There’s nothing like a fall beer festival to warm the gut and satisfy the palate. As per usual, we’ve got Motley Brews to thank for bringing another year of the Downtown Brew Festival to the Clark County Amphitheater. But if you’re going to venture out, you’ll need to know what you’re in for.
More than 60 breweries will roll into town this week, making a selection of over 250 craft beers to choose from. This year, Small Town Brewery and Founders Brewing Co. are presenting sponsors. If you’ve yet to try Small Town’s Not Your Father’s Root Beer, you’re in for a treat. It’s a brew for craft beer lovers and casual drinkers alike with a 95 rating on Beer Advocate. This is also a special time for Founders Brewing Co., who will make its West Coast debut.
The local brews
No beer fest is complete without its locals, and this year’s lineup doesn’t disappoint. Be sure to visit CraftHaus Brewery to sample the fresh citrus flavor of Evocation, a Saison, Belgian ale. If you feel your lids closing, stop by Banger Brewing for a glass of Morning Joe, a Kölsch-style brew infused with hazelnut and caramel coffee flavors. Big Dog’s Brewing Company’s Red Hydrant Ale will make you say “holy sit!” This mahogany brew carries a caramel richness that makes for a stomach full of warm and fuzziness.
The early bird brews
Anyone on the fence about buying early entrance tickets should jump on them, because DBF’s offering special reserves you won’t want to miss. A notable mention is 21st Amendment Brewery’s Toaster Pastry, a deep amber red ale with notes of biscuit and crystal malts to give it a crusted, jam flavor. It locked in a silver medal at this year’s Great American Beer Festival. San Diego’s Acoustic Ales Brewing Experiment will feature The Groupie, a Belgian-style pale ale with crisp undertones of banana. It’s sweet and it’s blonde, just as the name suggests, right? Left Hand Brewing Company’s Oktoberfest is another welcome addition to the brew lineup. It’s a medium-bodied, Märzen lager boasting a toasty malt flavor and a spicy finish. Perfect for the fall.
The VIP brews
We’re going to go out on a whim here and say that VIP stands for very important pours. Outdoorsy types will love Green Flash’s Green Bullet Triple IPA, which gives off tropical aromas and tastes of Christmas, well, of spicy pines anyway. Fans of sour beers can sample New Belgium’s Lips of Faith: Le Terroir, a barrel-aged ale swirling with earthy tones and just the right amount of tart. You may be over the pumpkin spice craze, but that’s no reason to miss out on Ballast Point Brewing Company’s Pumpkin Down Scottish ale. It’s a classy take on the seasonal trend, with its roasted spice and toffee malts.
Remember those 250 beers? You’re going to want to fill up on carbs first. Itsy Bitsy Ramen & Whisky will be there to cater to your ramen and teriyaki bowl needs. If you’re a “when in doubt, eat chicken” type, Mochiko Chicken’s also a safe bet. Beer may have an open relationship with many foods, but you can never go wrong with a hot dog, so stop by Sausagefest’s food truck in between drinks. Other options include MTO Café, SLO-BOY by Chef Justin Kingsley Hall, Truk-N-Yaki and QFS Tacos.
Downtown Brew Festival
500 S. Grand Central Pkwy, Oct. 24, 5 p.m. – 9 p.m. For tickets: downtownbrewfestival.com.