While the food and wine selections at the festival have been expanding for the last few years, the beer selection has remained centered on Heineken and Newcastle. This year, the promoters wanted to make an Olympic-sized leap at upgrading the beer offerings. After accepting the promoters’ challenge, David McLean, owner of Magnolia Pub & Brewery, put together a list of over 30 craft beers from 16 breweries.
As Dave explained about his selections, "It was a challenging task, with so, so many amazing California craft breweries out there, to come up with a short list that represented a current snapshot of great beer in the state. The list tilts a little toward the Bay Area and Northern California, as it should for an SF festival, but we have beers from as far south as Orange County (The Bruery) and as far north as Humboldt (Mad River). Within that, there are the pioneers of the modern craft beer movement and also the smallest and newest up and coming torch-bearers for California beer. Over a quarter of the participants are from San Francisco itself, keeping with the spirit of Outside Lands in promoting local art and culture. Each brewery will send two beers, with some sending the only beers they currently produce while one (Sierra Nevada) is sending a special Outside Lands Saison just for the occasion.
To be more specific on the geographic breakdown, four are from SF, one is based in SF but brews on the Peninsula, three are from elsewhere in the Bay Area, five are from farther afield in Northern California, and two are from Southern California. I also broke the beers down into 5 categories based on broad style/flavor profiles and we have a pretty nice spread among those groups, too. Altogether, while I can't stress enough how many awesome breweries couldn't be included, I think this is a good cross section of the California craft brewing scene as of today.
Here’s the complete Beer Lands lineup:
Bear Republic Brewery
Iron Springs Brewery
Linden Street Brewery
Lost Coast Brewery
Mad River Brewing Company
Magnolia Gastropub and Brewery
North Coast Brewing Company
Pacific Brewing Laboratory
Speakeasy Ales & Lagers
Sierra Nevada Brewing Company
Details: Outside Lands will take place in Golden Gate Park August 10 - 12. A portion of every ticket sold benefits San Francisco’s Recreation and Park Department. Details are still being added to the festival's web site, so keep checking back!