well, here is my attempt to report on the VT brewers fest. Yeah took me a week to recover... No, just kidding. Been a crazy week but I was not sure what to say about it all. It was my first beer fest/tasting and it was fun but a bit of sensory overload.
Well. It was an extremely beautiful sunny day on the Lake Champlain waterfront in Burlington so that was really nice. My wife and son came along but I was the only one drinking so that was kind of odd but I managed to enjoy myself anyways
I tried 20 different beers and I have to say, after a while it is just a bit silly, I mean your tastes buds are not exactly all that effective after a few samples
I made sure to try beers I have really wanted to taste first like DFH so that I was still somewhat coherent. I have to say this and I will probably get blasted but...
DFH makes very good beer no denying, but I do not think it is worth the HYPE or the exorbitant prices they charge. My analysis, they make great beer but they make even better marketing! Plus the guys serving came off as kind of cocky and did not actually seem to know much about beer on top of that. Anyway, I may just be bitter because I cannot afford DFH but, I am glad I was able to try some. I guess I was expected the most fantastic, unbelievable, never an equal beer. I have had beers as good and better.
I also tried several styles I have not tried before. Namely, lambic, saison, and flander red. I tried two Saisons because my first was not very pleasant. A definate unpleasant yeasty affectation that I did not enjoy. This one was from zero gravity brewing (Burlington hearth/american flatbread). I then tried there belgan dubbel a style I am familiar with. It also had an unpleasant yeasty (very similar) nature to it. So, I was unimpresed with their beers. I did not try any others, so maybe I just got two duds.
So, I figured I should give another Saison a try in case it was just their version. I tried Portsmout brewings (I think it was?) version after sampling their dry stout served from a cask which was very good. Again, not too tasty yeast wise. I am starting to think that perhaps their is just an aspect to some beers yeast wise that I do not care for. I have experienced a similar flavor in some of my beers and thought it was an "off-flavor" from something gone wrong but perhaps it was just normal and I do not like it?
As for the lambic and flanders red, I had a sample of each from the three needs pub. I enjoyed them. VERY sour and complex. I am an avid sourdough baker so I have an appreciation for sour foods but I will say this. It was enjoyable to taste a small glass but I really cannot imagine drinking a whole bottle or even brewing 5 gallons! Whoa! It is perhaps an appertif and something to enjoy in small quantities on limited occasions, not a mainstay brew.
All in all I was impressed with most everything I sampled. It was a very laid back atmosphere which I had wondered about. I was surprised to find myself going to my local microbrew Trout River which i figured i would skip since I am so close to them. But they had some brews i had not tried before and I wanted to get the low down on their cask ale offering they have been serving lately (the server never has been able to answer my questions regarding its authenticity). I found out that based on what they are telling me it is the real deal. They even had a firkin/cask (?) with them their. It is DELICiSCIOUS! I can definately tell a difference. It is one of their flagship beers Rainbow Red ale which they just started serving this way. It definately changes the beer dramatically i think. I also liked the beers i sampled from them better than many of the others I tried there. I had a dopplebock and a triple...
Anyway, rambled on for a while which is partly why i have not reported til now. I will definately be going back next year. Possibily getting a room for the night or else drink less beer. Oh how that route 2 twists and turns...