After having a great time at the Double IPA festival a few months back Carlos and I ventured back to Hayward’s beer mecca, The Bistro, for their 12th annual IPA Festival. 62 taps of pure hop annihilation. Naturally we had to come up with a strategy. We decided not to get any beers we had tried before so that eliminated a large portion of the list. From what we had the standouts were: Russian River Hopfather, which debuted at this fest, Kern River Just Outstanding IPA, Speakeasy Midnight Run IBA, and Fat Heads Head Hunter IPA. The surprise and the winner of the event was the Fat Heads IPA that traveled by FedEx from Ohio, out of all places. The place got really crowded and hot by 1pm so it was good we came early. Too bad they didn’t block off the whole block like before.
- 1st Place: Head Hunter IPA (Fat Heads Brewery & Saloon)
- 2nd Place: Wipeout IPA (Port Brewing)
- 3rd Place: Aroma Coma (Drake’s Brewing)
- People’s Choice: The Hopfather (Russian River Brewing)
A little more on the Hopfather, stolen from the Bottoms Up Blog: The Hopfather is a 7% IPA that’s loosely based on an IPA recipe Vinnie Cilurzo contributed to Sam Calagione’s book Extreme Brewing, though Cilurzo says he’s changed things up considerably. It starts with CTZ and Magnum hops, but uses primarily Amarillo and Centennial for flavor and aroma to the tune of around 10 pounds per barrel. While Vinnie assures me it will have a big malt backbone, he also promises the flavors and aroma will be “balls to the wall hops.”