Monday, February 8, 2010

Ale Fest wrap up

Let's talk about what it is and what it is not.  It is a shit load of different beers in one place.  It is not a craft beer convention.  A few breweries sent reps, but mostly you were poured your drink by volunteers.  Most of the beers are bottled, there were some drafts available.

I realized how spoiled that I am.  Between Bob's, and the weekly tastings at Weiland's, I was challenged to find 20 beers (out of 170!) that I have not had before.  I went with my friend's Sue, Chris (Not BHC), and Paula.  The tasting glass is somewhat small (2 oz at the fill line, the pour was typically more.), and everyone was worried that they were not going to get enough to drink.  6 samples into it, we felt dumb worrying about drinking enough to get buzzed.

Drunken Tasting Notes, in no particular order:

Rogue Juniper Pale Ale: More of an english style pale ale.  Uses juniper instead of hops as a bittering agent.
Thirsty Dog Lab Lager (draft): It's beer.
Bluegrass Bourbon Barrel Stout: To much stout, too little bourbon.
Kentucky Bourbon Barrel Ale (draft):  The draft is much smoother than the bottled version.  Very popular amongst the crew.
Belhaven Twisted Thistle: Nice.
Goose Island Mathilda: Belgian!  Blech.  Thank goodness I had nachos for a side car.
Black Sheep Holy Grail Ale: Budweiser, brought to you by Monty Python.  Whose beer is like making love in a canoe?
McAuslan St Ambroise Vintage Ale: A very nice barley wine.
Bear Republic Hop Rod Rye: Ummm good.
Bear Republic Red Rocket: A bit better than OK.
Founder's Double Trouble (draft): Very hoppy.
New Holland Pilgrim's Dole: Kick ass wheat wine.
Bell's Cherry Stout (Cask): Too smokey at first.  The sour cherry element makes it drinkable.  At least at sampling size.
Bell's Best Brown Ale (Cask): Nice mellow, very drinkable.  Another favorite amongst the crew.
Avery Salvation (draft): I was looking at the description for this beer, apricot, nutty, blah blah blah.  I asked the guy manning the tap what style it was.  He said Belgian.  I wrinkled my nose.  He says that everyone likes it and if I didn't he'd drink it.  I didn't.  He was shocked.  I did not let him drink my beer.
Brewkettle 4 C's Pale Ale: Very nice IPA.
Brewkettle Red Eye: Very bitter.
Odd Notion Wheat IPA:  Nice light bitterness.  Very drinkable.
Blue Moon Rising Moon Spring Ale: Waste of time.
Erie Railbender Ale: Euro style beer.
Pyramid Audacious Apricot: Buttery texture.  Avoid.
Spaten Lager: Euro beer.  Unlike the Erie Railbender, I was expecting the Euro flavor.

I realize that's 22, not 20.  One guy felt bad about a bad pour and would not take my ticket.  Another time, I was so annoyed with a bad pour that I walked away without giving the lady my ticket, and did not realize it until I was back at my table.

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