Wednesday, April 18, 2012

The Beer Summit: New England Beer, Represent

Beer Summit truck parked in my neighborhood.

It has been ages since I’ve gone to a beer fest.  Nashville’s seem to sell out quickly or are held when it’s eleventy billion degrees out.  So as a consolation prize for missing the 2 minute window to get tickets to the Bacon and Beer Festival here in Boston, we got tickets to the Beer Summit.

Held at the Park Place Castle.

I tried 9 different beers, and I wanted to focus on dark beers from regional brewers.  However, after a few wonky beers, I retreated to familiar territory.  There were 77 breweries there, and it favored towards smaller craft breweries.  There were a few macro-breweries there like Guinness and Carlsberg, too.  Here’s a round up of the 9 I tried.

My Saranac Chocolate Orange and the program listing all of the breweries and beers.

  1. Saranac High Peaks Chocolate Orange: This brewery is based in New York, and I had tried (and fell in love with) their Caramel Porter at The Pharmacy in East Nashville.  Sadly, they didn’t have the Caramel Porter, but this Chocolate Orange intrigued me.  It was a tad bitter, but the nuances of a Terry’s Dark Chocolate Orange shined through the bitterness.  I would call this one a sipper.
  2. Sam Adams Boston 26.2 Brew: Ok, totally NOT a dark beer, but it’s a limited edition only on draft beer so I had to try it.  In my eyes, Sam Adams can do no wrong.  Their brewers have the same palate as me.  I mean, this is an American Pale Wheat Ale (according to Untappd).  I hate pale ales and wheat beer.  Yet this was refreshing and tasty without that floral hoppiness or weird wheat funk that I hate.  It was bright, had a spicy citrus flavor, and you could drink it all day.  Especially with the low alcohol content.
  3. Ommegang Seduction: Blech! I hated this beer.  After 2 sips, I dumped it out.  I was thinking it would be a dark style Belgian, but instead, it was a bitter, hoppy, fruity dark beer.  I’ll pass.

    Their logo reminded me of a state seal.

  4. Chocolate Milk Stout by The Flying Goose Brew Pub: I tend to like most stouts except for coffee stouts.  This one was great because the flavors were subtle.  It wasn’t smack you in the face chocolate or super sweet.  It was a nice, session-able stout, and a fantastic way to get rid of the taste of that Seduction.

    The Pig's Ear was a nut brown ale.

  5. Red Rack Ale by Woodstock Inn Brewery: It wasn’t great. This was an amber ale, and I like ambers most of the time.  But this was just meh.  Nothing to write home about but not horrible.
  6. St.-Ambroise Oatmeal Stout by Brasserie McAuslan (St.-Ambroise Beers): This beer is from Montreal.  It was smooth at first, but after a couple sips, I started getting a burnt aftertaste.  I liked the initial flavors, but the burnt taste killed it for me.
  7. Carlsberg: I had to cleanse my palate with a familiar standby after those strike outs.  Their commercials always entertain me, and I’m excited to tour their brewery in Copenhagen this summer.  I will admit that I have a soft spot for European lagers like this and Heineken.
  8. Crabbie’s Original Alcoholic Ginger Beer by John Crabbie & Co.: I LOVE ginger so I had to try this one.  It’s a Scottish ginger beer that is an actual alcoholic beer unlike traditional ginger beer.  I could drink this all day long in the summer.  Without the shaved ice and lime that they served it with.
  9. Wildflower Mead by B. Nektar Meadery: These guys were popular because they only had three flavors of mead left 2.5 hours into the event.  I’ve only had mead one other time, and it was a sample at the woolen mills in Blarney, Ireland.  I like honey, so I can get down with fermented honey.  This was more like a floral, sweet wine than a beer.  I could only drink this as a dessert.  I tried a sip of the coconut pineapple one, and that reminded me of sake.  I think someone needs to start making mead mixed drinks.

    Beer, beer, and more beer.

It was a fun event that finally got us to explore Back Bay after 4 months of living here.  I was amused by the nun selling food to soak up the beer.  If we go back next year, I’m totally wearing a pretzel necklace like the well-prepared beer drinkers who attended.

If you’re into beer, follow me on Untappd.  My username is ehalvey.  It’s like Foursquare for beer.

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2 Responses to “The Beer Summit: New England Beer, Represent”

  1. 1

    Ayngelina — April 20, 2012 @ 8:23 pm

    Ahh yum! The Beer Summit sounds like my kind of place.

    • ehalvey replied: — April 21st, 2012 @ 11:00 am

      Oh, the Beer and Bacon Fest next week sounds like your kind of place.

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