Karlfest Sponsored by Karl Strauss in Costa Mesa, California

by Beer Answers on October 14, 2009

On Saturday, October 3, we attended Karlfest, the Karl Strauss version of Octoberfest, in Costa Mesa. The venue was at the Karl Strauss restaurant in the South Coast Plaza center.

The weather could not have been better (75 and sunny) and somewhere between 600-700 people showed up between Noon and 4pm.

Here is a picture of Jim (on left) with Chris Cramer, Karl Strauss CEO who is always out supporting the craft beer industry along with Strauss craft brews. DSC00382

Along with multiple Strauss brews, there nine other breweries pouring: Angel City, Back Street, Bayhawk Ales, Bootlegger Brewery, Steelhead Brewery, Left Coast Brewing, The Bruery, and Tustin Brewing. There were quite a few selections with about 40 brews on tap. Luckily, we planned ahead and had a room for the evening at a local hotel.

If you are new to craft beer, finding an event like this will allow you to taste a wide variety of brews at one sitting with the added feature of the brewer close by to answer any questions. There are two events coming up, the LA Beer Week from October 15th thru 30th, and San Diego Beer week from November 6th thru 15th. Lots of events, pairing dinners and tastings.

We should mention that the glasses provided a sample size not pint size, which was perfect since each admission came with five drink tickets. Among our tastes were: Back Street’s Jagged Little Pilsner; Bayhawk’s Cholocate (their spelling not mine) Porter, Imperial Brown Ale and IPA; and Strauss’ Big Barrel Double IPA, Oktoberfest, 20th Anniversary Dunkel, Belgian Trippel, Lavender Pale Ale and Belgian Coffee Stout.

Being newbies in beer tasting, we didn’t plan the tasting part very well. Like kids in a candy store, we just kept getting new things to try without discussing more than “I like it or It’s not for me”. Cynthia did have two favorites, Bayhawk IPA and Karl Strauss Belgian Trippel. Jim also liked the Strauss Trippel and their 20th Anniversary Dunkel.

We should also mention that there were a few foods to pair from Karl Strauss’ restaurant that went perfect with beer. There was a Bratwurst Hoagie (which we didn’t try), a soft pretzel with a great honey/spice mustard, and sliders that were really tasty.

We enjoyed ourselves and are looking forward to the upcoming events and planning our tasting notes.

Jim and Cynthia

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