There were lots of good beers pouring at the Beermongers 2nd Anniversary Brewfest this weekend, and lots of space to drink them in, at least during the few hours I was there on Sunday. Everyone had a great time, but it was a little surprising how sparse the attendance was. I was musing about it with festival organizer Josh Grgas yesterday, so before I go on to talk about the beer, let me ask your opinion on why there weren't more people at the festival. Was it:
- Unseasonably hot weather?
- Not enough publicity?
- Beer event fatigue?
- Competing events?
- No minors allowed?
- Car parking issues?
- Something else?
I didn't try everything at the festival, but some highlights for me were:
- Boneyard Hop Venom: very fresh-tasting, floral Double IPA in the Pliny branch of the family tree
- Upright Gunslinger: a Helles lager using Upright's hand-smoked malt
- Beetje En Vat: light Belgian ale aged in wine barrels
- Astoria Solar Dog: a tongue-scraping IPA that was all hops, in a good way
- Stone Belgo Guardian: barleywine brewed with Belgian yeast
Beetje turned in another simple but effective winner with En Vat. It's recognizable to fans of farmhouse ales, but still approachable to novices. The wine-barrel aging added a nice fruit touch to the palate. And speaking of Belgian styles, the Stone Belgian Barleywine surprised me in the way it was able to combine the best flavors of the yeast with a muscular, hoppy barleywine. I wasn't crazy about their Belgo Imperial Stout -- though I know a lot of people who loved it -- but the b-wine worked really well.
Angelo has some pictures up from Saturday at the Brewfest.
Kegs weren't emptying out much at the festival, so keep an eye on the Beermongers taplist for the next couple weeks. A lot of impressive beer that was left waiting in the wings is sure to be showing up.