When hubby and I received an invitation to attend a local craft beer tasting it wasn't an invitation I could easily ignore. An opportunity to sample a numbered and varied selection of craft beers was a mouthwatering prospect.
The invitation came from Craft Brew Guy who is attempting to incite (or inspire) a revolution. A craft beer revolution.
We arrived to a room filled and filling with beer lovers. We were greeted by the Craft Brew Guy himself and he invited us to begin sampling. Well, you don't have to ask me twice!
There were eight different beers of different styles and alcohol content. We decided to start with the "lighter" beers and work our way up. So, here's how it went . . .
Cricket Hill Bourbon Barrel Aged Porter (6.7% ABV) - If you like bourbon then you'll like this one. There is a distinct but not overpowering bourbon flavor accompanied by bitter chocolate, coffee and vanilla notes. One of my favorite selections of the evening.
Pyramid Oktoberfest (6.7% ABV) - Always a fan of Pyramid brews there was little doubt that I'd enjoy their Oktoberfest . . . I like it. It's a little hoppy, a bit malty and a lot good. It's clean, smooth and refreshing . . . another favorite.
Otter Creek Stovepipe Porter (4.4% ABV) - I can't say that Otter Creek is one of my favorite breweries. In my opinion . . . for whatever that's worth . . . they're beer is good but nothing special. That being said, as the name implies, this porter is a little smokey but a little watery. It was good but not great.
Narragansett Oktoberfest (5.5% ABV) - The very mention of Narragansett beer is a turn off to me. However, they've recently been reinventing themselves and improving upon their reputation as . . . frankly speaking . . . crap beer. I must admit this was way better than I expected. It was malty and with loads of caramel flavor without being overly sweet. It finishes clean and crisp. It's worth a try.
Anchor Porter (5.6% ABV) - The strongest flavors were dark chocolate and caramel but it wasn't sweet. It was smooth, almost creamy, but surprisingly boozy tasting considering it's relatively low alcohol content. Overall it was good but not great.
Ipswitch Oatmeal Stout (7.0% ABV) - My first impression . . . boozy. This is a big beer . . . smokey, smooth, strong . . . but not quite what I expect in an oatmeal stout. I liked it though. A very tasty beer.
Brooklyn Monster Barleywine (10.8% ABV) - I wasn't expecting I'd like this beer much . . . I'm not a fan of the brewery (I think it's the Brooklyn water) and barleywine is not my favorite style. My first thought was that it's a gorgeous color. It's definitely strong and intense tasting. Lots of alcohol burn to accompany the spicy, malty, carameliness. Meh.
Woodchuck Private Reserve Ginger (6.9% ABV) - I absolutely love Woodchuck hard ciders but I haven't gotten around to trying this particular variety. Yum yum yummy! Lot's of fresh apple taste without being overly sweet. It's got a nice mild ginger flavor that's not overpowering but just right. Two big thumbs up! Another favorite of the night.
Peak Organic Espresso Amber (6.8% ABV) - Wowzers! An amazing coffee aroma . . . it smells wonderful. It tastes as good as it smells. Lots of coffee and malt. Smooth and strong. Quite good!
Peak Organic Oak Aged Mocha Stout (8.4 % ABV) - There is a big chocolate smell but I was surprised that there was not so much in the taste . . . some bitter chocolate, coffee and malt. You can definitely taste the oak aging and that makes this beer something special . . . and adds a pleasant smokiness. Overall very good.
As if the planned selection of beer wasn't enough there were some surprises in store for us. The Dew Drop Inn from Derby, CT brought in a selection of wings . . . buffalo, parmesan garlic, and a southern tier 2x IPA BBQ sauce . . . unfortunatley i was too busy drinking to be eating but I finger dipped the sauces from the wingless tins and they were quite tasty. From what I understand they have a pretty good beer selection. I think we'll be popping in for a sample of some wings and beer. Lyndsay from Amity Wine and Spirits busted out a bottle of Sam Adams special beer and the owner and head brewer of Relic Brewing brought a couple growlers of his own beer. And there were a couple other bombers floating around to be sampled . . . unfortunately I missed out on Pliney the Elder (sad face).
Great Divide Chocolate Oak Aged Yeti (9.5% ABV) - An excellent imperial stout from a brewery I've never heard of . . . but hope to sample more from. Dark and rich . . . it tastes of chocolate, molasses, coffee and fruit . . . with a smoky oakiness and a nice hoppy bitterness. A very complex and flavorful brew . . . very yum!
Craft Brew Guy put together an excellent event that I was exceedingly glad I attended. A good time, with great people and excellent beer. A fantastic night! Thanks Aron!