Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Better Beer: Beer Advocate's Extreme Beer Festival [Part II]

(Be sure to check out Part I reporting on the Night of the Barrels)

So Jay and I decided after the Night of the Barrels that we were going to head to my lady friend Rachel's house, as it was her roommate's birthday, and a gathering had formed. While cloudiness on the evening certainly exists, I'm almost certain that the whole time we were there we played a game they called "Flong", a combo of Flip Cup and Beer Pong. Rather than get into the rules, I just Googled it, and here was my first result if you are at all interested (I'm yet to stop chuckling at the fact that they call Flip Cup, Flippy Cup). This one game lasted about 2 hours - leading to unnecessary mass consumption of Miller Lite and Jay passing out on the back staircase (naturally).

The plan WAS to take it easy after NotB so we could feel refreshed and ready for 1 pm the next day. Welp, both us awoke pretty groggy and beat. But we showered and rallied, met my friend Watts on the 57, and headed back to the church of brews.

The glassed ceiling of Cyclorama, home to the festival.

I love day drinking. Nothing like throwing a few back with the sun beating down on your face. Thus when any beer festivals hit, I'm always sure to take the afternoon session. The weather warmed from the frigid 15 degrees with wind the night prior, to a comfortable windless 40-something. This session was done up much more than the night prior, as breweries had their posters and t-shirts hanging behind their booths.

The Three Floyd's station had by far the most bad ass promo garb. Unfortunately this poster was not for sale - though I just found it online, and likely will be purchasing it and dropping a few tabs of acid.

There were so many bad ass beers on Saturday (over 100), that Watts and I planned ahead and made a Excel spreadsheet of 50 or so that we wanted to get to. In the end we probably had sampled just about 30-35 brews, which we figured would be the likely target. My favorites were as follows..

You're not going to get to try this beer unless you visit the brewery just outside of the city of champions. This brew was divine, brewed with honey, Gewurztraminer and voignier grapes, and then aged in chardonnay barrels. It certainly had a big wine flavor, but replacing the acidity was the mellow, creamy greatness of an English barleywine.

The Bruery - White Oak
You may have remembered me creaming myself yesterday as I mentioned The Bruery stealing the show for me. My absolute favorite beer of the two days was the White Oak - so brand new that there is no link on the interweb out there for it. White Oak is their new wheat wine, fermented with a Belgian yeast strain, and then aged in bourbon barrels. So smooth, so rich, perfect sweetness, perfect smell. I wrote down on the piece of paper where I was marking my likes and dislikes, "Sooooooo good". Really the only way to put it.


Overall the weekend's festival was great. Granted, Sunday somewhat was a disaster as Jay lost his keys, but stupid shit like that is expected after consuming massive amounts of extreme beer. It's Wednesday now, and I'd say I'm finally now feeling normal and detoxed. That said, The Bruery lands in my favorite beer store tonight - so it's time to jump back on the horse!

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