Friday, August 2, 2013

Vermont Brewers Festival 2013 Part 1

May 15th came this year and we bought our tickets around 10:00 when they became available. Little did we know that the all three sessions would be bought up within 24 hours. Last year was the thirtieth anniversary of the VT Brewers Fest and it was fantastic, hence the tickets selling out really fast. The spirit of last year lived on as a number of breweries continued to collaborate. Instead of listing everyone who once there, I don't know if you know this but Vermont has a ton of breweries. An interesting thing about this festival is that all the Vermont Brewers Association breweries are invited, a handful of breweries from Canada and 10 other U.S. Breweries. To get an invite is quite an honor, and my luck one brewery dropped out and another West Coast Brewery stepped in, which ended up being one of my favorite beers, more on that later. Alright let’s get to the beers.

Going in Order:

Steven Sour: A Magic Hat Collabo with VPB. Tasted like grapefruit juice with hops, good for a sour beer!
Honey Wheat IPA from Magic Hat: Kristin loved this beer, one of her favorites, even went back for seconds at one point. The beer was smooth and hoppy.

Hill Farmstead/Grassroots Brewing The Bliss of Absence Collabo: This beer was great, I can't wait to visit Hill Farmstead this August on Vacation. The beer is a blonde ale made with Citrus, Chamomile and Lemongrass.

Fiddlehead: Hodad Vanilla, Chocolate and Coconut Porter: This was my favorite beer from the festival, it was smooth, flavorful and I liked a porter. All three flavors in the name came out during the sipping.

Trou du Diable: La P'tite Buteuse and Saison du Tracteur: These were the first couple of beers that were ok, not great with most of their signage in French I didn't understand what it was. The Saison was unmemorable and the Buteuse was a Triple style ale that didn't have much spiciness that Triples usually have, very mild.
The only beer I cannot account for...I'm sure it was good but I don't remember who makes it, we had some big life things going on at that moment. Those you will be able to read about it later date.

Citra Session IPA from Green Flash: This beer was excellent, well balanced, hoppy yet it had a low abv so you could drink it all day long. Green Flash was not orignally going to be at the festival but Blue Lobster backed out last week and Green Flash excepted an offer to come.
BSG Glutenberg IPA: This was the first beer that I did not like at all. It was suppose to be a standard IPA minus the Gluten. It was sorely missing, the flavor was off and the hops were hidden in the beer.
Lake Champlain Chocolate Beer Pairing: need I say more!

1st pairing: Zero Gravity: The Keeper with Caramelized Hazelnut Chocolates: This was an ok pairing, I'm not big on hazelnuts (tastes too much like coffee and The Keeper was unimpressive.
2nd Pair: Fiddlehead's Hodad with Organic Coconut Cream: :
Best pairing overall, the coconut really complements the beer, both need to be enjoyed.

3rd Pair: New Long Trail Porter (didn't catch the name) with Bebop Hop Bar (tasted like hops, no joke): The chocolate was fantastic, it really did taste hoppy and the Long Trail Beer was interesting, it wasn't a finished product which makes this a great pair for tasting. Originally it was suppose to be the Long Trail IPA but they switched it.
4th Pair: Star Lager with Spicy Aztec Chocolate ((muy spicio (look I made up a Spanish word)): The lager was good, it was an Amber Lager with a little bit of hop bit to it. The Spicy Aztec chocolate was great and really spicy.

Look for the second half of the post next week. There were a lot of beers to taste and I didn't want this post to be a mile long, so long for now.

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