Boozing it up at the State Fair

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!).

Complete results of the 2007 Commercial Beer Competition.
Complete results of the 2007 Commercial Wine Competition

4 thoughts on “Boozing it up at the State Fair”

  1. Wouldn’t be a “contest” is EVERY SINGLE FREAKIN’ entry (of the over 200 beers) won either a gold silver or bronze medal. Maybe the judges got a little tipsy and said, “Everyone wins today!” Just give them all a gold star and be done with it.


  2. Be sure to avoid all the gold, silver and bronze winners and head straight for the double golds. Not to miss is the 2005 Charles Shaw Chardonnay.

    “Best Value & Best of California & Best of Class California State Appellation 98”


  3. I had some of this “famous” prize-winning two-buck-chuck at the fair and thought it was some of the most disgusting swill I’ve ever had.

    Maybe I just don’t have the taste buds necessary to appreciate it.


  4. Yeah, I am always suspicious of some of the results that come from the wine competition. It seems that every year, a cheap, mass produced wine sneaks in and grabs a major medal. Is the fix in?

    I have NOTHING against bargain wines, especially since wine is quite good for one’s health. I just know great wine from good wine from decent wine, and I have no doubt where the Chuck falls into this hierarchy. I’m going to go today and give that Charles Shaw Chardonnay a try, since I have not had it in several years.

    If you check the results, the great majority of winners are really, really good wines.


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