Sunday, July 15, 2012

Thank Goodness for the Breast Fest

The teaming crowds enjoying The Breast Fest inside
San Francisco's Fort Mason Festival
No, the The Breast Fest isn't a porn movie, but an annual beer festival to raise money for the Charlotte Maxwell Complementary Clinic, held last Saturday at the Fort Mason event center my wife and I attended.  The Charlotte Maxwell Complementary Clinic is a California state licensed clinic which provides complementary alternative treatment for low income women suffering from breast cancer.

While it's great to support this valuable cause, I'm also thankful this event gives me a decent excuse to diverge from writing about beer and running to discuss women's breasts.  After all, as a heterosexual male with demonstrably active hormones, I've been a fan of women's breasts longer than I've been a fan of beer or running.

Escaping the noise inside to enjoy the San Francisco Bay
I also appreciate that my wife understands and supports this enthusiasm for women's breasts, although strongly prefers this enthusiasm for breasts is primarily directed towards hers.  As we go about town, she will sometimes helpfully point out large, healthy looking breasts on other women (which I've already noticed) and asks for my opinions on them, enjoying watching me carefully try to  tactfully escape the mine field she's just tossed me into.  She lets me read the annual Sports Illustrated Swimsuit issue with impunity, although I've found it wise to toss this issue in the recycle bin as soon as possible.

But getting back to the beer festival, more than sixty breweries, cideries, and even a couple wineries were on hand to pour their offerings in the open air industrial space on the San Francisco waterfront. The 80's hair metal cover band Metal Shop played for the crowd, which seemed a logical choice, since hair metal bands have long been energetic proponents of women's breasts.  It was good bumping into Gabriel Scott and Bryan Kolesar, fellow travelers in the beer running blogosphere.
And while there were plenty of good and interesting beers to be had, here are four I found particularly noteworthy. 

E.S. Chi by Marin Brewing
Nothing says "Marin County" more than a brewery collaboration with noted Chinese herbalist Dr. Yen-Wei Choong of Marin's Yellow Emperor Healing Institute.  (The Yellow Emperor website even features a pop-up ad for Lexus Automobiles to complete the total Marin experience.)   It was the first beer at The Breast Fest I tried and I'm here to say that Dr. Choong's herbs melded effortlessly with the lightly toasted malt creating a feel good vibe to start the afternoon.

Ginger Wheat by Napa Smith
I almost didn't try this, thinking the ginger would create a harsh tasting brew, but my wife talked me into it.  I found Napa Smith's Master Brewer Don Barkley careful, restrained use of ginger root with the clear wheat beer created a surprisingly bright, refreshing brew.

Ramsgate Rye PA by Social Kitchen & Brewery
I was eager to see how Social Kitchen's new Brewmaster Kim Sturdavant was doing replacing Rich Higgens, who departed the brewpub last February.  Rye beers are becoming all the rage these days and while I enjoy the peppery flavors rye grain bring, I've found more than a few rye beers to be a bit harsh.  Not this one.  I enjoyed the smooth, light peppery character of this beer that would likely go well with a lot of foods.  Sturdavant has big shoes to fill, but there's been a lot of positive responses to his efforts, and you can add mine to the growing pile.

Duece by El Toro
Morgan Hill's El Toro Brewpub was one I frequented often back when I lived down in South San Jose.  Their Deuce Double IPA is a classic West Coast concoction, with the clear malt a small distraction to the strong yet smooth floral hop blitzkrieg.  Totally unbalanced the way a Double IPA should be.

Once again, The Breast Fest proves it's one of the best beer festivals on the increasingly crowded Northern California beer festival calendar. It also provides yet another opportunity for guys to engage in that time honored tradition of swilling beer and fixating on women's breasts, but at least with a more thoughtful fixation.  It's a sign of civilization's progress that a Google search on "Breast Fest" or even "Breast Fest adult film" does not result in a bunch of titillating pornographic content, but several fundraisers all over the country highlighting breast cancer and other women's health issues.  So let's thank The Breast Feast and other efforts to support women fighting breast cancer, giving us all the proper perspective on what women's breasts are all about.

1 comment:

  1. I finally got to witness the truth that this is a wonderful event run by seemingly a bunch of smart people. From the venue to the beers to the food and to the music, it was an all-around great reason to extend my week in the Bay Area an extra day.

    Am sifting through the pictures and should be ready to share within the next couple of days. Great seeing you two. Hopefully next time we can work it out to include a run!