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10-10-01

Good Beer Festival Review

This weekend was not what I had hoped for in terms of Philadelphia sports. The Phillies lost a series that they should have easily won and the Eagles looked like the Eagles. Luckily, I had a shinning beacon of hope this weekend, the Good Beer Festival.

The fest started around 12:30 and went till 6:30. We got there at about 1:00 and quickly moved through the gates. A ticket to the fest gave you a pint glass to take home (and to use as a sample glass) and all the beer that you could drink. They had a ton of good food and music, on two stages, as well.

The first place that we decided to go was the Dogfish Head stand as they were the closest. They had many fine offerings including 120 Minutes IPA on draft. Impressive. After a few minutes in heaven we swung around to the other side of Dogfish Head where Yards and 16 Mile were located. They were both very generous with their pours giving us a half a glass instead of the suggested 2 oz sample. Both breweries make some lovely beers.

Ommegang and Stone were next. Each had their “normal” beers but Stone did bring an oaked version of their Arrogant Bastard. I really do love both of these breweries for different reasons. Magic Hat and Sierra Nevada were next on the list and I was very underwhelmed by Magic Hat’s offerings. They had #9 and Hex. I gave Hex a try and I was burping the fruity flavor from the beer for the whole rest of the day.

We then hit a slew of breweries including Sixpoint, Southern Tier, and Oskar Blues. Oskar Blues had a nice selection of swag which is still sitting in my car. We hit a few other breweries before lunch. The most notable beer that I think I had as from Evolution Brewing Company with their No. 6 Double IPA. It was damn tasty and pretty near perfect in my book.

At lunch I had a BBQ Pulled Pork sandwich was was delicious. My wife had BBQ Pulled Pork nachos which were also very tasty. For desert we indulged in a funnel cake. My stomach was a happy camper as everything that was put into it was fantastic.

After lunch the crowds began to pick up. Early in the day you could literately walk up and get a sample, but when the crowds came, you had to wait a whole minutes. I know some other beer fests you can wait for 20 minutes or more for a beer, no at the Good Beer Festival. I think the longest line I waited in was 2 minutes.

As Joy pointed out in my previous post, there are two kinds of beer festivals. One where everyone is chill and relaxed or two where you have a bunch of drunks. I don’t think that I saw a single drunk person at the festival. There was a strong police presence and there were enough other things to do besides drink all day. They had plenty of live music, a games area (cornhole anyone?), and even a historical brewing demonstration. I loved the festival and I will be attending next year. (more…)

Going to a beer festival

I will be attending my first beer fest this week in Maryland. I know, it’s strange that I haven’t been to one before. Honestly, I’ve never felt the need to go to one. I’m a bit odd when it comes to large groups of people. My Dad say (jokingly), “people are highly overrated.” I tend to agree with him to a point. I would rather be at home with a few friends and enjoy some quality beer with people that I care about.

The beer fest that I will be attending is called Good Beer Festival at Pemberton Park in Salisbury, MD. I’m going to be attending with my wife and my in-laws. I’m excited to be going and to try some tasty beer. If you have ever been to a beer festival before, do you have and advice?

Beer photography

I’ve gotten a few e-mails in the past two months asking about the ways that I take my pictures for this site. I am in no way a professional photographer, but I do like taking pictures of things and playing with camera equipment. I added some new equipment to my setup in the past few months and I think they quality of the pictures has really made a big turnaround.

The first thing that I added was a lightbox kit. A lightbox basically gives you the ability to control the background and lighting in one easy sweep. The background is long enough for the object of the photograph to be placed on. The lack of edges gives the photograph the look of having an endless background. It also can let it look like it is floating in air. I have my lightbox pictured below along with the lights I use to brighten it up.

If you look at the images I posted when I first started this site you can see that they look very different. The original location I took my pictures was in the kitchen of my college apartment. I picked this spot because it had good lighting and a white background. As you can see from the picture below the colors are good, but the lighting reflects things I don’t want in the picture and you can see various kitchen tools/equipment. My favorites are the power outlet on the right and the spatula on the left.

When I was in Lubbock, Texas I also took pictures in the kitchen. The lighting was good, but the background was not. As you can see in the pictures¬† below there is a defined corner and the picture is not level. The counter top wasn’t close to level, which made getting a level picture difficult.

In addition to the lightbox I also purchased a low-end digital SLR. This gave me the ability to control everything on my camera. Unlike most point and shots, a digital SLR gives you the ability to fully customize each setting to get an optimum picture. I still have a few things that I want to do with my current setup, but I feel that the quality of the images on this site have drastically improved since its beginning.

Dogfish Head Brewpub visit

As an end of summer trip my wife and I agreed to meet some of my friends for a day at the beach at Cape Henlopen State Park in Lewis, Delaware. We decided to head down to the beach a little early so that we could stop by the Dogfish Head Brewpub in Rehoboth Beach, Delaware to grab some quality food and brews before beaching it up for the day.

We arrived right around 12:30 and somehow found a spot in their parking lot. We decided to eat on the deck because the temperature was in the low eighties and there was a slight breeze. There wasn’t anyone on the deck for the most part either, which is always a plus in my book. To begin with I ordered a Limb and Life, which was delicious. Limb and Life is made from the second runnings of the Life and Limb ale, a collaboration of Dogfish Head and Sierra Nevada Brewing Company. Limb and Life was very refreshing and fully flavored. It had all of the right notes and body to be a dangerously drinkable beer.

Once our drinks came we ordered lunch. My wife went with the “healthy” option and ordered a turkey sandwich of some kind. I went with the indulgence burger, pictured below. Needless to say it was delicious and I am craving another one already.

We also ordered a custom sampler since Smalls, my wife, couldn’t decide on just one beer. I don’t blame her at all for that. Our choices are pictured below.

  • Black and Red: I never had this one before and I don’t think I’m going to get it again. The beer is “dry hopped” with mint leaves. I thought it had a very medicinal taste and it was the only beer of the day that we didn’t finish
  • Chateau Jiahu: I dig this beer, but my wife digs it more. It has a bubble gum like sweetness and Smalls says it tastes just like candy.
  • Midas Touch: Another beer that both my wife and I dig. The grape flavor goes really well with this beer.
  • My Antonia: It was hoppier than my wife expected but I really like this Imperial Pilsner.
  • 90 Minute IPA: We went on a Monday and they run the beer though the Randall on Mondays. 90 minute was as good as always but I didn’t think that the Randall added a ton to the flavor

After we kicked the sampler we ordered desert. Smalls decided on the Warm Brownie Raison DEtre Sunday. The ice cream is partly made with Raison DEtre. I didn’t care for the ice cream all that much but the brownies were wonderful.

To finish it all up I had a Shelter Pale Ale before meeting my friends. I really like the brewpub in Rehoboth. It is much nicer towards the end of the summer around noon, since the crowds haven’t really hit yet. The outside seating was a big plus. We were under the cover of burlap and hop vines and the table centerpieces were DFH growlers with rope lights inside. I thought the prices were pretty reasonable and I am looking forward to heading back. One final note, Dogfish has the coolest coasters anywhere around.

There are some more pictures if you hit the more button after this sentence. (more…)

National Beer Brands Quiz

I saw a fun link that I thought that I would pass along. EasytoBook.com has a quiz featuring beer labels. You job, match the labels with their country of origin. There are some softballs out there, but there are some really challenging labels as well, including some that I have never heard of. Take the quiz here.

I scored and 85% on it, but I would have scored far lower had I not had some lucky guesses.

After taking the quiz let me know what you got.