A couple places pouring at the festival popped up on my radar screen. If you haven't heard of the San Francisco Mead Company or Oakland's Federation Brewing yet, you probably want to check them out. The San Francisco Mead Company had a some sweet apple cyser (that's fermented honey and apple juice) which when mixed with their dry mead, resulted in a wonderfully floral and complex sipper. Federation Brewing's Brown IPA sounded little like a tired gimmick, but it's really more of a traditional British Bitter, with wonderfully soft, rounded hop flavors that made for an excellent brew. Federation's Chocolate Stout with noticeable vanilla additions was also a pretty strong effort.
I'll leave you with some photos of the evening.