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Let's eat.

From Big Sur's killer cliff-clinging eateries to Salinas' unparalleled produce, this blog aims to sniff out all things Monterey County can stomach, via picture and prose, curiosity and appetite, hand and mouth.

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Excitement Brewing

Duvel from Belgium. Goose Island from Chicago. Port Brewing from San Diego. Magic Hat from Vermont. Ninkas from Oregon. Speakeasy from San Francisco. Unibroue from Canada.

Yes, the Monterey Beer Festival cometh, June 5, at the Monterey Fairgrounds ($35).
But behind it rises a local cerveza sensation with a gravitational pull strong enough to grab 250-plus for a job fair last week—Cannery Row Brewing Company—and the fair didn't even pour a lowsy drop of beer.

The final “draft” of the CRBC beer manifesto-menu I’m looking is 19 pages and 7,540 words long, or more than twice the length of this week’s cover story, topped by five house labels—including a Madame’s Flora Bavarian, “a light, approachable beer, with a hazy opalescent appearance and soft, gentle texture” named for the brothel that once lived next door. (The place is scheduled to open by the U.S. Open golf championship mid-June.)

Now sources tell me a beer marriage to rival the one that happened on the very lawns at last year’s Beer Fest—one between the festival itself and the folks at CRBC—isn’t out of the question.

I asked David Bernahl (above), co-founder of CRBC parent company Coastal Luxury Management (whose superchef Mark Ayers is already “in the lab” testing menu items), and beer festival chief Jeff Moses about the romantic overtures.

“CLM is always looking at countless opportunities year round that would benefit from our infrastructure and network of partners,” Bernahl says, “to make those brands more special and valuable. No formal offer has been made, but we’re like-minded people.”

Moses offers a version of the same thought. “You never know,” he says.

• • •

Speaking of the man leading people to pilsners and ports, Moses poses an interesting question in an e-mail, with title capitalization for effect. "Is Beer the Next New Celebrity?"

He goes on: "The Fame Makers (the Media) are looking for a new child to raise, folowing the line up of (famous) siblings that are now all grown up."

His "List of the Now Famous":
1) Movie Stars
2) Musician
2) Athletes
3) TV Actors
4) Wine
5) Chefs

"Is Beer Next? American now has the most diverse selection of beers in the world: 1,500 U.S. Breweries are producing over 100 styles of beers. And 3,000 breweries in Europe produce beer."

It's enough to elicit a giggle—but the guy's got a point. And it's enough to make a man thirsty.