Humboldt Beer Week: A disc golfer’s dream




Wow, what a weekend!  After 3 days of great craft beer, 60+ holes of disc golf, and hiking around the beautiful coastal redwoods, I’m beat.  If you have never made the trip to Humboldt County to enjoy their many disc golf courses, you are truly missing out.   I would highly suggest coming up during Humboldt Beer Week so that you can experience the annual Brewers Cup Tournament, which is now my 2nd favorite tournament of all time (next to Boontfling of course).  More on that in a bit…

I kicked things off on Friday night at The Local, a great craft beer bar and bottle shop located in the heart of downtown Eureka.  Owner Darren Cartledge has done an impressive job of building a beer list of local, regional, and hard-to-find beers from Belgian-style sours to American Double IPAs.  On this evening of Humboldt Beer Week, the theme was “Hop Friday” which featured a range of 16 different hopped-up ales from our sessionable Mendo Mello Estate Wet Hop Ale to Mikeller Hop Burn High, a 10% beast of a beer that was quite enjoyable.   As the evening wore on, I was mingling with some locals and struck up a conversation with a cool fellow named Bryce (pictured here) after he ordered a Mendo Mello (without knowing I was sitting next to him) from the long list of Double IPA’s. He told me he had just finished a 3500-mile bike trip from NY to Humboldt and that the Mello just caught his eye. Now that’s mighty bahl…

Mendo Mello satisfies after 3500 miles

On Saturday morning, I got up bright and early to play College of the Redwoods to ensure I had the course to myself.  COR has such a great mix of elevation changes, tight fairways, and open holes that I ended up using most of the discs in my bag for different situations.  Big arms will do well here, but if you’re putt and approach game is lacking, this course can pose a lot of challenges.  I mostly used my Star Destroyer and Valkyrie for my drives and a Crystal Buzzz for my mid-range game.  Even though  I racked up a handful of birdies, I somehow managed to shoot +2, which is fine by me considering I don’t play as often as I’d like to these days.

Great pin placement

Birdie putt on Hole 12!

Crushed this hole with my Sidewinder

Staring down the fairway of Hole 16

However, the true draw of Humboldt Beer Week for me was the 14th Annual Brewers Cup.  Held every year at the Mad River Pump Station course, this random-draw doubles tournament exemplifies what Humboldt disc golf is about: great people and good times!  We played 2 rounds of 18 holes (9 permanent/9 temp) along with 3-mini holes (which are scored individually.)  Mini-golf is tough!  My overall game was pretty decent, I had some well-placed drives (thanks to my Destroyer) and made several key putts, but alas both my partners and I were unable to truly make a run for the money.  The temp course played along the riverbed consisting of mostly long holes with precariously placed pins along the water’s edge as well as several island greens (and yes I lost two of my favorite discs in the river.)  One note: a cool rule in this is that if you go in the water, you can choose to play from your lie without penalty!  There were plenty of wet feet and saved strokes thanks to this neat twist, which is another reason I love non-sanctioned tourneys.

Dutch Sullivan laying down the law

Get your feet wet to save par

Way to go partner!

Not a lot of skipping on river rocks

Mini golf was fun

Tournament Director Dutch Sullivan did a great job in coordinating the raffle prizes, baskets, food, and securing beer sponsors (including Anderson Valley!)  Breakfast and lunch were served along with rotating kegs of Anderson Valley Winter Solstice, Redwood Curtain Pils, and Sierra Nevada Torpedo.  The awards ceremony (presented by Anderson Valley) was held at Humbrews in their large music venue  and featured our Mendo Mello and El Steinber Dark Lager to quench the thirst of many a golfer.  The tournament paid out 25 places with the winning score being -17!  I’d like to personally thank Par Infinity, Dutch Sullivan, Humbrews and Andy Ardell for making this a great weekend.  I’d also like to thank Pat Bellefeuille and the other kind soul who fished my two lost discs out of the river and returned them to me at the awards ceremony.  The Humboldt disc golf community is truly just that:  a community.  Everyone was very cool and laid-back, and no one took themselves (or their score) too seriously, which makes any tournament more fun.  Until next time…

Getting ready for awards at Humbrews

Dutch takes down the Medicinal Cup!

Steve Miller is the Steinber Kimmie (Beer Guy) for Anderson Valley Brewing Company. Beer Running, Social Media, Sales and Marketing are a few of his favorite things.  He’s also a pretty decent home brewer, gee-tar picker and disc golfer too.  You can follow him @SteinberRunner on Twitter.

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