I was itching to get out of work like never before for this thing. Not only was it Friday, but I had a beer festival to get to! The line was snaking from the entry tent all the way north, then east past the store fronts. The line moved quickly and soon we were in, holding our sample glasses. And they were, in fact glass, a nice touch. Heartland Brewery was the sponsor so, despite their “Ruby Tuesdayness,” the event had good funding. Even Brewtopia last year had plastic sample cups.
The event was not laid out terribly well, there should have been cordons at the approaches to the taps so as to prevent people cutting in. That said, I never waited more than a couple of minutes for a taste. For some reason, this event was populated by more people there to get drunk than actual beer enthusiasts. At the Oskar Blues tent, I was describing Dale’s to someone and asked if he liked IPAs. He said “I like all beer.” A good man, for sure, until he added, “I’m just here to get drunk.”
Come on, people. Don’t pay $50 to drink beer in four-ounce increments as though they were well-shots at Brother Jimmy’s. Slow down, enjoy your brew.
Anyway, that is unimportant. Below are the beers I tried. The asterisk indicates that it’s new to me.
Abita Turbo Dog
Butternuts Porkslap Pale* (Fantastic website)
Crop Circle Amber*
Defiant Cherry Cask Ale*
Flying Bison Barnstormer*
Flying Dog IPA
Geary Pale Ale*
Great Divide Pale Ale*
Kelso Nut Brown*
Long Island Meadery Traditional Style*
Leinnenkugel Sunset Wheat*
Oskar Blues Dale’s Pale Ale
Oskar Blues Old Chub*
Pacific Rim IPA*
Peak Organic Pale* (had their Nut Brown at Farm Aid, which was a better brew)
Six Point Righteous Rye*
Six Point Sweet Action
Southhampton Grand Cru*
As you can see, 31 beers, most of which were new to me. That’s a successful evening of brewfesting. The stand-outs were the Pacific Rim IPA and the Simcoe IPA. The Peak Organic Nut Brown I’d had really was better than the IPA. Some of the pales just didn’t have enough body. Six Point, as hard as I try to like it as a local brew, has that problem. Both the Sweet Action and Righteous Rye just lacked and sort of significant body or solid mouthfeel. As always, OB Dale’s was outstanding as was Abita Turbodog.
The Southampton Grand Cru also deserves a nod. I’ve not been too impressed with their IPA, so it was nice to have a good Belgian to mix it up on my Hop Quest.
Next up, Brewtopia 2007!