Anderson Valley is a strange place, a rural holdout that produces world-class wine and beer and has its own dialect. The beer fest is a serious brewer’s beer event, where the major breweries from Northern California and Oregon go wild and cook up all kinds of strange things to delight the nerds. We had delicious super-hopped-whoppers, creamy Imperial stouts, and puckering sours. The crowd, while a bit bro-ier than in years past, was friendly and polite and almost overwhelmingly happy to be there.
Saturday was the Boonville Beer Festival – ahem, The Legendary Boonville Beer Festival – and for the third year in a row we drove up to Anderson Valley for it. This year we didn’t camp, due to the fact that Mike had only slept in our bed for 1 of the previous 21 nights, which was fair enough. We drove up for the day, braving sunny-Saturday-Sonoma traffic and the lack of air conditioning in my little car. It was worth it. Once you get off the 101, the route into Anderson Valley is gorgeous and windy, with layered hills and streams and redwoods, vineyards, goats and cows occasionally popping up on the roadside.