Not that anyone is looking for a cure for craft beer…well…except for Anheuser-Busch/InBev, or SAB/Miller-Coors.
On Sunday I was at the first ever DC Beerfest. If I had one complaint, it was that it was a damp and clammy day. Otherwise, I enjoyed it thoroughly. The lines were short, the beer was cold, and with about 80 breweries there, good beer was plentiful.
I love beerfests – particularly the ones where the crowd doesn’t just go out with the intent of getting stinking drunk. I like being able to sample beers that I sometimes have trouble accessing in my area, or getting certain beers on tap that I generally can only get in bottles.
Sure, in my profession, you end up going to plenty of bad festivals; drunk fests, poorly planned out festivals, festivals planned by people who don’t truly understand the festival-going crowd, and festivals at venues not really suited for the event. But I feel those are the minority (for example, I have never been fond of the BAM Oktoberfest in Timonium because I just really don’t like the venue – conversely, I enjoy the BAM Craft Brewer’s Festival in the Spring, The DuClaw Real Ale Festival, FBW’s Beerfest at the Farm, and the Maryland Craft Breweries Festival in Union Mills in the fall).
It’s why I look forward to the end of the winter weather – the kick-off of festival season….firkins, sixtels, and kegs, oh my!
And there are a lot of great events coming up – The Pratt Street Real Ale Fest, The Beerfest at the Farm, the BAM Craft Brewer’s Festival, Laughs and Drafts and Annapolis Beer Week down in our state’s capital, The Saint Mary’s Beerfest….there’s something beer-related to do throughout almost every weekend from about mid-April until the summer.
I’m going to wrap this early, as I have a busy week that I’m dealing with – I am spending much of my time this week down in DC at the Craft Brewer’s Conference. I am very much looking forward to being able to put faces with so many voices I have heard only on the phone.
Tapped and Uncapped
Starting with next week’s column I will be previewing some of the beers that will be coming to you from the breweries that will be participating in Frederick Beer Week, but for now, I want to talk about the Tank 7 Farmhouse Ale from Boulevard Brewing Company in Kansas City, MO. This is a big beer with a strong hop backbone, and a really pleasing, without being overwhelming, Belgian funk. Beware of this one, it’s full of subtlety (it does not drink like a higher alcohol beer – well, not until you’ve had two), and complex flavors.
And I’m not pimping this one just because I was fortunate enough to be a guest co-host for the Boulevard episode of UnderMyHost.Com’s podcast. It really comes down to the fact that they’re making some damn good beers over there.
So, until next week, be well and drink good beer.