Come and gone, but what memories are left behind: perfect weather, good crowd and, of course, several new beers to try, along with some of my long-time faves.
I'll start posting pics and comments as I finish up the editing (I took a lot of photos!) so come back often to catch the updates!
I've long been a fan of Abita beers and this Fest offered up a new one: A Pecan Harvest Ale, brewed with pecans and barrel aged in oak. I was eager to try it, had to wait until 1 pm, but it was worth the wait. First of all, it was not sweet as I feared but well balanced, a bit of nutty flavor in the finish but overall very drinkable and, as indicated in the photo, probably pairs very well with food. I never had the chance to try it, time being critical with so many other brews to try. I would definitely have it again. They were also pouring Hop Gator, a Helles Doppelbock, and Restoration, a Pale Ale.
The Clemson Brew Crew were there of course, giving live action demos of the brewing process for those who, despite spending a good deal of time in brewery tap rooms have never had the inclination to brew their own. John Mangel, in the photo adding water to the mash tun (barrel) makes it look easy and the results are always very tasty.
Local favorite, Quest Brewing was there, pouring Cantaloupe Island Witbier and an Edelman Altbier. Not your usual suspects, but they were very popular.
|Quest rep always happy to answer questions about their brews.|
One of the newer breweries on the Charlotte scene is The Unknows Brewery. I and others chose their IPA as one of the festival's best:
Another local, Swamp Rabbit Brewing, with owner/brewmaster Ben Pierson on hand to help pour, attended the festival for the first time. Their Black IPA was frequently requested, as was their Marzen Oktoberfest. I suspect they'll be back next year:
|Sometimes, you just need to take a break and savor the sampling.|
The advantage of using the Fluor Ballpark as the venue is the space provided. Big turnout but no crowd bottlenecks, so trying to gain access for a new beer was never a problem.
Cheers for now!!
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