San Francisco Beer Week was in full swing by the time the Black and White Beer Ball came along on Friday. Personally, I was looking forward to this event as we finally had a true local event to attract the beer drinkers of Sonoma County and from even further. As the name would imply, this was a semi-formal event, giving many an opportunity to dust off the old tuxedo.
The event got started at 8 in the evening for those who purchased the VIP tickets. Food was served in the form of appetizers and a free entry via scratcher game was included into each VIP glass. The glass was a treat, a stemmed glass perfect for tasting quality beers and I anticipate getting lots of use at home. For the General Admission folks, the stemless glass from the previous year (which I was a fan of as well) made a return appearance.
For those in the General Admission line, they may not have anticipated the volume of attendees as the line wrapped out two exits and into the parking lot. Still, the line moved quickly and by 10, all attendees were inside and enjoying themselves.
Upon entering, art was on display and for sale from local artists with proceeds going to Ales for Autism. Breweries lined the walls with fund an island set up in the middle for merchandise and other fundraising opportunities.
For local beer lovers, the biggest draw was the first public pouring of St Florian’s Brewery of Windsor. They currently only have one beer available, an IPA with more malt body than typically found in Sonoma County brews, but they brewery features a bottling line from day one and will begin popping up in local retailers shortly.
Another treat was the presence of local cider makers Tilted Shed and Apple Sauced. These west county cider makers pay homage to the history of the apple in Sonoma County and show that Sonoma County is ripe for fine beverages from wine and beer to cider as well.
Honestly, my favorite aspect of this event is the theme. Black and White Ball means we all get a chance to dress up, and the beer community rarely looks better. Tuxedos and evening gowns were common and everyone was anxious to show off their style.
The best way to fully relive the evening is to check out the photos on the Brewed for Thought Facebook page. Please, tag yourself and your friends if you were in attendance and look for even more improvements in the next year’s event as this one is here to stay!