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Winterfest highlights
Sunday, February 8, 2009   12:34 PM

I went to Winterfest with Jess this weekend. It was fun, but not quite as good as last year: there were less people I knew and the venue was more cramped. The glasses were way cooler though. Little mini-goblets.

The beers... I think the beers were better this year, though part of that may just be my palate changing. I actually didn't like Fitger's last time I had their stuff, but this year they were one of my favorite brewers. I tried about 30 beers; here are the ones that stood out:

  • Schell's U Bier, an uncarbonated, unfiltered pilsner. Reminded me of sitting around drinking kölsch in Germany.

  • Cold Spring's Moonlight Ale, a 50/50 blend of porter and bock that really worked.

  • Cold Spring's Honey Almond Weiss, an unfiltered honey wheat beer with almonds. Not mind-blowing or anything, but it had a cleanliness I liked.

  • Fitger's El Diablo, my favorite of the three Belgian golden ales they had. We recommended this to an older couple that liked lighter beers, and they thanked Jess later for the tip.

  • Fitger's Procrastinator Doppelbock, which was... delicious. Love the style, loved the execution.

  • Fitger's Framboise, the sour result of a 5-year wild lambic project.

  • Great Waters' King Boreas Imperial Witbeer, a 8.25% ABV witbier.

  • Lift Bridge's Imperial Stout, for which my only note here is "good." I'm a Darkness guy, but I liked this better than all the non-Surly stouts on offer.

  • Lift Bridge's Belgian Biscotti, which I foisted upon Jess immediately. I told her I'd double her vote if she picked something delicious, so this is what we both voted for.

  • Rock Bottom's Tripel Framboise, which was fruity and drinkable. Good, but not sour like you might expect from the name.

  • Surly's Three was good, 50% honey, 50% German Dark Munich malt. That was a nice surprise, since I didn't like Two when I tried it last year. I had this late in the night though, so ideally I'd like to taste it again on draft, unrationed.

  • Surly's Darkness is still good, still exactly what I'm looking for in an Imperial Stout. This was my original vote before I changed to match Jess.

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