Not all beer festivals fill large event spaces and feature unlimited pours in tiny glasses. Some are more intimate and are held at your favorite pubs. GreenHopFest is one of the latter, and in it’s second year at the Toad in the Hole Pub brought a celebration of fresh hopped beers and an an opportunity to enjoy the great fall weather of Sonoma County.
As previously mentioned, GreenHopFest is not a traditional beer fest with rows of jockey boxes and brewery reps handing out samples. Instead, the beers are hand picked by pub owner Paul Stokeld and served in the one-day-only beer garden occupying the sidewalk and parking spaces in front of the pub. The pub operates as usual with a full menu and the taps indoors remaining unchanged. Outdoors, 6 taps were available, all stocked with fresh hopped beer and a special treat, a firkin of Sierra Nevada’s Northern Hemisphere Harvest Ale.
On tap there was a wide variety in the beers represented, given the fresh-hop requirement. Lagunitas and Bear Republic provided fresh-hopped versions of their flagship IPAs (the Simcoe Lagunitas IPA being nicknamed the Starburst beer with an intense melon profile) while others, such as Deschutes Hop Trip, Sierra Nevada’s Northern Harvest and Almanac’s Single Hop IPAs, were brewed specifically with fresh hops in mind. Cali Craft’s Chez Panisse Farmhouse Pale Ale featured fresh hops from the Central Valley and provided a unique variation to the fresh hop style.
For entertainment, Philip Der Stein played polka for the crowd. This wasn’t a traditional polka though with songs ranging from classic to humorous to punk and rock. On the dance floor, a couple fräulein danced with attendees and concluded the event with a burlesque performance.
GreenHopFest is still in its early stages and there are already plans for a repeat in 2014. In the meantime, visit the Toad in the Hole every Tuesday for Real Ale Night with Brewed For Thought where we put two new beers on every week and tap a fresh cask on the beer engine.
See more photos from GreenHopFest 2013 on Brewed For Thought’s Facebook page. Visit the page, like Brewed For Thought and share the photos with your friends.