Monday, September 15, 2008

Brass City Brew Fest '08

When I heard that a local event would supply over 250 beers for sampling over a 4 hour period, I immediately ordered some tickets. This was the Brass City Brew Fest in Waterbury, CT this past Saturday. My only regret is that it was only 4 hours...I would have preferred 4 days with all the brews available.

We arrived on the scene, an outdoor park in downtown Waterbury, about a half hour in advance, only to watch the line quadruple in size. Good thing...because we were able to get into the exclusive Belgian tent right away to get things started. A tent full of what was probably every Belgian beer available in the U.S. and then some was like Christmas morning. Here's an SAT analogy for you though:

The appeal of the In-Bev table : Belgian tent ::
The appeal of the Anheuser-Busch table : Domestic tents

Appropriate considering the recent purchase of Anheuser Busch by In-Bev...but sorry, in a tent full of Belgian beer that I've never tried, or even heard of, I'm not going to sample Hoegaarden. The two best tables in my opinion came from Belukus Marketing and Wetten Importers (probably because they both also had the most selection). Probably the most satisfying sample that I had all day came from Wetten Importers: the Gueuze lambic. I also learned that it's pronounced "lam.BEEK," rather than how it's spelled. I've had a handful of fruit lambics before: kriek (sour cherry), frambois (raspberry) and pomme (apple) to name a few, but this was a lambic without any fruit addition: very sour and quite delicious. Unfortunately, the closest I can come to purchasing some of it is through a petition that I signed for a local supplier to sell it.

Outside of the Belgian tent, I would have liked to have gotten to sample more of the domestic/int'l brews, but that's not to say I was not satisfied. Some highlights included:
  • The Moo Thunder Stout from Butternuts Brewery in NY (almost entirely because of its name but the beer was pretty damn good too...unsurprisingly, they have an amusing website). Unfortunately, I didn't get a chance to sample the arguably better-named brew, "Tommyknocker Butthead Doppelbock."
  • Although I prefer beer, A UK brewery that I'm familiar with for its famous Oatmeal Stout, Sam Smith, was pouring their organic cider which was very tasty.
  • I was very pleased to try the very heavy "Wee Willy Scotch Ale," from the recently visited local brewery, New England Brewing.
Among many other brews (and some delicious chili), the day was exciting and very satisfying. The selection was better than any other brew fest that I have attended, so I look forward to similar events and of course...Brass City Brew Fest '09.


Mike said...

Cider is great.

When are you going to start doing beer podcasts?

Tom Whalen said...

Beer and Chili - must have been a REALLY pleasant evening at the 75 Railroad Avenue come Saturday evening.

Dan said...

Im glad you remembered what we drank!