Belgian Beer Fest Wrap-Up

I have two Beer Fests under my belt which isn’t a lot to brag about. Belgian Beer Fest this past weekend at Cyclorama in Boston was a success, and I helped make it a success! I volunteered for the Saturday session and I was the Ice Man. I brought ice to the booths that needed it to make sure the samples you tasted were as cold as possible. So fo that I say you’re welcome :).

While I didn’t have a chance to taste all the beers, I did have a couple samples and none of them were bad.

Allagash Little Big Beer

Description: Belgian-Style Strong Ale. This beer was made by taking the first runnings for Big Little Beer and then aging them for 8 weeks in oak barrels w/ Brett. Estimated 10.5%
Note: I had to try one from the main booth of the fest. This brew was very tasty and packed a good punch.

Goose Island Madame Rose

Description: Madame Rose is a crimson colored Belgian style brown ale fermented w/ wild yeast and aged on cherries in cabernet barrels. 4.6%
Note: One of my favorites. Most of the brews I tried were sours or tasted like wine. You could definitely taste the cherries in this great ale.

Haverhill Ruby Bruin

Description: We sour-mashed this brown ale for 72 straight hours, to the point where the mash looked almost like it was boiling due to so much natural yeast and bacteria activity. It has a distinct, sharp acidity that’s smoothed over w/ dark Belgian specialty malts. 5.4%
Note: Sour! But good.

Ithaca Brewing LeBleu

Description: Blueberry Sour. 5.5%
Note: My favorite of the fest and I didn’t even see it coming. This was recommended to me by a fellow volunteer so during my break I walked over and grabbed some before it was gone. I am not a sour kind of guy but this one had a terrific blueberry flavor that stuck around for a while after tasting. I want more!

Pretty Things Babayaga

Description: Export Stout brewed w/ Belgian yeast strains, slightly smokey. 7%
Note: To wrap things up I grabbed this great stout. Really tasty and as the description says it is slightly smokey but not too crazy.

2010 Smuttynose Farmhouse Ale

Description: Our Farmhouse Ale is an homage to traditional European beers brewed for quenching the thirst of farm workers, or “Saisonaires.” 9.3%
Note: Before the fest opened I snuck one in from the home team. Well done Smuttynose, this was a refreshing brew even at 9.3%.

101010 Stone Vertical Epic Ale

Description: Belgian-style Golden Triple brewed w/ chamomile and white wine grapes. 9.5%
Note: There was so much to try from Stone so I just picked one. This was, in a word…. epic.

12% ImportsĀ Emelisse Bowmore Whiskey-Aged Imperial Russian Stout

Description: Bowmore Whiskey Barrel-Aged Russian Imperial Stout. 11%
Note: This brought flashbacks of Kate the Great in my head. I am a big fanĀ of Imperial Stouts and this is no exception. So many flavors going on at once that I wish I had a chair and a bigger glass to figure it all out. Really really good.
That’s it the wrap up. Will I volunteer again? Maybe maybe not. Depends on the fest and if I have anyone to go with but I can definitely say it was a neat experience volunteering for a BA Fest. A quick shout out to Norm aka Beer Nut. Finally got a chance to meet him as he so strategically navigated the fest. Check out his blog for more photos from the festival.