Monday, January 19, 2015

My Five Favorites From Barley's Beer Fest

Reflecting on yesterday's Biggest Little Beer Fest at Barley's Greenville, I thought I'd try to sum up my impressions and list the beers that made the strongest impression on me ( a very difficult task in any such undertaking). Not calling these "best" only that they were memorable and made me glad I tried them.

First up, a Gose from Creature Comforts: Cucumber Lime Tritonia.

 This was a total surprise, a cucumber lime flavored brew that was refreshing, sort of tart with a well balanced finish, no one flavor overpowered the others. At 4.2% abv, this would be the perfect summer brew. Good palate cleanser as well. Very memorable.
Their Tropicalia IPA was good too, passion fruit and citrus hoppy flavored, very drinkable IPA.

Next, a much bigger beer from Anderson Valley Brewing, their Huge Arker , a Russian Imperial Stout aged for a year in Wild Turkey bourbon barrels. At 13.5% abv, this was one of the strongest beers at the Fest, the only one stronger was the Dog Fish Head Olde School Barley Wine at 15%. As you might expect, very smooth, flavors well balanced, alcohol hidden. Big sipper.

Todd, aka Steinber Chucklehead, offers a small glass of a huge beer!

Golden colored cream ale.
A big change of pace was the Left Hand Brewing's JalapeƱo Cream Ale. I like the roasted pepper flavor which was immediate on the palate although the honey malts seemed to keep the heat at bay. More malt in the finish, less pepper, very light hop presence.Very drinkable and conforting at 6.2% abv.

Heading back into high gravity country, I came across the Evil Twin table where Molotov Simcoe was on tap. This is a triple IPA at a whopping 13% abv. Very intense hoppiness (surprise!) with the expected dry finish, but balanced enough that the beer is very drinkable, tho caution is required. I liked it a lot, being the hophead I am. It also showcased the Simcoe hop quality, adding citrusy notes in the nose and finish. I've gotten to be a big fan of this hop.

Despite having no idea what the name meant, I tried the Terrapin Phlux Capacitor, 2012 version, another high gravity Strong Ale. Very smooth, deceptive, well-balanced brew with no alcohol heat. Glad I had the chance to try it.

And thanks to Jennifer Davis, Marketing Rep for Terrapin, for cluing me in on Terrapin's brews.  That's the Phlux she's holding in the pic.

So that comprises the five beers that stood out, tho everything one I tried was a winner. Fun time was had by all (see photo below) and my only regret is that the event only happens once a year. And I plan on being there!!


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