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Extreme Beer Festival

We visited as a guest of the venue

“Extreme Beer: A beer that pushes the boundaries of brewing through creativity and innovation.” This definition, which was featured in the festival’s program book, truly describes what Extreme Beer Festival is all about – showcasing independent breweries who are experimenting with flavors, evolving beer styles, and shaping the future of the beer industry.

We had the pleasure of attending Los Angeles’ inaugural Extreme Beer Festival at the California Market Center on Saturday, December 9. Between the afternoon and evening sessions, attendees collectively tasted more than 200 beers from over 60 breweries.

Arriving to the festival’s location was fairly easy – thanks to the train and a prominent ridesharing app. After we shared an elevator ride with attendees to the 13th floor, we were surprised to see a fairly large yet intimate size venue. The line to enter the festival also moved quickly.

With the beer list in hand, we embarked on a quest to try as many beers as we possibly could. For Melissa, this was her first time attending a beer festival and drinking independent beer – making a decision to try a beer was easy once she figured out the types of beers she liked. For me, there were too many good, experimental beers to try and I wish I did a better job strategizing my festival experience. Beer Advocate, a well-known publication in the beer community and host of the event, did an incredible job inviting a standout group of brewers from across the country. Some of the beers presented at the event are not even distributed in Southern California. A limited selection of food was available for consumption.

We also admired the respect Beer Advocate had for its festival partner, Los Angeles County Brewers Guild. The guild supports and promotes local independently-owned craft breweries and are known for strategically partnering with organizations that align with its mission. “When we forged a relationship with Beer Advocate, we told them that we will be partners with you on the premise that we will be equal partners with you, and that you will align with our vision.” said Frances Lopez, executive director of Los Angeles County Brewers Guild. “They didn’t even bat an eye and they were absolutely on board.”

Attendees may have noticed that two breweries were uninvited to the festival since they are no longer considered an independent brewery. Yes, they were probably missed by some attendees but this action truly shows the admiration Beer Advocate has for the Los Angeles County Brewers Guild and their partnership. It is important to support small businesses, and independent breweries. Additionally, we must reiterate that there were plenty of options to choose from.

Extreme Beer Festival is highly recommended for beer connoisseurs who have already ventured into the world of craft beer and are passionate about tasting experimental beers. Novice beer drinkers would enjoy this festival as well but would have to be open to tasting flavors they have never experienced before. Extreme Beer Festival is on our radar as an annual must attend event and we hope Beer Advocate moves forward with bringing back the festival to Los Angeles next year. We give three cheers for extreme beers!

Shameless plugs for our favorite beers at Extreme Beer Festival:

M4 from Abnormal Beer Co., San Diego, CA
American Double / Imperial Stout
This beer tasted like coffee with a splash of honey.

DDH Weapon of Choice from Civil Society Brewing, Jupiter, FL
American IPA
We absolutely loved the flavor from the lemondrop!

Veritas 019 from The Lost Abbey, San Marcos, CA
American Wild Ale
The sweet yet tart flavors in this beer did it for us.

Cocohut from Green Cheek Beer Co., Orange, CA
American IPA
We never thought we would ever taste coconut in an IPA – but we did and we enjoyed it.

Wild Farmhouse Ale from Crux Fermentation Project, Bend, OR
Saison / Farmhouse Ale
Taste comes along with age!

Freelance writer Sabrina Valles has a knack for sharing meaningful stories in her roles as a blogger and a public relations and marketing specialist. She enjoys covering craft beer events, sharing her favorite travel destinations (locally and abroad), and writing about places to devour delectable food and drinks for OC Mom Blog and her personal blog, Simply Crave Blog.
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