It’s been a couple of weeks since the Firestone Walker Invitational Beer Festival took place so I’ve had the chance to hear what others have been saying about the event. Most of what’s being said is positive…some of the complaints were the big herd of people waiting to rush in when the doors opened versus having a single line, some said the map booklet things wasn’t helpful or accurate (I don’t know, I didn’t use it), and some did not like the layout.
My personal thoughts were that the herd versus the single file line didn’t really impact me; therefore it was a non issue and I thought the layout was fine. The beer and food tents were intermixed throughout the festival area and there was a separate spot for the live music as well as another spot for the “seminar” stuff. At the end of the day the event seemed to go just fine. There were a lot of people so you just have to be patient as you’re maneuvering around through the event…why wouldn’t you be patient, you’ve got beer!!
So all that jazz aside, I was super impressed with the list of craft breweries that were there (with the exception of a couple but why would I complain there were 38 other ones to go to), well done on the selection! Some of my favorites were: AleSmith (San Diego), Bear Republic (Healdsburg), Bell’s Brewery (Kalamazoo, MI.), Boneyard Brewing (Bend, OR.), Dogfish Head (Milton, DE.), Founders (Grand Rapids, MI.), Laguinitas (Petaluma), Odell Brewing Company (Fort Collins, CO.), Stone Brewing Co. (San Diego), and Three Floyds Brewing Company (Munster, IN.).
The food selection was quite impressive too…a few of which were 15 Degrees C, McPhee’s Grill, Full of Life Flatbread, Buona Tavola, F. McLintock’s Saloon, and what would the Firestone event be without food from Firestone Walker Taproom as well? I did more drinking than eating but Annie and Little Browne grabbed some snacks and they seemed pretty stoked!
We’re so used to going to wine events, this was only our second beer event and the other one was about a month ago, so I was very curious to see how the beer crowd would compare to the wine crowd…and the answer is…everyone was super cool and mellow; just the way I like it in my old age. The only real differences I noticed were, it seemed like the crowd was mostly full of 30 and 40 year olds (more grey hair at wine events), there were lots of beer bellies, and tons of tattoos…and I have no issue whatsoever with any of these things.
Bottom line is that Firestone did a great job for a first time event. My only advice would be to get a little more responsive in the social media world…but then again, I have that complaint about most businesses. All that aside, well done Firestone!! And now that Hospice du Rhone (a wine event) is leaving Paso Robles maybe you can turn this into a two day event and replace the revenue that the city will miss with HdR gone! Cheers!