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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…)

Beer Review #119 Sierra 30th Anniversary: Fritz And Ken’s Ale

This is another beer that I tried when I was at Max’s Taphouse. It was actually the beer I was drinking while my wife was having her Espresso Amber Ale. This beer is named for Firtz Maytag (rescuer of Anchor Steam) and Ken Grossman (founder of Sierra Nevada Brewing Company). This was actually a collaboration brew between the two breweries but is mainly brewed by Fritz, brewing on the Sierra brewhouse.

This beer pours a nice black color which pays homage to the early brews the two men brewed when starting their companies. It comes with a slightly tan head and the head is super fluffy. The nose is big and bold; fully of spicy hops and malt.

Just as the nose promised, the flavor follows in a big, bold fashion. There is a nice grainy, maltyness followed by a nice spicy hop ending. The beer flows very naturally which is a hard feat to do with such bold flavors. This beer comes in at an impressive 10.2% ABV and gives a warming feeling all the way down. They labeled this beer as a black barleywine, which is totally appropriate. The mouthfeel is creamy and smooth. For such a big beer it was very tasty and balanced. I’m sure these are starting to get in short supply so grab one while you can. I really liked it and this beer should age very nicely. (more…)