#SippyTimeBeer Review – #Cbus Winter Beerfest – @OhioBeerfest

Me at Winter Beerfest '14A picture is worth a thousand words, right? I’m going to test that theory because this picture will be accompanied by a few words. I went to the Columbus BeerFest and I made a rookie mistake. Saturday started like a normal day. I got up, walked the dogs, my lady & I had breakfast then we planned out the day knowing that the VIP entrance for the Beerfest at 6:30 PM. We normally eat lunch at 2 and dinner around 7:30. To make up for that, we decided to eat lunch at 1 PM so we could eat around 6 before we headed down. We got lunch early but then ended up trying to fit too much in after that and neglected to eat before heading out. It’s a rookie mistake to not eat before going to any beer drinking activity especially a festival in which I would be drinking for four hours. My lady didn’t have a problem because she was the designated driver. Unless you count the two drunks she had to corral. I am trying to talk her into recording a podcast about the night but haven’t do so yet. On the upside, I did record comments about some of the beers before getting to the point of no return. I will review those beers now.

When I took a glance at the useless map, I didn’t see too many breweries I hadn’t tried. Because I can get the local beers, I took them off the list. So a lot of the night was spent drinking offerings from companies. When I first attended the Great American Beer Festival I had a 4 ounce tasting glass. I thought it was too small but it worked out because I got to try a boatload of beers. The mug you see above was 8 ounces, which was also part of my undoing.

21st Amendment BreweryBrew Free Or Die IPA – So the smartest thing to do after not eating before going to a beer festival is to get a tasty beverage that is 7.7% alcohol with a 70 IBUs (bittness unit).  I bring up the later because the Rivertown Hop Barron clocked in at 103 which was too much for me. Now, I know that I can tolerate at least 70 before my “too hoppy” stage hits. I’ll fine tune that over this year. It’s their top selling beer. Although it isn’t my favorite, it’s a good beer.

Founder’s Brewing CompanyImperial Stout – The second smartest thing I did after not eating was get an Imperial (aka Double) stout that clocked in at a mere 10.5% ABV with a 90 IBU. I’m not surprised by the bitter limit as this taste was very heavy in the coffee department. Though I’m getting used to that taste and enjoy it in small dose, this one was too much for me. It drank pretty smooth though.

Green Flash Brewing CompanyDouble Stout – Continuing a trend of heavy ABV beers, I got this one which was “only” 8.8%. It had a low 45 IBU which made it better than the previous stout in my eyes. It drank just a bit smoother.

Triton Brewing CompanySin Bin Belgian Pale – When I read about this one on my Untappd app (difrango11) I saw that it was a sour beer. I didn’t need that heads up though after the first sip of this beer. I’ve had some other Belgian Pale Ale’s recently and they weren’t anything like this one. The Belgian yeast taste was not all that present. The sour tasted was toned down compared to the other sours I’ve had. At the present time though, I don’t think I’m going to fully get into sours like I have IPAs. I did finally drop down to closer to a regular ABV at 6.2% with an IBU of 19. This beer was also the first one from a company I had never drank from before. They’re out of Indianapolis so it’s not far away from me.

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#SippyTimeBeer Review – Blackbeard, Kona and Singha

Blackbeard Ale

Virgin Islands Brewing CompanyBlackbeard Ale – I would provide a link to the brewer normally but they don’t have a website. What’s the use of a website? It’s not like people go to them. I did get a laugh out of reading the label, which read that the beer isn’t produced in St. Thomas or even the Virgin Islands any more. It is brewed in Wisconsin somewhere. I bet Dusty secretly runs VI Brewing out of his apartment. This beer hit the spot as we wondered around a group of vendors set up outside. It wasn’t the best English Pale Ale I’ve ever had though. I wouldn’t have guessed it was a pale though because it tasted more malty than anything else. Unfortunately, this beer was the only local one I got to try on the cruise.

Kona Brewing CompanyLongboard Island Lager – Back when I went to the Columbus Winter Beerfest, I was worried that I wouldn’t be able to get Kona beers because of their origin in Hawaii. Boy was I wrong. I’ve had it at minor league baseball games (Dayton Dragons & Columbus Clippers) and it’s served in several bars in the area. I had tried Longboard before the cruise, including at both games, and I wasn’t the biggest fan. Unfortunately, when you are on a ship, your beer choices are limited and this was the best one on the list. I enjoy Guinness but I don’t drink it with the frequency I used to. The other good choices on the trip were Bass (solid), Boddington (Behind Guinness & Murphy’s) and two others I can’t remember. I had a Longboard or two with our Jamaican Dream Team of bartenders every night on the ship.

Boon Rawd Brewing CompanySingha Lager – Our cupboards were pretty barren after returning from the cruise. The lady & I hit Bahn Thai for dinner one night to help restock with leftovers. I couldn’t pass up the chance to try a Thai beer. I never mind trying but am trying to figure out if every country imitates Budweiser or if everyone likes the same bland crap so every country produces something similar. Whatever the case is, it had a similar taste profile. If you like Bud, give it a drink.

Jamaican Dream Team

From L to R: Bernard, Ralston & head bartender Mario

Are you wondering what some of the beer terms are, especially when they’re German, French or Dutch in origin? This article from SeriousEats.com helps you with some terminology, especially the German end since they’re alcoholics. Good thing I’m part German. -Kevin

#SippyTimeBeer Review

Victory_Stoudts_Left Hand

To absolutely no one’s surprise, I will be going to the Columbus Winter Beerfest tomorrow. I’m hitting it with my lovely lady who is going to be the designated driver for myself and my neighbors. There will be 60+ breweries on hand with a selection of 300+ beers. It’s not quite the Great American Beer Festival in Denver but I’m sure it’ll be a good time. I won’t put all of those beers into one post but I will stockpile some information. On to what I had recently.

Victory Brewing CompanyPrima Pils – I have had good beers from Victory. This one was not one of them. It’s a pilsner that tastes, well, like a pilsner. You could do worse than buy this one. I’d take it over a Beck’s or Grolsch but not a Heineken or Warsteiner. Here’s TheFullPint review which is about as lengthy as mine.

Stoudt’s Brewing CompanyOktober Fest – This beer is an amber lager so it should be in my wheel house but it wasn’t my favorite Oktoberfest beer that I’ve had in the past twelve months. It was better and smoother than the Prima Pils but it didn’t have much more punch than it. I didn’t taste much of the sweetness or the hops that they say are in there. I’m not a hops guy so while I will drink IPAs, I tend to steer away from them. Maybe the hops was hitting me and I didn’t realize it. TheFullPint review.

Left Hand Brewing CompanyMilk Stout Nitro – This beer was my favorite of this batch. I love Guinness, especially when you get to drink it at the Brewery in Dublin, Ireland. I’ll save the rest of that story for later. I mention Guinness because I would call this an American version thereof. It has that nice rich taste but has a touch of sweetness from the milk. I’d venture a guess that they use condensed sweetened milk. This drink has a widget of nitro just like Guinness too so you have to wait for it to settle. It is worth the wait. I drank it at as fast as a stout can be drank. Highly recommended. TheFullPint review. -Kevin

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