One of the great things about California is our love of fine alcohol. We are home to some of the best breweries and wineries in the world, and the California State Fair is an opportunity to sample some of the good stuff.
The Wine Garden at the Fair is my home away from home during the month of August. The only unfortunate thing about the Wine Garden is that a wine producer must be able to provide at least 10 cases of wine (120 bottles) for their wine to be featured. This means that most smaller, boutique wines that are often the big award winners are not available. Oenophiles never fear, however, there are still approximately 150 wines available for tasting at the Fair. Choices range from bargain brands to higher end brands that are sure to please discriminating palates.
Next to the wine garden, you can find the microbrew stand which features a dozen fine California beers. Nothing too outrageous is poured, but a good sampling of different beers from across the spectrum are offered. For those who like a lighter beer, Trumer Pilsner is the one for you. Made in Berkeley, Trumer has been brewing this beer in Austria since 1604. For the hop lover, check out Moylan’s IPA (Imperial Pale Ale). Moylan’s kicked major ass this year at the Commercial Brewing Competition with eight medals, including 5 golds. Upstairs at the Brews and Blues Stage, you can get a variety of beers from Sierra Nevada Brewing, including the seasonal Kolsch (think lighter side, but with more malt and sweetness) and the Anniversary Ale (think BIG!).