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Suds and Good Times Flow at Beer Fest
Park Labrea News / Beverly Press October 2009

Hops and barley were the two words of the day on October 3 at the Original Farmers Market, when more than 300 guests gathered in the upper dining deck for the first annual Autumn Beer Festival. For just $20, attendees got to sample approximately 50 ales, lagers and other brews carried by Monsieur Marcel’s and the two Farmers Market Bars – EB’s and 326.

Eleven tables included selections from Anheuser Busch, Wine Warehouse, Firestone and many more. Popular picks, as evidenced by the number of people swarming particular tables, were Peroni, Blue Moon Seasonal, and Sierra Nevada Pale Ale. I tended to stick a bit closer to the Wine Warehouse Table, where the Chimay offerings – Red, White and Blue – kept me satisfied.

Chimay Trappist Ales are produced by monks at the Abbey de Scourmont in the town of Chimay, Southern Belgium. It was fun to try all three Chimays in succession, but my favorite remains the red, an unpasteurised beer with a creamy head and apricot aroma. I also spent quite a bit of time at the Anheuser Busch table, where I learned that they are not all about Budweiser - their Jack’s Pumpkin Spice, Hoegarden and Leffe Blonde are standouts.

Another memorable sampling of the day was Hop Henge IPA, an experimental beer first brewed in 2006 at Deschutes Brewery in Bend, Oregon. It has a dense taste, reminiscent of a hearty biscuit.

In addition to the amazing beverage samples, Huntington Meats supplied Bratwurst and other sausage bites, while the folks from Monsieur Marcel laid out a gorgeous spread of outstanding cheeses. Gary Twinn, general manager of the Farmers Market Bars, said it was great to see so many new faces at the festival. “I see a few of our regulars, but it’s really a brand new crowd, and that’s the point,” Twinn said. A percentage of the proceeds from the festival went to the Saban Free Clinic.

Park Labrea News / Beverly Press

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