Saturday, September 5, 2009

Northwest Brewfest

A wise old soul once told me (or did I read it somewhere?), "Practice moderation in everything." And, for the most part, this rule describes my life fairly well. I'm pretty balanced in my approach to work and leisure (excepting fantasy baseball, on which I spend entirely too much time...), and I try not to overdo it. That said, sometimes it's just more fun to cut loose.

From left: my father-in-law, Carlo; his girlfriend, Reka; my pal, Eric; and yours truly, Brewfus. Eric is a fellow brewer and blogger. And yes, we coordinated...

On August 23rd, my comrades and I attended the
Northwest Brewfest in Torrington, Connecticut, and cut loose we most certainly did. I mean, how can you not when surrounded by 50 brewers, wielding 100+ of their best beers, who gleefully fill your 4 oz. plastic cup to the brim, over, and over, and over again. Another expression I like is, "When in Rome..."

The Brewfest was a riotous time, and the lineup of brewers in attendance included some of the big dogs of the craft brew world (Boulder Beer, Brooklyn Brewery, Dogfish Head, and Sierra Nevada) as well a local favorites (Thomas Hooker and Willimantic BrewingCo).

Even Kona Brewing showed up, which was fun for me because my wife and I honeymooned in Kauai, and Kona was our beer of choice!

Clearly, Carlo needed a re-fill...

The highlight of the day for me was sampling Sierra's Kellerweis, an open fermented American hefeweizen. (I can't be expected to remember its finer points, as we were 80% of the way canned, err, through the event, when we reached Sierra's table. Suffice it to say it stood out from the least for me.) Here's an excerpt from this Beer Advocate article about the beer's unique brewing process:

Several years ago, the brewers began working with a unique Bavarian hefeweizen yeast strain unknown in this country. This amazingly flavorful yeast was so exciting that they began working on a recipe for a traditional German hefeweizen with the Sierra Nevada twist. Traditional hefeweizen is a style that seems deceptively simple, but in reality is devilishly complex. For years the brewers weren’t satisfied with the beer; something was missing. In a flash of inspiration, an epic trip was arranged. The brewers took a whirlwind tour through the legendary Bavarian wheat breweries to see what they were doing. It was there they realized the advantages of making wheat beer using the traditional system of open fermentation.

My father-in-law (see pictures above) fell in love with three of the heartier brews being poured: Brooklyn's Local 2, Dogfish Head's Palo Santo, and Sam Adam's Dunkel. He's not a fan of hoppy beers, which explains his affinity to these rich nectars.

A Reka sandwich, courtesy of the twins.

While the boys played at the Brewfest, Danger Kitten (my wife) and Cup O'Cake (Eric's wife) got together with their friend Linda for a little Bake Over, which you can read about on their blogs here and here. Needless to say, there's nothing like capping an afternoon of beer drinking with hot-from-the-oven baked goods. Except, of course, a nap.

Never let anyone convince you that beer tasting is easy!



brubaker wildflower said...

this one was great....sounds like a wonderful time...good pictures. I am really enjoying your titles!! xoxoxo

Danger Kitten said...

Beer tasting does indeed look rather tiring there.

KevBrews said...

nice shirts, boys!