the photos came out really well. I’ll eventually post, on Flickr, the other photos I took at the event.

Dave McLean of Magnolia

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Read more about the San Francisco Brewers Guild on Spoke.

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About David Jensen

David is a craft beer and photography enthusiast.
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