San Diego Real Ale Festival

I spent Friday and part of Saturday in Carlsbad (Pizza Port) at the San Diego Real Ale Festival organized by Jeff Bagby, Tom Nickel and Tomme Arthur.  

This is a great festival with a focus on local beers served in an unusual way.  Real Ale is beer that conforms to the Campaign for Real Ale (CAMRA) method of treating and serving finished beer.  To describe it briefly, the beers were mostly served from hand pump engines, where the beer is hand pumped out the faucet instead of forced out the faucet with CO2.  The beer is naturally carbonated, and tends to be low on carbonation, and the serving temperature is around 50 degrees F.  Bottle conditioned beers are also “Real Ale”, so there was a small selection of bottle conditioned beers.
We had our Humulus Bruin on cask, which is a hoppy Belgian-style brown ale.  This is the second runnings of our Imperial Stout (which won’t be released until late 2009), and I have to admit not a great candidate to be served on cask.  I really like this beer from the tap, and trying it at the festival was the first time I had it on cask.  It still had the intense hop aroma I enjoy in this beer, but without much carbonation, became a bit thin.  Carbonation is one of those things which can contribute to the perceived body of a beer.  It was fun trying it on cask, and enough people seemed to enjoy it, so no harm done I hope.
We also had bottles of Saison Rue for the VIP session.  The case we brought for this ran out within an hour and I received a lot of positive comments on it.  
The word about our brewery is getting out there.  I spoke with a lot of people who have recently tried our beer (besides those trying it at the festival), and heard a lot of great things.  We’ll have many new accounts in San Diego over the next two weeks, so I’m hoping the positive attention grows!
I’ll keep an eye out on other blogs for pictures.  As normal, I was too focused on people and beer and didn’t take any!

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