Tuesday, April 1, 2014

Big Texas Beer Fest

This weekend I'm attending my first ever beer festival. Yes, I'm a 37-year old craft beer lover and homebrewer who has never been to a beer fest. Sue me! I'm really looking forward to this one, as most of the local breweries are going to be there, as well as some of the bigger craft breweries from across the nation, and even some international ones. My wife is very excited about going as well....at least Magic Hat will be there, so she's guaranteed to like at least one beer!

They published their beer list over the weekend, and wow, lots of goodies on there. There are several in BeerAdvocate's top 250:

5. Founders Kentucky Breakfast Stout
27. Firestone Walker Sucaba
65. Ballast Point Sculpin IPA
78. Ballast Point Victory at Sea
106. Firestone Walker Double Jack IPA
107. Ayinger Celebrator Doppelbock
140. Unibroue La Fin du Monde
152. North Coast Old Rasputin Russian Imperial Stout
179. Dogfish Head 90 Minute Imperial IPA
187. North Coast Old Stock Celler Reserver Brandy Barrel
191. Odell Myrcenary Double IPA
222. Founders Porter
227. Odell IPA
235. Firestone Walker Union Jack IPA

There are also a number of limited edition beers that will probably only be available in limited quantities (I hope you got VIP tickets!):

Alaskan Pilot Series: Jalapeno Imperial IPA
Great Divide Espress Oak Aged Yeti Imperial Stout
Deep Ellum Neato Bandito
Franconia McKinney Champagne
Franconia Trippel Dunkel
Grapevine Rasberry Brown Ale
Lakewood Bourbon Barrel Temptress -2013
Lakewood Rock Ryder with Fresh Lemon and Ginger
North Coast Old Stock Cellar Reserve Brandy Barrel -2011
Ommegang Fire & Blood
Oskar Blues Ten FIDY (Whiskey Barrel)
Peticolas Golden Opportunity (cask dry hopped with Cascade)
Peticolas Sit Down Or I'll Sit You Down (dry hopped cask with "a mystery")
Peticolas Velvet Hammer (cask dry hopped with Cascade)
Rabbit Hole Rapture (Randalled with coffee beans soaked in rum)
Revolver Barrel One

Some others that caught my eye:

Brooklyn Sorachi Ace (92 on BA)
Deschutes Fresh Squeezed IPA (93)
Gulden Draak (94)
Jester King Aurelian Lure (99)
Jester King Das Wunderkind! (91)
Lagunitas A Little Sumpin’ Sumpin’ Ale (94)
New Belgium Lips of Faith - Wild2 Dubbel (83)
Real Ale Blakkr (90)
Saint Arnold Boiler Room Berliner Weisse (88)
Stone Stochasticity Project Grapefruit Slam IPA (90)

My want to try list is already over 50! I'm going to have to pare that down significantly, and will probably try a bunch of local stuff I haven't had before, and the rarer stuff above. Anything that I've had before or that I can easily get, I'll probably pass on, unless it's really good. I'm going to attempt to take notes as I taste, to share my thoughts after the festival, but we'll see how that works out! With 2oz pours, I figure 36-40 is probably a good limit to try to stick to.

Hopefully I'll see some of my loyal readers out there!

On the homebrew front, I made my first attempt at an all grain beer on Saturday with my simple ESB recipe. Enzo English Ale (after our English Springer Spaniel) is fermenting happily away. I hope to have a report in 6 weeks or so.