Even though SubZERO 2012 has been over a few weeks, I though I’d take the time to recap the event as I saw things. When compared to last year, the Better Brews Tasting Garden at SubZERO made significant strides. We had more brewers, more beers, more people, and things seemed to run smoother. Not everything was all rainbows and unicorns but there were much more “pluses” than “minuses”.
Moar Craft Beer!
Probably the biggest improvement to our inaugural Better Brew Tasting Garden was our increased selection of craft beer. All in all, we had a little over double the number of breweries who participated last year. As a result, we had a much more varied selection of craft beer available to be had. The Better Brew Tasting Garden featured traditional German-style lagers, hoppy ales, craft beer brewed with spices, and sweeter, malt-forward beers.
One of the most exciting things to have happened at the Better Brew Tasting Garden was the unofficial debut of the new Gorden Biersh lager Imperial Pilsner Brau (IPB). IPB is a golden lager brewed with all 4 noble hops (Hallertauer, Spaltz, Saaz, and Tettnang) and clocks in at approximately 50 IBUs, far hoppier than any of the standard Gordon Biersch beers. IPB is the first of 5 beers in the new Braumeister Select series to be release in the coming year. Hopefully you were able to have some at the festival!
While I can’t confirm numbers, the Better Brew Tasting Garden was significantly busier this year when compared to last year. Not only did we have more people roll through the gates this year, we were busier earlier in the day. I recall the beer festival portion of SubZERO to have really taken off by about 8pm or so but we had those numbers a full hour earlier.
San Jose is known for not having an adventurous taste for craft beer but I was never so happy to be proven wrong. The more popular beers were IPAs, a hoppy style that people generally tend to develop a liking towards. But despite what was being poured, the local crowd loved every drop! Hopefully we can get even more special beers out for the festival.
Another thing I can’t stress enough is that SubZERO Festival, and the Better Brew Tasting Garden, is a family-friendly event. Family is a big part of the craft beer community and I don’t think I’d want to do this event if we had to exclude some members of our families. It’s just not what we’re about. There were some concerns from the San José Police Department regarding minors but we worked it all out. The Better Brew Tasting Garden is everything but a “raging kegger” of an event and we want to keep it that way. With your help, I think we can.
I’d like to take this time to thank all the craft breweries who came out and poured their beers at the Better Brew Tasting Garden at SubZERO Festival. After all, you can’t have a craft beer festival without the craft beer.
That said, THANK YOU (in no particular order) to Campbell Brewing Company, Rock Bottom Brewing Company, Tied House / Hermitage Brewing Company, Gordon Biersch Brewing Company, Stone Brewing Company, Firestone Walker Brewing Company, Uncommon Brewers, Peter B’s Brewpub, Strike Brewing Company, Seabright Brewing, Santa Cruz Ale Works, Rabbit’s Foot Meadery, Sante Adairius Rustic Ales, Cedar Street Brewing Company, and event sponsor Lagunitas Brewing Company.
Big thanks go out to Dan Satterthwaite from the Bay Brewers Guild for all he did to make sure we had some great beers on tap for the festival. I’m sure I owe him a couple of pints.
Thank you to all our friends, family, and volunteers for coming out to help on an awesome Friday night. The event couldn’t have run as smoothly if it weren’t for all of your efforts. I’m hoping you all had fun and were able to check out SubZERO Festival at the same time.
Last but not least, thank you to Cherri and Brian, organizers of SubZERO Festival, to have the trust to work with us to put this event on. They run a top-notch festival from top to bottom and I’m hoping people were able to take the time to see all the artists and musicians that were at the festival.
If anyone has any feedback for the festival, feel free to leave it in the comments section below. We’ll be looking at any and all of it to make sure we can put on an even better festival next year.