The Firestone Walker Invitational Beer Festival was a couple of weekends ago. Without question, this is one of the best beer festivals I’ve been to in California. Brewers pour, amazing beers flow, and food abounds. Dark Lord, Eclipse, and Black Tuesday.. don’t mind if I do.
The best beer of the day? That’s a tough call. Saison du Prick from Fifty Fifty was amazingly refreshing for the 100+ degree day. And then there was The Bruery’s Grey Monday – nutty, boozy deliciousness. But my favorite? I can’t say no to a sour, particularly the Toronado 25th Anniversary Ale by Russian River.
While the Festival was incredible (brewer camping = genius and a bit too much fun), the drive down the Central Coast made the trip. Andrew and I stopped at just about every beach town, visited a number of breweries, and said hello to more than a couple of cows along the way.
Figueroa Mountain Brewing Co. in Buellton was one of the highlights – they’re incredibly friendly and the Paradise Rd. Pilsner, with its honey notes, was a perfect mid-drive snack. Oh, and the Stagecoach Stout.. a roast forward oatmeal stout that goes down smooth. They even tapped a specialty keg that was brewed in conjunction with a nearby winery, a Belgian Dark Ale with Grenache wine.
And then, there it was.. U Pick Blueberries. While driving down Route 101 we found a blueberry farm. Why not?? We were in no hurry to get home. We filled our pails, threw a blueberry or two or ten at each other, and ate even more than that.
Our blueberry haul inspired this recipe – a dense, moist, tender crumbed cake spotted with lemon zest and blueberries and lightened with beer and ricotta. It’s divine. But don’t take my word for it..
Tags: adventures • baking • beer festival • blueberries • cake • central coast • citra session • cooking with beer • craft beer • figueroa mountain • firestone walker • fwibf • IPA • lemon • pale ale • poundcake • recipes • ricotta • road trip