16th Anual Boonville Beer Festival – May 12th, 2012!

Now that we’re coming to the end of what I wouldn’t technically call “winter” we must begin planning the anual pilgrimages to the beer and music festivals! For me, the pinnacle of the beer fest scene is The Boonville Beer Festival, hosted by the good people at Anderson Valley Brewing Company on May 12 this year. It’s just a one day event starting at noon on May 12th and going until 4-ish, which sounds short if you’ve not been, so let me explain: If you know what you’re doing (and I know what I’m doing) you show up Thursday evening, or Friday morning with camping gear in hand to score the best spots (camping’s $10/night and you’re welcome to start on Wednesday if you like). You then begin to notice your fellow campers are starting to set up their mobile bars and clipping in the homebrew kegs. Thus begins the festival inside the festival (festival inception, if you will). You’ll spend friday wandering around camp, sampling some beers from the nicer campers and meeting fellow beer enthusiasts. You can also wander down the street to the brewery and take a tour, or over to the Buckhorn Saloon, where you can get nearly all the AVB Co’s brews on tap with the added bonus of some serious A+ pub grub.

The Festival itself is a who’s who of California craft brewers. In past years, over 80 breweries have participated in the insanity, representing brewers from San Diego to Humbolt. For the price of admission (usually around $40) you get a tasting glass and unlimited tastings. The event area is huge, meandering all over the fairgrounds with the a live music stage and plenty of merch tents everywhere. The food is far better than your average $7 hotdog festival chow – if you’re a carnivore, do try to find the tri-tip sammich tent – just wow. Now you might think, “Only four hours… how much can I possible taste in four hours?” Well by the look of a good number of festival-goers around 3:30… quite a bit. As always with these types of parties, there are plenty who over do it, which provides for the entertainment portion of the evening – watching these folks play the timeless game of, “where’s my tent?”, or “Hey, that’s my girlfriend!!”

I’m not going to lie to you, Sunday can be rough, but honestly, you knew the risks going in. It’s a Bahl Hornin’ good time!

Leave a Reply