2013 Beer Hoptacular

2013 Beer Hoptacular

I flew home this weekend to sneak some quick time in with AJOG before heading back out to Pennsylvania for work again this week. This was the 4th annual Beer Hoptacular and one of the better beer tasting events I have ever been to.

All said and done we tasted over 50 beers, I attempted to write down the name and brewery of each, I think I managed to get them all but I may have missed one or two near the end. The pours here were huge, every vendor (with one exception) filled that tasting glass. No one bothered to punch your tasting card, but it wouldn’t have mattered anyway. Luckily, there were pour buckets to toss any undrank beer after you had had your taste. There was free and unlimited food (personal sized bags of chips and maybe even some sort of sandwich? We didn’t get over there.) and plenty of water available. Everyone that was at our tasting (12:30 Saturday) was generally in high spirits and there wasn’t any stupid or disrespectful behavior (except for idiots peeing on walls at one point).  The only complaint would probably be a lack of bathrooms, they clearly didn’t have enough.

When you taste 50+ beers in a little under 4 hours it’s going to be difficult to really do any sort of real tasting by beer 50, or beer 40, or 30, or even 20 for that matter. No matter how much beer you pour out or spit, your taste buds are going to be spent. Especially considering the popularity of big, hoppy beers that really stick with you. With that said, I did attempt to at least quickly note something about a beer if either AJOG or I really liked it, or found something unique about the brewery or brewer.

So here they are, all 56 beers that we tasted yesterday at the 2013 Beer Hoptacular, each listing is BeerName, Brewery – Thoughts from yesterday and reflections from today, if any. Everything that was new for me is denoted with an asterisk (*).

  1. Gillian*, Goose Island – My first beer, and it was great. AJOG is finding that she is a Belgian and sour beer lover. She really dug this, I did too. This beer normally retails for about $30/750ml.
  2. Cream Stout, Bells Brewery
  3. Fade to Black*, Left Hand Brewing Co. – AJOG picked up on the smoked flavor, I did not. Oops.
  4. Milk Stout, Left Hand Brewing Co. – Always solid.
  5. Vanilla Porter, Breckenridge Brewery – I’m pretty sure they were pushing this with nitro, pretty good.
  6. Shark Meets Hipster*, Dryhop Brewers – Had never heard of these guys, the beer was pretty good.
  7. White Russian Stout Imperial Milk Stout*, Pipeworks Brewing Co. – This was interesting, definite malty sweetness to it
  8. What Lurks in the Dark Oatmeal Stout*, Pipeworks Brewing Co. – We shouldn’t have gotten this back to back with #7. I remember it being fine, nothing mind blowing.
  9. Heavy Horse Scotch Ale*, Big Sky – Scotch ales are so malty, but I think they are growing on me.
  10. Trout Slayer*, Big Sky – Pretty decent wheat ale, I think it was hoppier than I expected.
  11. Accumulation White IPA*, New Belgium Brewing
  12. Chubstep*, Half Acre Beer Company
  13. Tumbler Brown Ale, Sierra Nevada
  14. Imperial Red Ale (Beer Camp?)*, Sierra Nevada
  15. Tank 7, Boulevard Brewing Co.
  16. Purple Haze, Abita Brewing Co. – Not bad for what it is
  17. Amber Ale, Abita Brewing Co.
  18. Turbodog, Abita Brewing Co.
  19. Dry Hopped Cider*, Vermont Hard Cider Co. – I’m intrigued with cider, sometimes I think that cider is about 15 years behind craft beer in terms of popularity. This was the first cider I’ve had that had had hops added during the fermentation process. I would drink it again, although it was awfully sweet.
  20. Octoberfest*, Baderbräu – I talked to this guy a little. He acquired the rights to the name last year sometime and is trying to revive the brand. He told me that they were in Binny’s now and expect to be in Jewel/other places soon. The beer wasn’t bad, I’d give his stuff a try again if I saw it around.
  21. Fistmas Ale*, Revolution Brewing – Ah, I wanted to like this so bad. Christmas beers are a lot like pumpkin beers, too much spice/extra additions.
  22. Cross of Gold*, Revolution Brewing
  23. Chicory Stout*, Dogfish Head
  24. Midas Touch*, Dogfish Head
  25. Anniversary Vol. III*, Lake Front Brewing – I think this was supposed to be barrel aged or something, again, too much spice/added nonsense
  26. Farmhouse Hatter Belgian IPA*, New Holland Brewing Co. – AJOG liked it
  27. Cherry Bomb*, Brickstone – Awfully fruity
  28. Abby Single*, Destihl Brewing – AJOG really liked this
  29. Union Jack*, Firestone Walker Brewing Co.
  30. Iron Horse*, Argus Brewery
  31. Global Warmer*, Sixpoint Brewery
  32. The Crisp*, Sixpoint Brewery
  33. Matilda, Goose Island
  34. Fourcone*, Goose Island – This is a collaboration of some sort between Pitchfork.com and Goose Island and was a “special tapping.” It’s hoppy.
  35. Blaecorn Unidragon*, Clown Shoes Beer – This is a Russian Imperial Stout so I had high hopes, it is OK. It’s a tough time to be releasing Russian Imperial Stouts, especially while](http://www.williamsgodfrey.com/deths-tar-revolution-brewing/) is out there.
  36. Chain Breaker*, Deschutes Brewery
  37. Amber Ale*, Crazy Mountain
  38. Witbeer*, Crazy Mountain
  39. Belgian Pale Ale*, Solemn Oath
  40. Vertical Ale 12.12.12*, Stone Brewing – This was good.
  41. Arrogant Bastard Ale*, Stone Brewing
  42. Pale Ale infused with peppermint and lemon grass*, Stone Brewing via Hardcore Craft Beer
  43. Black Ale infused with coffee and something else I can’t remember*, Stone Brewing via Hardcore Craft Beer – These Hardcore Craft Beer guys were kind of like a catering company in that they’ll host parties and stuff where the idea is they bring good beer and alter it somehow. Here they were taking the Stone brews and steeping various spices/teas in them using french press pots. It’s an interesting idea.
  44. Witbeer*, Ten Nintey
  45. Tripel*, Ten Nintey
  46. Abduction aged in Elijah Whiskey barrels*, Pipeworks Brewing Co. – I had read online that Pipeworks was hiding something behind the counter at this event so I went and asked for some. The guy acted real shifty as he took my glass and gave me a taste sized pour of what I understood to be their Abduction Stout that had been aged in some whiskey barrels. It was pretty good, super oaky and a little boozy. It was hard to get info out of the guy about what it was, I think becuase he was worried someone would overhear us and ask for some.
  47. Amber Lager* – Lucky Monk
  48. Matilda spiked apple cider*, Goose Island – This was interesting, pretty sweet
  49. Bourbon County*, Goose Island – Quite good
  50. Black IPA*, Upland Brewing
  51. Octoberfest*, Upland Brewing
  52. IPA Sunday Session*, Ale Syndicate
  53. Pale Ale*, Bells Brewery
  54. India Pale Ale*, Bells Brewery
  55. Winter White*, Bells Brewery
  56. 5 Vulture*, 5 Rabbit

Overall, we had a great time and I think we’re looking forward to next year’s Beer Hoptacular.

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