13 September 2010

The Haps: Beer Fest

This weekend was so jam-packed with activities I nearly didn't have time to make it out to Beer Fest.  However, I am a huge advocate for anything that has to do with Fountain Square or beer, so I moved a few things around to make space for this event.  And boy, am I glad that I did.

First of all, my "tasting cup", 5 tickets, and wrist band cost five dollars.  Now, the samples were only 3 oz. samples per one ticket, but it is safe to say that not a single vendor was actually filling the beer to the 3oz. line.  Generous 3 oz. would be a more appropriate way of describing the samples.

Second of all, people watching was phenomenal.  As it always is at this kind of event. 

I tried 5 different brews, all of which I had never had before.  I wanted to be adventurous and as a result sometimes I was pleased and other times I was a little ill after one sip.  Here we go:

First up:
Ayinger Brau Weisse: Described as a delicious lemon or spice scented wheat beer.  It definitely had the aroma of lemon and I was very excited to try it, but a little surprised by the after taste.  It had a dominant, lasting after taste that didn't seem quite right for the tart flavor upon first sip.  It was good, but not quite as smooth as I was expecting.

2nd at bat:

McShorley's Irish Pale Ale: This one was tasty.  Pale ales rank about third on my list of favorites so I was really excited to try this one.  It had a bit of a smokey after taste which was really nice, and lingered just long enough to let me get the full flavor.

3rd time's a charm:
 Jack's Pumpkin Spice Ale: This one is an herb and spice ale that is supposed to give of the flavors and aromas of pumpkin and spices, and it did not disappoint.  This one was awesome.  My only complaint was that it didn't have a very good head on it, but then, that could just be a result of the way the beer was being distributed.  Super smooth, really yummy, and it smelled awesome; I can only imagine how the aromas would have been if the head was better.  If I had to describe this in one word, it would probably be Autumn, and everyone knows how much I love this time of year.  It was football, carving pumpkins, corn mazes, and leaves changing colors in a drink.  I plan to pick up some of this for my 'fridge ASAP.

4th in line:
Sam Adams Cherry Wheat: I tried this one because it was the only member of the Sam Adams family I had not tried, and it was recommended to me by a stranger.  Word to the wise:  Just like candy, advice should not be taken from strangers.  This beer tasted like someone mixed Sam Adams pale ale with cough syrup.  Ick.  I remain a fan of the other members of the Sam Adams line, but did not like this one at all.  I asked Jeff to help me drink it and he said "I am not drinking any more of that stuff, stop trying to peer pressure me." To which I replied "Don't you mean BEER pressure?"  (haha!  But it was still gross and I really did need help finishing it, even though it was a 3 oz. sip.)  Sorry Sam, you missed the mark on this one.

Last, but not least:

Magic Hat's Hex: I know, the picture looks like I had #9, but I had never tried their Hex, so I needed to give it a go since I adore all other Magic Hat products.  Hex is Magic Hat's fall seasonal.  "they're version of Oktoberfest"  I was told.  It was very good, but actually a little more wintry than fall-like.

My favorite for sure the Jack's Pumpkin Ale.  I am literally going after work to purchase some of my very own, since I am already missing it.

If you missed this event, I hope you are kicking yourself.  Perhaps you could host a Beer Fest of your own?

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