For people who are really into beer, the problem with beer festivals is that the offerings are usually a bit pedestrian. Sure, an event can boast a selection of 500 different ales, but if it's all stuff you can buy at Safeway, what's the point? Real, Wild and Woody is a beer geek's beer fest — every single beer poured by the 65-plus invited breweries is either cask-fermented (real), sour (wild), or aged in barrels that once held bourbon, tequila, or some other tasty spirit (woody), and many are so rare they're only available at the event. Admission ain't cheap — $57 for 20 tasting tickets — but it's a small price to pay for any beer connoisseur looking to spend four hours ticking rarities, meeting brewers, and throwing around terms like "horse-blanket aroma" and "creamy mouthfeel" with people who actually understand what the hell you're talking about.
Readers Choice: Tour de Fat