Sunday, August 5, 2018

THE COCKTAIL HOUR: The Placerville Brewfest


As a retirement present, I received three VIP passes to the Placerville Brewfest. Placerville an historic Gold Rush city in California, east of Sacramento. It's also the county seat of El Dorado County. The brewfest takes place on the streets of downtown here on a Saturday late in June each year.

The VIP passes get us in an hour early, a large glass for tasting, and a bag to collect swag from the brewers on site. We get a taxi to take us from our hotel so there'll be no inhibitions here tonight...we have four hours to drink as many samples as we can.

After checking in and getting our wristbands, we on the prowl for brew...

Watch the Video!



It's in the mid 90's today on Main Street. The buildings on either side of us date back to the Gold Rush. In fact, we can drive 30 minutes and stand on the little piece of sand where James Marshall found the nugget that started it all. Today, the gold is liquid. Well, most of it is. Some is red and some of the porters are brown.

We've got three blocks ahead of us, lined with people ready to give us free, ice cold beer.


There are a few big guys here like Sierra Nevada, Deschutes, and Gordon Biersch but the vast majority of the booths are from little, local microbreweries with names like Hangtown, Thin Line, Placerville Brewing, and Amador Brewery.

The best I tasted were the red ales from Placerville Brewing and Campbell Brewing. Hangtown had a very nice Saison and Alamador a very good Kolsch.

There were also a few cider breweries, a mead stand (a little sweet for me), and a high-alcohol kambucha stand called Booch Craft that was very interesting, sweet but dry.

The local homebrew club was also pouring a very good black porter.


Food was provided in samples by Round Table Pizza and the Farm Table Restaurant. Tim liked the bratwurst from farm table. Plus, giant pretzels to hang around your neck while you wandered through all that beer.

See the video, above, where in 12 minutes you can get a very good sense of what it was to be there plus see the gunfight erupt between rival breweries where I get caught in the crossfire.


It was a very fun fest and we just might have to make it an annual tradition here.

Darryl Musick
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