Great people, great music, good times and delicious beer kicked off the first annual Surf ‘n’ Suds Festival, hosted by DEEP Surf Magazine on the Carpinteria State Beach in Santa Barbara, California. The Surf Channel was excited to attend and spend some quality meeting surfboard shapers, and of course, reviewing the plethora of suds on tap in the surf town home to Rincon.
The idea behind the festival was both genius and simple. For the price of $45, festival goers, who had to come thirsty and over 21, were given a small tasting cup and free reign to try any of the 90+ craft beers available at individual brewery stands. Underneath every tent sat a happy and knowledgeable representative from each brewery, ready to tell you all about the unique brewing process and distinctive flavors of their beer.
In the world of Californian craft beers, IPA is king. IPA, or India Pale Ale, is a strong, bitter, hoppy beer, not usually suited for the casual Bud Light drinker. Breweries such as San Diego’s Stone Brewing Co. and Goose Island have built their brand on the bold flavors of their powerful IPAs.
Most breweries had an IPA offered at the event, but the second most common style was Hefeweizen, a lighter and sweeter beer, distinctive for its cloudy color, high carbonation and refreshing finish. Meandering through the rows of amazing beer, we found ourselves quite surprised with many beer standouts, including: Karl Strauss Red Trolley Ale, Coronado Islander IPA, Sierra Nevada Tumbler Ale, Mountain Goat Brewing Coffee IPA and Hanger 24 Belgian Summer Ale.
While many breweries were sampling their top flavors, Telegraph was only serving one beer – their Telegraph White Ale. Brewed with local ingredients and slowly aged both in the barrel and bottle, Telegraph’s crisp and refreshing summer beer truly stood out. Telegraph went out of their way to describe every aspect of the brewing process in a manner both engaging and detailed.
Now that we’ve covered the suds, let’s get to the surf. A number of local shapers set up booths at the event, bringing boards and tales of classic Rincon days and long flat spells. Surf Country’s Doug Roth had plenty of beautiful longboards and classic fishes on display, while Jason Feist, an underground Santa Barbara hero, showed up with his classic quiver of high performance short boards and everyday grovelers.
Yet, the day’s coolest moments came from the remarkable non-profit and activist groups. Sundance Beach Magazine teamed up with Lakey Peterson and Surf 4 Water to promote bringing clean water to remote Indonesian villages. In between cool shirts reading “Indoneedsya” and a tent showcasing fine surf films, volunteers promoted the awesome cause.
Another company helping make Indo a healthier place was Indosole. Indosole takes used tires directly out of Indonesian landfills and uses them as the soles of their unique and beautiful shoes, seen on www.indosole.com. Efforts like these really showcase the caring nature of everyone involved with this fantastic event.
So, as the day winded down, people went home with beer in their bellies and care in their hearts. The funky reggae sounds wafting from the stage and the designated drivers (who only paid $20 to get in) helping their indulgent friends to the exit put a smile on their faces and one question lingering: ‘Why in the world was this the FIRST annual Surf ‘n’ Suds Festival and not the 30th?’
It was a must-see event for anyone steeped in the sunny Cali lifestyle.