Friday, July 31, 2009

2009 Vermont Brewers Festival.

Back in 2002, I went to the Vermont Brewers Festival - a showcase for Vermont breweries of all sizes, from tiny little brewpubs to regional breweries (such as Magic Hat or Harpoon). I had a wonderful time, as every beer I tasted was worth trying, and I decided that I needed to go back someday.

Someday turns out to have been this year. I decided to do it up right this time: I bought tickets to all three sessions (Friday night, Saturday afternoon, and Saturday night), and stayed at the hotel across the street.

I can report that this year's festival was wonderful, too.

Oh, sure. The weather was quirky - it rained some during the Friday night and Saturday afternoon sessions, but that just made the beautiful weather of Saturday evening even better by comparison. And unlike seven years ago, this year I discovered a beer that I thought was horrid. (To be precise, a dry Irish stout, flavored with raspberries. An Irish stout is a light-bodied and -flavored style, and anything more than a hint of fruit flavor will overwhelm the roasty flavors of the beer. And this beer had about fifty times too many raspberries to be considered subtle. It's not often at a beer festival that I look around for a spit bucket or even a patch of grass reasonably devoid of people, but I sure needed to with that beer. Other people seemed to like it, though.)

Mostly, though, the beers ranged from good to excellent. If I have to pick a couple of favorites, then I'll mention two: a single-hop, cask-conditioned Chinooker'd IPA, from Lawson's Liquids (which appears to be a tiny, production-only facility that had to go to a larger microbrewery in order to brew large enough quantities to come to this festival), and a cask-conditioned IPA, aged with oak and dry-hopped, from Otter Creek.

A wonderful time was had by all. (Well, by me, and that's the only vote that counts here.) I'm ready to go again.

1 comment:

CES said...

So, here was my first thought: "Vermont! That's close to...oh, no, wait, nevermind..."