Last weekend, with California’s Eastern High Sierra as the backdrop, Mammoth Brewing Company’s Festival of Beers and Bluesapalooza featured an incredible lineup of musical talent (blues, of course) and a Grand Tasting of craft brews from around the country. In addition, the Mammoth brewers released this year’s new, limited-availability craft beer created for the festival—a tradition that began in 2007.
This year’s original craft beer is Bear Garden, a Kolsch-style ale concoction that was brewed with Schill Cologne malt, honey malt, and Munich malt. But the element that makes it stand out from your typical craft brew is the infusion of the lavender, rose hips, and jasmine in addition to the unique desert peach that Mammoth Brewing Company’s brewers hand picked.
On Saturday, the Mammoth Festival of Beers Grand Tasting featured more than eighty of the country’s best craft breweries, including Mammoth Brewing Company, Anchor Brewing, Russian River, Bear Republic, Anderson Valley, Stone, Green Flash, Firestone Walker, Coronado, Sierra Nevada, Lagunitas, and many more.
The weekend music lineup included the blues talent of more than twenty bands, including music legends the Taj Mahal Trio and John Hiatt & The Combo, Robert Randolph & The Family Band, and six-time Grammy award-winner Buddy Guy.
We thought it would be fun to ask some of the performers at Bluesapalooza to name their favorite craft beers or craft breweries. Here’s what we learned:
Because of its “great flavor,” The Steepwater Band’s favorite craft beer is 3 Floyds (Munster, Indiana) Dreadnaught IPA, an Imperial IPA with an intense citrus hop aroma, a huge malt body, and a crisp finish.
Sister Sparrow & The Dirty Birds’s favorite craft breweries are Bell’s Brewery (Kalamazoo, Michigan) and Lagunitas Brewing Company (Petaluma, California) because they make “just damn good beer.”
For Joe Nosek, who started the Cash Box Kings (pictured at top) with Travis Koopman, Chris Boeger, Todd Cambio, and Kenny “Beady Eyes” Smith, the craft brewery of choice is New Glarus Brewing (New Glarus, Wisconsin) whose motto is “Drink Indigenous.”
19th Annual Mammoth Festival of Beers & BluesapaloozaTab Benoit’s favorite craft brewery is Abita Brewing Company (Abita Springs, Louisiana), brewers of Purple Haze, Fall Fest, Turbodog, Abita Blue, and Red Ale. His band members mentioned Stone Brewing Co. (Escondido, California) as a favorite craft brewery and Anchor Brewing’s (San Francisco, California) Anchor Steam Beer as a favorite craft beer.
Mark your calendars. July 30 - Aug 2, 2015, are the dates for the 20th Annual Mammoth Festival of Beers and Bluesapalooza.
Photos: ©Karl Anderson