Sunday, February 8, 2009
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.
My mom was in town last weekend, for a house-hunting trip that got canceled at the last minute. But since she was around I tried to show her some of the cool places.
We had lunch at The Blue Door Pub, which at around noon on a Saturday wasn't nearly as busy as it was the first night I'd gone there. I had The Blucy (blue cheese and garlic) and she had a Frenchy, which was like a Juicy Lucy version of a French Dip.
I was pleasantly surprised to see that they still had Lift Bridge Biscotti, a really neat (and delicious) Belgian Dark Ale that I'm looking forward to trying again at Winterfest on the 6th. I'd made a special trip to the Pig with Barry a few Thursdays ago to see if they had it, only to have our server say he hadn't even heard of it.
After driving around looking at the exteriors of some of the candidate houses, I took my mom to the Gnome. She's much more of a wine person than a beer person, but she ended up liking the Wittekerke and stuck with it. I had a Rogue Menage a Frog tripel (which of course was good), then my first Hopslam of the season, and I finished up with Kwak so that my mom could try that against the Wittekerke.
(The Kwak didn't come in the fancy glassware, which is always fun to look at, but that's probably the last of those I'll get anyways. I can get beers that I like more for less than the cost of a Kwak.)