Spring is in the air. Sort of. If you squint and ignore the frigid temperatures, you can kind of see it in the distance.
This weekend's inevitable downpour, however, will nicely complement your drinking activities. On Saturday, Beer Revolution launches its first annual Imperial Stout Festival. These beers, which typically exceed 8% alcohol by volume, are characterized by their jet-black appearance and heavily malty, deeply roasted flavors. It's the beer equivalent of cozying up to the fire with your snuggie and a cup of cocoa.
While the taplist is being kept under wraps to avoid influencing the judging panel, expect a bounty of bold, rich brews with notes of chocolate and dark fruit. With imperial stouts occupying 29 of the Top 50 highest rated beer slots on Ratebeer.com, the style's popularity has enjoyed a steady climb. It's time to get your feet wet. Grab your umbrella and take a walk on the darkside:
Beer Revolution 1st Annual Imperial Stout Festival
Where: Beer Revolution, 464 3rd St. (at Broadway), Oakland, (510) 452-BEER
When: Saturday, March 24, Noon-11pm
Cost: pay per drink
What: 40+ imperial stouts on tap, available in flights or full pours. Expect special brews from NorCal breweries such as Sierra Nevada and Drake's. Take BART, and don't forget your spare liver.