RateBeer Best Festival in Santa Rosa Lives Up to the Hype

People lined up for hours to get into this weekend’s highly anticipated second annual RateBeer Best Festival at the Sonoma County Fairgrounds in Santa Rosa. The line wrapped around the Grace Pavilion as beer enthusiasts eagerly awaited a sip on a “whale” (a hard to find beer) and a chance to chat with some of their favorite brewers.

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This years event featured a grand tasting experience with beers from 50 of the world’s top breweries, and tasty bites from food vendors like Peloton Culinary Catering, the Fig Rig, Palozza, Eat Mix & Mac, and Croques and Touques. My personal highlights included these hot beers: Toppling Goliath Assassin, and the Omnipollo and Buxton collaboration: Lemon Meringue. Check out the gallery below for more highlights.

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Vinnie Cilurzo polishing off the last drop of his Temptation ale at the RateBeer Best Festival in Santa Rosa. (Photo by Tim Vallery)
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The brewers came from all over the world to pour for beer geeks in Santa Rosa at RateBeer Best on Saturday, Jan 28th. (Photo by Tim Vallery)
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Natalie and Vinnie Cilurzo at RateBeer Best. Natalie posted on Facebook how excited she was to be pouring alongside some of the best brewers in the world right here in her hometown of Santa Rosa. (Photo by Tim Vallery)
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Beercraft Bottle Shop and Taproom was the main event sponsor of the RateBeer Best Festival in Santa Rosa.
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People lined up for beers from Cellarmaker in San Francisco at the RateBeer Best festival.
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Beer geeks wore their best beer schwag and masquerade masks to the RateBeer Best festival on Saturday in Santa Rosa.
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Mike Moltchanoff flew into Santa Rosa from Portland, Oregon just to get his hands on some of the best beers in the world at the RateBeer Best festival. (Photo by Tim Vallery)
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Nick Garson (right) AKA “Fridge” eagerly waits for the Toppling Goliath Assassin with other beer lovers at the RateBeer Best festival.
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Derek Manus of Sacramento came for the first time this year and said he will definitely be making this event an annual trip for himself and his wife, Erin. The couple knows their beer, they have traveled to nearly 500 breweries across the nation. (Photo by Tim Vallery)
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Beer geeks showing their appreciation for beer with the schwag they wear at the RateBeer Best festival in Santa Rosa.

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Peloton Culinary & Catering at Ratebeer BEST in Santa Rosa. (Tim Vallery)
Peloton Culinary & Catering at RateBeer Best in Santa Rosa. (Tim Vallery)
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Peloton Culinary & Catering at RateBeer Best in Santa Rosa. (Tim Vallery)
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Peloton Culinary & Catering’s mac n cheese waffles at RateBeer Best in Santa Rosa. (Tim Vallery)
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Henhouse Brewing happily pours their locals brews at the RateBeer Best festival on Saturday.
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Moi Brew is excited to have all of these incredible beers right here in Santa Rosa at the RateBeer Best festival.
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Lagunitas Brewing serving the High Westified at the RateBeer Best festival on Saturday. High Westified was used in the Peloton Culinary & Caterings chocolate pot de creme during the VIP hour.

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Mark you calendars for RateBeer Best, January 2018: If you missed out on this year’s event, or were on the fence about getting VIP tickets, I highly recommend you do so – in good time – for next year (VIP tickets sold out within days this year). For a beer geek, they are definitely worth the price as they give early access to beer tastings.

Looking for more things to do in Sonoma County? Click here

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