I am so behind on blogging!! I started this draft on January 30th. Yup…January 30th. The Monday after the Ratebeer Best Festival. Annnnd now here we are at the end of April. Better late than never, right?
Oh Ratebeer Best, where do I even start? I was lucky enough to be asked to be on the social media team for the festival. The team formed was a group of us that are active in the beer social media scene. We were tasked with drinking beer and posting pictures and live video from our experience. Pretty awesome gig if you ask me!
The Ratebeer Best festival is located in Santa Rosa, California. This years lineup included 50 of some of the most sought after breweries from around the world. With unlimited pours and breweries rotating through their lineups, attendees didn’t have to wait long with an empty glass in their hands. Known for their amazing beer pairing, food was provided for the VIP ticket holders by Peloton Culinary & Catering. My favorite was the hop salt popcorn. Yum! Also present was Mix & Mac. A create your own mac and cheese station. Pure heaven and a great pairing with beer!
Following the festival was an evening back at the Flamingo Hotel. I highly recommend staying at the hotel RateBeer sets up for the event. There is a free shuttle ride to and from the festival. We all know how important no drinking and driving is! Following the festival is basically one huge bottle share. No joke, there was a bottle share happening in pretty much every other room at the hotel. Bottle sharing with attendees from all over the world and brewers was a ton of fun. At one point we wound up in a bottle share with Trevor from de Garde. Super awesome and down to earth guy.
The weekend ended on Sunday with the RateBeer Best Awards ceremony that honors the top breweries selected by RateBeer reviewers. The awards ceremony included a pre-bottle share where beer enthusiasts could enjoy beer with their favorite brewers.
Some personal highlights for me? 1. Meeting awesome beer people that I engage with on my social media accounts. 2. Getting to try some rare beers I normally wouldn’t be able to. Kind of fell in love with Omnipollo beer. 3. Seeing how passionate the owners and brewers are about their beer. It’s pretty awesome when Vinnie from Russian River is pouring beer for the attendees!
I can’t wait for next year’s festival! If you have the opportunity to go, I highly recommend going for the VIP tickets. You get an early 90-min entry ticket and it’s completely worth it! Come enjoy awesome beer, meet new beer friends, and be sure to say hi. I’ll definitely be back!