Saturday, June 19, 2010

American Craft Beer Fest

I attended the Friday evening session of the American Craft Beer Fest at the Seaport World Trade Center in Boston last night. It was a fun event and I got to try a ton of beer; some of them great, some not so great. Here's my recollection of the notable brews I tasted.

Allagash Curieux (Bourbon Barrel-aged Triple / 11%) - I love the normal Allagash Triple but this beer took that and added a whole new layer of flavor. One of my very top favorites from the event.

Beer Works Belgian Quadruple (10.5%) - A very solid Quad from a local brewer.

Boston Beer Co. (Sam Adams) Kosmic Mother Funk (Belgian Sour / 7%) - I'm not familiar with the style but this beer was wildly unique to my taste buds. It was funky, sour and very weird. I would have thought the beer was bad or spoiled if it hadn't been served in this setting.

Cambridge Brewing Co. The Audacity Of Hops (Belgian Double IPA / 8.5%) and The Colonel (Wild Porter 6.5%) - Both these beers were exceptional. Porter isn't my style but when you add in a little Brett yeast to give it some funk you end up with one hell of a beer.

Clown Shoes Hoppy Feet Black IPA (India Black Ale / 7%) - Local Lexington guys doing it right. This is a nice unusual beer.

Garnder Ale House Face-off Double IPA (9.8%) - I love this brew pub so I'm a bit biased. That said, last year the beers they brought to the Fest where just okay. They were drinkable, local and got credit for trying but were a noticeable step down from a lot of other beers that were available. This year however this Double IPA was fantastic.

Rock Bottom Restaurant & Brewery Cinco de Mayo (Jalapeno Lager / 5%) - I don't drink a lot of pepper beers but this had such lovely freshness full of Jalapeno flavor. I wouldn't want to drink a six pack of this but I would love to drink it paired with some grilled seafood or perhaps ceviche.

Smuttynose Brewing Co. Rouge De Shire (Sour Raspberry Ale / 5%) - Bright red, very sour, unusual but very drinkable. It reminded me of a more sour Irish Apple Cider.

Wormtown Brewing Co. (MA) Be Hoppy IPA (American IPA / 6.5%) - This was one of the first beers I tasted and it was a very nice brew. It probably was a bit light for the style but I really appreciated the wonderful hop flavor with the lighter body. I could see myself drinking this as a session beer on a hot summer day.

The one slight disappointment at the show was that neither Rouge or Lagunitas had people at their booths during our session. I don't know if they ran into travel problems or what the story was but both had kegs of beer but no people serving. Given the quality of the local brew however it wasn't a big deal. There was more good local beer than I could taste, as it was, so tasting beers from notable national brands wasn't a priority.

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