If you were lucky enough to snag a ticket to this weekend’s Firestone Walker Invitational Beer Fest, you’re in for a treat. This will be my fourth year (out of four) and it’s an event I always look forward to. With brewers ready to shake your hand and talk your ear off about the beers they love to brew, this event for me has it all; thanks to the accessibility of the brewers and the consistent outstanding quality of the beers being poured. You’ll have beers you’ve never tried (and might never try again), make friends you never knew, and with any luck at all bask in the experience of a beautiful day in Paso Robles.
The FWIBF carries a particular weight for me, which is a big reason for my attachment to it. My book, California BrewMasters, debuted for the very first time, to anyone at all, at this festival just a year ago (it will also be available to purchase at the merch stand this year!). It was because of this festival that the idea for the book was executed at all – it was four year’s ago that I approached a number of brewers in attendance with my one-minute elevator pitch, asking to visit their breweries to interview and photograph them. Not a single brewer I approached turned me down, despite me having zero ties to the beer industry. Directly because of this festival I’ve made friends and connections that are priceless.