Party in a Parking Lot

30 Mar

 This past weekend I attended the Mission Valley Beer Festival at the Handlery Resort in San Diego, benefiting Fresh Start Surgical Gifts. The festival started and noon, and I got there with my friends shortly after 1 PM. By the time we arrived, there was already a pretty substantial crowd inside. We were all holding pre-purchased tickets, so entrance was a breeze. Wristbands on, a quick ID flash at security, and we were in. Geezer was playing on the stage at the far end of the festival area, and was nice to listen to while we grabbed our first beer and tried to figure out how everything was set up. This was a festival with good intentions, but not the best execution. Apparently the organizers were preparing for a crowd of roughly half the size that showed up, which of course means the food and beer ran out. Early. One real boon to this festival was the inclusion of taster food as well as taster beer, and the chefs really brought their A game. We were able to get our mitts on a bacon wrapped hot dog, a few Pubcakes, some carnitas, a street taco, a grilled on the shell clam, and spiced shrimp before they were out. Unfortunately by the time I digested a bit and was ready for round two, most places were out. Getting beer was a bit of a challenge. The area of the parking lot where the booths were set up wasn’t very conducive to the lines that were forming, breweries ran out of cups, and just plain ran out of beer a while before the festival was scheduled to end. But again, it’s to be expected when a crowd twice the size of expected shows up. That’s not to say people were in any way going thirsty. The tastes being poured were generous and there were plenty of breweries in attendance. I especially enjoyed the Jazz Man from Manzanita, it’s their newest beer made with jasmine. Funny, I believe it was Manzanita that I was most impressed with after the SDBW fest in November too. Good job, guys!

I think with getting through the organizational snags of this festival, it has a lot of potential. There is obviously a demand for this kind of event in that area, and with a little tweaking in the preparation; the next Mission Valley Craft Beer Festival can be very successful.

As you can see, I really took a lot of pictures on the day. So, if you want to see some great shots and a great post on the festival, please head over to

2 Responses to “Party in a Parking Lot”

  1. Brett April 1, 2011 at 9:27 am #

    I agree with you about the craziness. I went with a group of 7 guys so I guess I helped add to all that.

    I also agree with you about the Manzanita Jazz Man. I felt the same way about Airdale’s Porter brewed with nutmeg, cinnamon and vanilla. Biggest disappointment of the day: The Bruery no-showing. BOOOOO!!!!

    • shelikesbeer April 1, 2011 at 11:39 am #

      Hey Brett-yeah, that some breweries were last minute cancels or just strait up no shows was disappointing to hear. Not exactly a great way to advocate their product…

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