Sunday, June 30, 2013

Monty Python's Holy Grail Ale and other highlights from the Epic Beer Festival

I'm not going to hit every detail or every beer.  Christie has the master list, plus it would take forever.  But I remember enough to give the highlights.

Beers in hand, pretzel necklaces ready to go
Welcome to the Epic Beer Festival Denver 2013.  First year in Denver, my first beer festival, over 100 breweries, over 350 beers, lots to drink in 4 hours.  Much of the first hour was spent in line for our "free" t-shirts.  They were free because we bought VIP tickets, which also gave us an extra hour.  We tried our best to score some swag, including underwear that said "Bad A&%" on the butt, but the best we could come up with was a fanny pack.  And some bottle openers.  Now, on to the beer.

These are based on my semi-reliable memories since we didn't rate the beers as we tried them, we just crossed them off the list.  And many of the beers I was dying to try were gone by the time we got around to them (because we drank light to dark).

Favorite find: Kasteel Donker- a post described this beer as having chocolate, cherry, licorice and banana notes.  It wasn't wrong.  Definitely a dessert beer, but delicious.

Favorite Hefeweizen: either Schneider and Sohn or Ayinger.  I don't remember much about either except that I really enjoyed them.

Favorite Saison: I liked Tommyknockers.  That kind of makes me feel like I missed out on some fancier saisons, but it was good.

Worst Saison: Trinity's 3 Flowers.  Tasted like soap.  Floral soap, but soap nonetheless.  I actually liked the idea of it and they accomplished their goal with aplomb.  I just don't think beer should taste like that.

Biggest Beer: (as in, the most going on, strongest, etc) St. Bernadus Abt 12, a Quadruppel; or maybe Unibroue's Trois Pistole, a Belgian strong dark ale

Best Backyard BBQ Beer: Bristol Beehive Honey Wheat or Clown Shoes Clementine Witbier

Biggest Disappointment: Crazy Mountain's Horseshoes & Handgrenades, or maybe not getting to try Chimay or Rochefort

Best Porter: to be fair, we didn't try many, but Odyssey's Psycho Penguin Vanilla Porter was as good as its name

Best Stout: Yak and Yeti Chai Milk Stout, also definitely a dessert beer (not to have with dessert, to have for dessert)

Hoppiest Beer: Rickoli's Disturbed Reflection, weighing in at an IBU of 190, infused through fresh hops.  Not as bad as I thought it was going to be, but my palate was also shot by that point

I'm mostly just impressed that I tried this
Highest ABV: we tried a 12% ABV amber ale that wasn't on the beer list so I don't know whose it was, but I thought it was worth mentioning

Other pretty decent tastes: Ft. Collins Red Banshee, La Chouffe, Green Flash Rayon Vert, Moylans Kilt Lifter, Ommegang Rare VOS, and some ESB that I can't remember, blast!  I also broke my rule and had a tiny bit of Rogue Hazelnut Brown Nectar even though I swore I wouldn't have any beers I'd already tried.  I resisted Banana Bread Beer, Tank 7, Double Chocolate Stout and Hennepin.

Having the beer list printed out was a definite conversation starter.  And I'm amazed at how many people were so intrigued by the pretzel necklaces.  It's a beer festival people.  And ours were the least impressive by far.  Next year, I'm weaving beef sticks into mine.


MJ said...

I am a huge fan of the apt 12. sounds like a great time.

Laura Zaps said...

The Psycho Penguin sounds yum. I finally had Dark Side Vanilla Porter last night and it was delicious! And I'd been meaning to try the Green Flash so I'm glad you did. And it's hard not to have the Hazelnut Nectar cause it's amazing. Mmmmmmm.

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