Saturday was Draft Magazine's Craft Beer Festival. A beerfest for some rare, and special beers. How could I pass an event up like this? I was planning to head up north for the Made in the Shade Beerfest, but I have been there, and done that. Although, I will continue to go there, and do it again, the Craft Beer Festival was going to be different. And the beer didn't disappoint.
How about I just get to the list.
Dogfish Head - Sahtea. I watched the video on the website. I cringed as I watched Sam try to scoop up the molten rocks with a shovel, and drop them in a bucket. All I can say it that I hope OSHA never watches that video. But how was the beer? Good! I liked it. It was a different tasting beer. I tried to label it with a style, but I just couldn't do it. I could taste the berries, which Dogfish Lou told me were Juniper berries. It had a nice mouth feel, and was smooth for a 9% beer. Then again, most Dogfish Head beers are. I really enjoyed it. I am planning on buying a couple bottles. One to drink, and one to age.
Grade: 4 burps
Flying Dog - Woody Creek White. As soon as I saw Flying Dog, I got in line. This was my first taste of their Summer Seasonal. Normally, I am not a big fan of Belgium style beers. However, this one I liked. It was light, and crisp, with a nice citrus flavor. It wasn't over the top like I would have expected. It was just right. Dare I say, a session white?
Grade: 4 burps
Avery Brewing - 15th Anniversary Ale. Wow, how can I describe it? "Funky"? Yes, that is the word, funky. Can I tell you that I didn't like it. Well, lets say that I didn't enjoy it. It had a sour like taste, and a strong one. I'm happy I tried it, but I won't buy it.
Grade: 2 burps
Great Divide - Belgica. A "Belgian Style Indian Pale ale". Ringing in at 7.2 abv, I enjoyed it. It is a different style, and had a bit more of a citrus flavor than I expected. The hops helped to even out the taste. I would say that it is an above average beer that I would drink from time to time. I would recommend that you try it though.
Grade: 3 burps
Lost Abbey - Brandy Angel's Share. Oh my God, I love this beer. The flavor is absolutely amazing. It is 10% abv. but so damn smooth. It must be all that malt and caramel that gets to party in the barrel for a year. This is officially my new favorite beer. But guess what, I can't get it. Nope, it is only available at the brewery. I am so upset about this. How can they tease me like this? So if you happen to be at the brewery, and feel it in your heart to buy a bottle, I will happily accept is as a gift. Hell, I'll pay you for it! Either way, if you can get your hands on it, Buy it!
Grade: 5 burps
Draft put on a good show. The beer was why we were there. But people had to pay $60 to get in. For me, the beer was worth it. However, it was promoted as a beer and food event. Uhmmm, I think I speak for 90% of the people when I say, the "food" just wasn't up to par. Sure, it was some nice, high quality cheese, and bread, and salami. However, I could only eat so many little cheese cubes, and cracker sized pieces of bread. The salami was good, but I had to put 3 slices together so it was no longer transparent. Imagine a see through pepperoni. If you were lucky, you were given 3 pieces to go along with your 6 or 8 cheese cubes.
Basically, the food line sucked! People were upset about it. Everyone thought there was going to be food to eat, not just samples from Hickory Farms. I eat more trying the free samples at Costco. Here we are drinking some serious high abv. beers, and no food....and no water. Yes, there wasn't any water either. I did see a few people who managed to find a glass of water someplace. Some of the breweries brought bottles with them. I watched Dogfish Lou give his own bottle of water to an older woman who obviosly needed it. What a guy.
Overall, it was a great event. I will make sure that I am there again next year. I just hope it isn't on the same day as the other beerfest. I hate missing a beerfest...even for another one.
I do have notes on another 12 beers in my little notebook. I will pick through the important ones and write about them in a day or so.