One of the highlights of Firkfest for me was Figueroa Mountain’s Lizard’s Mouth Double IPA. It was conditioned exceptionally well and despite many people’s claims that DIPA have no business in a cask, this one worked. At the same time, brewer Kevin Ashford was on hand at the festival and spoke very briefly about their plans to hold a cask ale festival at their brewery in Buellton. Well those plans have finally arrived and can be found below.
Figueroa Mountain Brewing Company has embraced cask ale via their cask program run by Head Brewer of Santa Barbara, Kevin C. Ashford. Each taproom boasts a cask engine for new releases every “Firkin Friday” featuring many of their standard ales. These casks contain high quality ingredients such as hops, spices, coffee, cacao, and even locally grown fruits. Real Ale, or cask beer, is “beer that is unfiltered which undergoes a secondary fermentation and conditioning process. This process naturally carbonates the beer to a softer texture. It is poured directly from the cask—essentially a 10.8 gallon stainless steel barrel—without additional Nitrogen or Carbon Dioxide assistance,”Ashford explains.
Wanting to bring more exposure for cask beer to the Central Coast, Ashford and the events team at Figueroa Mountain Brewing Company will be hosting a Real Ale Invitational on Saturday, October 25, 2014 from 1:00 to 4:00 PM. Over a dozen breweries will be showcasing their own styles of real ale at Figueroa Mountain Brewing Company’s flagship brewery and taproom in Buellton, California. Admission is $40 and includes a souvenir glass, unlimited tastings and live music. A portion of the proceeds will benefit Los Padres Forest Watch.
For those beer lovers that want a more intimate experience paired with food, a limited number of tickets will be sold for a Real Ale Lunch prior to the Invitational at 11:30 AM to 1:00 PM. Meet the cask masters who have perfected the skill of brewing real ale while enjoying a 4-course meal prepared by Beto Huizar, Executive Chef of Beto’s Place, a new restaurant slated to open in Fig Mtn Brew’s Buellton taproom later this year. Tickets to the lunch cost $75 and include admission to the Invitational.
For more information about Figueroa Mountain Brewing Company’s Real Ale Invitational, please visitwww.FigMtnBrew.com/RealAle. Tickets will go on sale to the public starting August 18, 2014. Stay tuned to this page starting on Monday to purchase tickets.
Sadly, I will not be able to attend this festival as I’ve got other commitments in the Great White North (exciting stuff that I hope to be sharing with you all very soon) but if any fans of cask ale want to attend the fest and cover it for CaskAleLA.com, I would be happy to include your thoughts. If you are in the LA area on October 25th, definitely don’t miss this one. Figueroa Mountain is somewhat of a sleeper hit in this beer community – they are doing great things and its only a matter of time before they really explode in the eyes of craft beer geeks.