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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 Review #139 Spaten Oktoberfest

Is it weird that I didn’t have a single Spaten branded beer when I was in Germany? That reminds me, I need to get the rest of my Europe trip post on that site. In any case, Oktoberfest is an annual beer festival held in Munich each year and generally lasts for 16-18 days. It just started this last Saturday and I thought it appropriate to review an Oktoberfest today.

Spaten’s version of an Oktoberfest pours a rich amber color and has a thin off-white head. It wasn’t until the beer had emptied from the bottle that I realized that the bottle was actually green. My first thought was,  “bummer, I hope the sun didn’t get to it.” The nose was nice and malty with mixes of bread. There was a slight hop bump which was very nice followed by some slight lager sulfur.

On the taste I really got some nice strong caramel flavors. The bready notes promised in the smell could be found as well. There was a small hop bite on the end, but nothing too terrible. I forgot how balanced an accurate Oktoberfest is supposed to be. There was a bit of sun damage which I will call “Euro-skunk” since I have tasted it in many ill-cared for European lagers.

Overall I liked this one. I was happy to try a beer that comes from the home of Oktoberfest. The brewery that brews this beer, Spaten-Brau, is actually located in Munich, Germany. I found this one exceptionally balanced, even with a bit of sun damage. At 5.9% it makes me really want to go back to Germany and sit in a beer garden with a liter glass and relax the day away. (more…)