There’s NO festival like the Bistro’s barrel aged festival

Big Barrel Aged Beers at The Bistro

Saturday at The Bistro in Hayward, California, the 2008 Barrel Aged Festival arrived like a cherished holiday. What can you say when you start out with Lost Abbey Angel’s Share 06 because it’s by the door, and then beeline for some of the smaller breweries, such as the always interesting Valley Brewing of Stockton. (Well, maybe not always, but we actually drove a long detour to go through Stockton this summer hoping some reflection of these insane festival beers might show up in some way in their brew pub, but of course there was no such luck. Another reason this is an amazing, don’t miss festival.)

Last year we both loved the flavor contrasts, from bourbon to funky and back, but this year we mostly prioritized trying the creative and varied sour beers. Because we are working on another project, I’ll keep this short and point to some of the other great write-ups:

Beer and Nosh (Excellent pix too)

Peter’s better beer blog

Brookston Beer Bulletin

William Brand

One thing cracked me up, and I already mentioned it in a comment post, so I’ll repeat it here. I asked for a BeATification at the bar, and was corrected by one of the cheerful bartenders. “Beauuuutification,” he said. I tasted it and thought, “no, this is from a really nice new batch of Beatification,” I would have bet on it. The bartender told me to look at the extensive anotated beer list. Hmm. So I later asked owner Kralj whether “Beautification” was a typo, a joke or both. He went with “both.” Considering the complexity and caring evident in those notes he wrote, and the good grace with which the nickname was used, my recommendation is that the very first public tasting of each new Beatification batch should always be called The Beaut.

Love the Bistro. Cynthia and Vic provide excitement and life-enrichment for a lot of happy beer geeks.


Barrel Aged Festival at The Bistro 2008
Barrel Aged Festival at The Bistro 2008

Explore Beer By BART – see our main list of Bay Area good beer places with detailed transit info, and get out there to enjoy without driving.

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