Smallish beer festivals at the Quimby Street Lucky Lab are always a good time, and last weekend's Cheers to Belgian Beers was no exception. Regrettably, my time there was limited to a couple hours Friday afternoon, so there were a lot of beers I didn't get around to. As an example of what a rush job it was, I forgot to get a pour of my friend Corey's Zen Lunatic -- rated very highly by both Jeff and Dr. Wort in their reviews of the festival. Luckily, I had a small unofficial taste of the Lunatic earlier in the week on a visit to the CPR, so I can pronounce it a nice, dry, light -- but not thin -- Belgian, but since I didn't try it at the festival itself it's hard for me to know exactly where I'd rank it among the ones I tried.
When I arrived at the Lab, Derek from Beer Around Town had already been there a couple hours, so I sat down and picked his brain about which beers to get. Dave is my usual parnter-in-crime for these weekday festival outings, but Jill very inconveniently chose to give birth to a lovely baby girl on Friday instead of letting her husband spend the afternoon drinking a bunch of one-off beers. Some other Pub Night compadres showed up unexpectedly: Davey, Rocco, Bryce, and Jason brazenly plunked down huge pint glasses next to the dainty Belgian samples Derek and I had on the table, as seen in the first picture.
Enough chit-chat, let's talk about beer. Of the 10 that I tried, here are my favorites:
- Deschutes La Fleur: perfectly smooth, gingery
- Double Mountain Barrel-Aged Ingelmonster: beautiful dark candy
- Deschutes (Portland) Streaking the Quad: sweet, smooth, nice
- Lucky Lab Beljamin: nice candy and flower flavor
- Astoria Avant Garde Akloo: big, round, long finish
- Pelican La Fleur Amère: full-bodied, a little floral, long bitter edge
Astoria's stinky pun would have been better if the third word was a possible French word. The letter "k" only appears in borrowed words in French, and I'm not sure what sound "oo" would make, but it certainly wouldn't rhyme with "clue". If you guys are keeping that beer around, try "Éclou", which a French speaker would pronounce as "A Clue".
Hats off to Deschutes for landing on this festival with both feet.
Kudos to the organizers for a great time and for putting the beers in alphabetical order. So far, no word on who won the People's Choice Award. I'll update when the news comes out. [Update: Hopworks Dubbel Suplex won the People's Choice Award. I skipped it at the festival, but had it at the pub -- it's a fine winner. Congratulations Hopworks!]