Sunday, August 28, 2011

Ale Fest!

We made some progress Saturday morning in the trenches at the side of the house.  And then rewarded ourselves by driving up to Dayton to take part in the Ale Fest.

This was my first time.  Veterans came better prepared, festooned with necklaces made of pretzels on a string like an edible lei.  Next year I'll be sporting one of my own.  

Well attended, laid back crowd

I enjoyed folks showing beer-love by sporting beer shirts.  Lots of punny names that made me laugh out loud.  I'd have taken more photos, but I was busy playing connoisseur (emphasis on "playing," because I am no beer scholar my friends, I just enjoy a frosty drink on occasion).  Next year D should wear his Kalik shirt, and I'll wear my Moerlein shirt.  Unless I have a new shirt next year, because I found a lot to love at the Ale Fest. 

Many varieties to try, a checklist might be helpful if you have a sharpie and a friend

There were tables under tents, generally one brewery per table.  You gave one of the tickets (received with your entry ticket) and they gave you a shot of beer. Some pourers were quite heavy-handed.  I needed a nap after awhile, as I am not a strong drinker.  But with the help of a giant pretzel with beer cheese I soldiered on and sampled some lovely brews that I hope to try again some day. 

Different tables, different brews
The Southern Tier Creme Brulee Stout was the talk of the Alefest.  People were giving it rave reviews, and I wish I could say I tried it.  Alas, we found it too late, they had run out 45 minutes earlier.  

Local love

Here's what I remember trying:

Flying Dog Dogtoberfest : Win
Belhaven Scottish Ale : Win 
Williams Brothers Fraoch Heather Ale : Win
Old Leghumper Porter : meh, middle of the road porter
Great Lakes Octoberfest :Very enjoyable, Win
Great Lakes Wright Pils:   bleh
Redhook : Clean and pleasant, Win
Fort Collins Red Banshee:  Wickedly dirty aftertaste, bleh
Fort Collins Chocolate Stout : meh, mediocre, not as good as Young's Chocolate Stout
Sour Apple Saison : Unpleasant in entirety, poured out into grass
Celis Raspberry Ale : Unpleasantly sweet, poured out into grass
Celis White Ale : Good
Christian Moerlein Barbarossa : Win
Harpoon Imperial Rye :  Over sweet, blehh

and my favorite of the day, Anderson Valley's Boont Amber Ale :
Anderson Valley Boont Amber Ale

 As an added bonus, saying the word "Boont" is fun when sober, even more so when intoxicated. 

I don't enjoy an inebriated, rowdy crowd.  This event wasn't like that at all.  It seemed to be flush with people who just enjoy a good beer.  So I felt right at home.  A good time with good people, I'll definitely do this one again!


O-Town HD said...

Local beer news and reviews at

Becks said...

I'm on the search for Southern Tier Creme Brulee Stout. I'm sure between Belmont Party/Dorthy Lane/Arrow Wine I will find it. And I'll bring it Wednesday (if not Labor Day) for all to try and I hope enjoy.

O-Town HD said...

That would be *awesome* of you!

Becks said...

Yup, found it at DLM. I'm bringing two bottles with me on Monday for all to sample and (hopefully...seriously it better be as good as everyone says) enjoy.

O-Town HD said...

Sweet! I cannot wait! (I mean, I couldn't wait for labor day before, but now I'm doing an excited little dance!)