By SABRA STAFFORD
The beer will soon be flowing for 209 residents and visitors alike as Stockton welcomes all those of legal drinking age to imbibe in some of the best craft brews the area has to offer.
The sixth annual Stockton Beer Week is set for July 7-16. The festivities of suds will be celebrated all through the city as various local breweries, bars, restaurants and other venues host events highlight a wide array of ales, lagers, and stouts. In previous years, the celebration has included beer pairing dinners, the Brews & Shoes Walk/Run and beer movie nights.
“It’s a great opportunity for us to celebrate local craft brews,” said Robyn Cheshire, the director of marketing and communications for Visit Stockton, the organization behind the event. “We partner with local restaurants for tap takeovers, beer pairings and beer-themed events. Last year we had a big backyard barbecue that was a lot of fun.”
As the event nears a full list of all the participating venues and events will be available at visitstockton.org.
A craft beer is described as a beer that is made in a traditional or non-mechanization method in a small brewery. According to Craftbeer.com, there were 5,234 craft breweries in the United States in 2016. Those breweries are offering more than 150 beer styles and more than 20,000 brands in the United States.
“California is big on craft brews, but there are not a lot of options for craft brewers to show their products,” Cheshire said. “It’s fantastic how it has grown over the years.”
Stockton Beer Week gets a grand kick-off with Brewfest from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m. on July 8.
“It’s a really fun event at the Stockton Arena,” Cheshire said. “There are more than 30 breweries there with live music and games and activities, life life-size beer pong and a beer mug suit to try on.”
Tickets for Brewfest are $45 for VIP, $35 for general admission, and $10 for designated drivers. Tickets are available at http://www.stocktonlive.com/events/detail/stockton-beer-week-brew-fest-1.
Craft Beer 101
1) Glassware is key in getting the complete experience of a craft brew. Using the right glassware can enhance the aromatics, delivers more flavor, and releases bubbles so less carbonation in ingested. The general rule is that stronger beer should be served in smaller glasses.
2) A thick foam head is essential to a good pour and should be about one to two fingers widths tall.
3) When pairing craft brews with food follow the rule of matching intensity with intensity. Having a strong flavored food with a light flavored beer will cause your taste buds to lose the flavor of the brew. Look for shared notes to enhance the pairing.
4) The type of flavors found in craft brews can vary widely, but some of the more common descriptors used in craft brewing include: sweet, malty, chocolate, bitter, bready, spicy, sour, fruity, nutty, and roasted.
5) The alcohol by volume in craft brews depends on the makers, though usually is within the range of 3 percent on the low end to 20 percent on the high end. Most craft brews made in the United States have an average ABV of 5.9 percent.
6) The water used in the brewing process can have an impact on the taste. In some areas the mineral content and water profile can accentuate the bitterness of the hops or enhance the malt properties.