Will Ferrell’s Best Coast Beer Fest 2015

Will Ferrell's Best Coast Beer Fest 2015

Event Information

When: Saturday March 7, 2015

Where: San Diego (Embarcadero Park South)

About Event

Best Coast Beer Fest was advertised as Will Ferrell’s beer festival of choice.

100% of the event ticket sale proceeds were donated to his friend Craig Pollard’s Cancer For College charity, which helps cancer survivors realize their dream of a college education. The charity has granted nearly $2 million in scholarships to over one thousand survivors since its founding.

You can learn more about the event by downloading the festival program.

Best Coast Beer Fest 2015 Recap

Best Coast Beer Fest was sold out, and there was a very long line to get in. Luckily food truck alley was near the gates, so we were able to get some good sandwiches in our stomachs before the barrage of tastings.

Once inside, there were next to no lines for beer, which cancelled out the entry line wait. Surprisingly, the larger San Diego breweries had the bigger lines – Mission and Ballast Point, to name a few. But our goal for the day was to not sample anything we had drank before.

Needless to say, a printed copy of the beer list (see gallery below) and Untappd were vital tools at the event. They even had most beers labeled with QR reader signage to speed the check-in process.

Understandably so, the beer list was subject to change, and that disclaimer came into play a few times at Best Coast Beer Fest. Once inside we went straight to Deschutes for their new Pine Drops IPA we have been dying to try, but it didn’t make the trip down.

One of the more hospitable booths we stopped at was SanTan Brewing Company. After a several minutes of good beer conversation, they cracked open their last can of an unadvertised beer for us (delicious too) — From the Vault: Winter Warmer. We were finally able to get our hands on a pour of their lauded Mr. Pineapple, and Sex Panther was a must-try based on name alone.

Chatting in the beer line with brewery employees was another great way to learn about future company plans and/or upcoming releases. For example:

  • Anderson Valley has really expanded their barrel aging program. It will include Huge Arker Imperial Stout (out now), a BA version of their Fall Hornin’, and their amber aged with 3rd use Wild Turkey barrels.
  • Black Market had such a great reception for their Triple Black Holiday Ale last year, it will remain as their winter seasonal. We are very excited about that…
  • The Hop Concept will be increasing production for its second release, Citrus & Piney. Their goal was to deliver The Hop Freshener Series as fresh as possible in smaller batch, but they sold out too fast.

We bought the $45 tickets, which included the 4 hour pass, and commemorative tasting steins. That was more than enough time do some damage, and by 4PM several of the breweries had already “tapped out.”

Best Coast Beer Fest showcased what San Diego is known for — great weather, and even better craft beer. Drink it in San Diego, it always goes down smooth…

Exclusives on Tap

These were some notable beers, for one reason or another, that we sampled during the event:

  • Sharkinator: 3.5/5


    Lost Coast’s brand new ale. They took their trademark Great White Witbier, and dry hopped it into a White IPA. A nice punch of Citra in the finish, layered over the other 3 C’s: Cascade, Chinook, and Centennial.

  • Mr. Pineapple: 4/5


    SanTan Brewing Company added natural pineapple juice to their wheat ale, which tasted just like a beer Dole Whip. Very smooth and satisfying, but probably a bit too sweet and filling to be sessionable.

  • Tropical Tart Saison: 3.5/5


    Sour beers are a style that Mike has not been able to dive into headfirst. But Belching Beaver’s special farmhouse ale pushed his limit of sours perfectly. It was a nice saison up front, with ample tart finish.

  • Lemon Ginger Kombucha: 3.5/5


    A kombucha is not a beer, but rather a tea fermented with acids and yeast like Brettanomyces. We had never heard of kombucha before, and had to try San Diego Brewing Company’s out. The lowest ABV of the day at 1%, but on the tart side from lemon and Brett.

  • The Maharaja: 4.5/5


    Avery Brewing Company delivered one of the best beers of the day. A malty, buttery, piney double IPA. Very juicy with citrus underneath, and the kick of pine in the finish.

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