06 April 2009

Philly Craft Beer Fest - The Review Part One

Oh wow guys, so sorry this is about a month late, but this was so good I needed to take a month to think about how good it was and put it into words. Quite honestly, this was the best forty five dollars you or I or anyone could ever spend. If you have a beer loving loved one in your life, purchase them tickets for next year's fest. It will surely please them mightily.

The Responsible Drunk official Beer Fest Festivities began bright and early at 11 AM at my place for a special breakfast of eggs, bacon and a solid wheat beer, which in this instance was the lovely German variety Franziskaner. After boarding the train to go to the fest we quickly realized that most of the city had the same idea. If you weren't going to beer fest, you were probably going on the Erin Express and thus riding the R6 at 11.30 AM with a nalgene full of Coors Light. Way to go Philly! World Fucking Champions indeed!

On to the fest. Basically, organizers FTW here folks. In essence the organizers found the perfect balance in the beer to people ratio that bordered somewhere between that of a Wednesday night frat party and a swinging local bar on a Saturday, only increased the scale by a factor of 10 and set it in the lovely Philadelphia Naval Yard facility. To give you a feel for the room, it was about a football field long, sides lined with beer and just the right amount of people. To be honest, Harry and I waited in exactly one line all day. That translates to about 4 hours straight of beer sampling from that nifty 6 oz souvenir glass (do the math).

And boy was that glass raised a lot that day. One beautiful if too-obviously macho thing about beer fest is the organic crowd cheer that I like to call the beer-wave. If you are at beer fest and the dude next to you raises his glass and starts bellowing, you and all around will be impelled to mimic his bellowing until the entire building is bellowing along with you. Then you all drink and for a moment, all is right in the world.

When you are trying over 25 new beers in one day, it can be a little hard to get a handle on what you liked and didn't like, what is good and what is not. There were a few newsworthy highlights, and I'd like to run them down for you all here:

Yuengling Bock - Our beloved hometown brewery has begrudgingly given into the seasonal beer craze and brewed its first new beer in 180 years. I say begrudgingly because if you go into this beer expecting much more than a glass of Yuengling, well, you will be dissapointed. Yuengling Bock is basically a darker, ever so slightly maltier version of its Amber predecessor. In this way, Yuengling has nodded to the movement of craft beer without succumbing to any of the pretension, and in essence pulling one over on the non-local beer-o-philes.

The Bruery's Saison Du Lente - This California Belgian influenced brewery does a wonderful job of mimicing styles from across the pond. I particularly like a good saison because the philosophy of a table beer is something that I think is lost on a lot of craft brewers, especially in the sweep of monster beers that has nearly taken over the industry in the last few years. This one is light, crisp but maintains a satisfying maltiness. It makes a great anytime beer.

Blue Point Brewery - This brewery from out on Long Island had a really solid representation with a Toasted Amber Lager and a RYPA (IPA made with Rye). The RYPA especially stood out because it seemed to be a popular style across the board at the fest and in my opinion this topped them all.

Alright, this is part one of four. Stay Tuned for Harry's analysis and then a recap of our epic post-fest bar crawl!

1 comment:

  1. but will it enable a running-blog-comment gag?