New England Beer Fest Review
We went to Beer Advocate's New England Beer Fest last Saturday, and we had a great time. Not only was it absolutely packed despite the snow (we went to the night session on Saturday), we saw great costumes, met great people and drank great beer. Not a bad night, all in all. We put together some thoughts on the beers we tried, and we've included ways to track them down if you're so inclined.
It should be noted that there were four of us at the Beer Fest, and while we started off with the best intentions of taking copious notes, things seemed to derail a bit as the festival went on. Where our notes from the beginning of the night might look something like "A rambunctious hoppy flavor with a malty kiss at the end," the notes from the end of the night were more like "Beer good. Drink more." We've included our favorites in order, exactly as we wrote them. Today's sober comments are included in (parentheses).
Casco Bay Brewing: ME
Riptide: Irish-style red ale with a crisp, clean taste (This one was a favorite, and we went back to the Casco stand more than once to cleanse our palates, if you will.)
Otter Creek/Wolaver's: VT
Double Decker Olde English Holiday Ale: Big and rich (not the country band), has a very malty taste.
Woodstock Brewery: NH
Pig's Ear Brown Ale: Nutty and sweet; a very tasty brown.
Loon Golden Ale: Very light, tastes golden.
Samuel Adams: MA
Hefe Weizen: Don't usually like Hefe...like this a lot (That's not the beer talking...we actually bought more the next day and agreed that it's the only Hefe Weizen we've tried we like).
Boston 375 Ale: Very smoky. Tastes like your pants smell after a bonfire. (That was a compliment at the time).
Moat Mountain Smokehouse and Brewery
Square Tail Stout: Chunky. (Yup. That's all we wrote. Helpful, eh? Don't expect much more below).
Milly's Tavern, Manchester: NH
Hopnoxious: This one's a (garbled) Hops explosion!
Willimantic Brewing Company: CT
IPA (Sorry, notes don't indicate which one but we think it was IPA Squared): If I didn't like IPA, I'd hate this. But I do like IPA!
American Ale: Crisp and clean. Plus, they had pretzels.
Harpoon Ale: Awesome. (We ended up talking to Stretch, a very nice guy from the Harpoon Brewery about Harpoon Ale, and he told us the ale is aged in bourbon casks. It turned out to be in our top three favorites of the night, and reminded us that IPA isn't the only beer Harpoon makes).
Munich Dark: Caramel, hard alcohol and coconuts. (We remember telling Stretch we thought this one tasted like coconuts and caramel, and looking back at the face he made at the comment, it's probably a good thing this is one of the last beers we tried that night. We've tried it again since, and we were right on about the caramel, but we're not sure where we got coconut).
We tasted more beers, quite a few actually, but an erroneous spill left a lot of our notes illegible. Our journalistic efforts will be much improved when someone invents booze-proof paper. We know, we've failed you on many levels, but we had a great time and we plan to do much better for the next festival (plans are in the works to booze-proof a tape recorder). Plus, to make up for it, we've included a picture of two of our interns posing with a guy dressed up as a Slim Jim. Snap into it!
Oh, and what do you know? After all our work, we found a page on the beer advocate site with a full list of beers and actual, helpful information. So there you have it. Oh, and also, we blatantly stole the Finish Your Beer picture above from Wicked Mojo's Beer Fest pictures, because it was light years better than anything we took.
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Posted by Jake Jamieson at November 2, 2005 5:10 AM