It’s been a busy weekend. It would have been even busier if I had been able to figure out a way to get back–legally–from the Craft Beer Festival yesterday at the Growler & Gill. With 50 breweries, it didn’t seem that driving home was an option. I investigated car services, but the best I was able to find was $60. One way. That would have raised the cost to $170 for a 3-hour festival. No joy. Maybe next year I can find another way.
Not that I suffered.
Yesterday, I had a couple of Weyerbacher Blithering Idiot barley wines. Very nice, a nice caramel touch and a malty body. Very pleasant, and I have one more in the fridge. The other that I had was Schneider Weisse Tap 6 Aventinus, a weiss doppel bock, rich and powerful and extending the caramel theme, but with a solid German interpretation of the dopple bock style. Remarkably dark for a weisse beer.
Today I was back at the Growler & Gill, and it was a very nice visit. First, I tasted a Keegan Mother Pucker Wild Ale. Wild it may be, but sour it was, reminding me of lemon juice. I can’t say that sour ale is a style that has impressed me, and this was a fairly extreme example. I also tried the Peekskill Eastern Standard IPA, and it was quite nice and worth another try. However, instead I went with a Captain Lawrence Golden Delicious ale aged in apple brandy casks. There’s cider up front on a light and spicy nose, followed by good apple smoothness with a touch of hops on the end. That was very worthwhile, and I was able to say so to Justin, one of the brewers at Captain Lawrence.
Janet tried the River Horse Tripel Horse, and it’s a solid Belgian-style ale, but she chose to go with the Ramstein Blonde Wheat Beer, a light and creamy sessionable wheat, easy drinking and very smooth.
The feature of the evening was the Firestone Walker Sucaba barley wine. This was described as a blend of about 13 different brews, most of which are not available away from the brewery. It had a nice oakiness like an Australian shiraz, with lots of complex malt and a touch of dark fruit and maybe chocolate. It could also knock you on your ass if you didn’t pay attention to the ABV. It didn’t seem like high alcohol, but it was shown as 12.4% ABV. Apparently it’s available in bomber and I hope to find it, but it was great on draft.
Now I’m sitting at my computer sipping Green Flash Palette Wrecker, very far from any of the drafts that I had earlier. This has fierce, all-consuming hops. The whole idea is that once you have this, your palette is wrecked, and I won’t argue. I will enjoy. Yes, there’s a nice malt at first, but then there’s an avalanche of hops, and quite bitter hops at that. It’s a finish-of-the-evening sort of brew, and the finish of a nice evening at that.