Brew Review: Biergarten at Desert Botanical Gardens

Categories: Brew Review
Jonathan McNamara
Big Willie and the Polka Meisters performing at Biergarten.
Real life is so underrated. That's what I found myself thinking as I wandered through the dimly lit pathways of the Desert Botanical Gardens on Saturday night. In real life, security guards prevent you from going places. But at Biergarten, Desert Botanical Gardens' beer festival, security guards want to make sure you ticket gets punched so you can have another beer. In real life, food requires cooking or at least enough effort to get in your car and drive somewhere. At Biergarten, one need only follow the sounds of music emanating from various parts of the gardens to find not only delicious German specialties like brats and potato pan cakes, but several people waiting to fill up the tiny beer mug hanging from your neck. 

So what was available to drink and were those brews worthy of such a heavenly event? Let's discuss. 

Talk about a hoppy beer. Anchorhead was pretty refreshing, but overall I found the flavor  weak. 

Shiner Hefeweizen
Being a Texas boy, I have to give it up to Shiner for representing themselves at such a fine event. The hefeweizen had some serious citrus notes. It was almost sour; like a lime-flavored beer on steroids. 

Thanks for punching my ticket, I'll be moving on now.


Wailua Wheat
This beer from Kona Brewing Co. is flavored with passion fruit. This is way better than any of those fruit-flavored corporate brews, but if you don't like fruit-flavored beers, this is not going to make you a believer. 

90-Minute IPA
Mmmmm. Hello, shining star in an ocean of mediocrity. 

Schneider and Sons' Weisenbach was the most interesting brew I tried at Biergarten. It tasted so strongly of cloves that I almost confused the flavor for licorice. It was hearty, spicy and delicious. 

Verdict: If you didn't make it out to Biergarten, you totally missed out. The weather was perfect, the beer was plentiful and the music was great too. I only wish there had been less commonplace brews. Landshark? Shiner? I would have liked to see more beer that I can't buy it a grocery store. 

Check out a few more photos from the Biergarten:
Jonathan McNamara
How many bands do you know that wander through their audience?
Jonathan McNamara
Local band Dry River Yacht Club.
Jonathan McNamara
It may not look like much, but this mustard-covered sausage was delicious.
Jonathan McNamara
Pulling a page from the Disneyland playbook, the Biergarten ended with a gift shop. So many beers!
Happy drinking!

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