Volunteering at Best Coast Beer Fest

March 12, 2016

I volunteered at the SD Brewers Guild Festival over the summer and that was my first experience with a craft beer fest. So when I learned about the Best Coast Beer Fest, I signed up! (to volunteer, not drink the whole time…)

Volunteering for these events is great because you can meet new people, learn about different breweries around town, get some swag, and try some new beers.

More about the breweries we worked with and tasted:

Golden Road and Goose Island

Many craft beer-ies (what is the craft beer equivalent of a foodie?) criticized both breweries for being bought out by Anheuser-Busch. From what Barry, my brewery partner, told me: operations before and after the acquisition have been the same, and A-B has been very hands off with the way the company is run (with the exception of providing more funding for investments and expansion).

These two tents were next to each other because… it was organized alphabetically.

The volunteer organizers let friends who check in one after another be placed at tents next to each other, so Amy was at Goose Island while I was at Golden Road and another SDSU student was at Golden Coast Mead.

The two beers we had on tap at Golden Road:

  • 329 lager (so named because of the average 329 days of sunshine in SoCal) – not many lagers at the festival, kind of like your BudLight, refreshing and easy to drink
  • Point the Way IPA – even if you don’t like IPA’s, this one is easier to enjoy for non-IPA fans

Other beverages I sampled:

  • Golden Coast Mead‘s Viking Tears and Orange Blossom: my first time trying mead… oh boy! Gotta remind yourself that is NOT beer
    • Wiki definition: Mead is an alcoholic beverage created by fermenting honey with water, sometimes with various fruit, spices, grains, or hops. The alcoholic content of mead may range from about 8% ABV to more than 20%.
  • On the Tracks Brewery: Spiked root beer stout – smells great, just like root beer; easy to drink
    • Sour Blonde – pretty good, not that sour
  • California Cider Company: SpACE Blood Orange and ACE Pineapple Cider
    • The pineapple cider was hands down the best thing I tried there – super drinkable, and it actually tastes like pineapple
  • Black Market Brewing Co: Cherry Sour Berliner Weisse – yummy
  • La Jolla Brewing Co: raspberry hibiscus hefeweizen – not very memorable, not as fruity as I would have liked

The Venue: Embarcadero Park South

It was a very cloudy day, next to the bay… Which means lots of cold and wind! During the daytime session (12-4pm), there were moments when the sun would peek out from the clouds and it would be beautiful and comfortable. And then it would go back to clouds and wind again.

The nighttime session (5-8pm) was even colder, darker, and not as crazy as the first session.

Despite being underdressed (typical San Diegan), views were great during day and night, and volunteering here gave me the opportunity to actually check out the embarcadero for the first time!


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UC San Diego grad with a double major in Economics and International Business. I was born and raised in sunny San Diego, but I love to travel (and eat) around the world.

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