Another Successful Year: Big Wood Fest 2009
Upon arrival, Brouwer’s Cafe was already packed to the brim. With some patience, our group managed to take over the area with two couches and plenty of floor space. The waitstaff was efficient and attentive, so we thank you for that!
So a list of the some of the beers we tasted:
Hair of the Dog Brewing Co. featured four beers on the menu, Bob (Lambic), Matt (Bottleworks 10th Anniversary Ale), Fred (Barrell Aged Golden Strong Ale) and Michael (Sour Red). We have always been fans of this brewery but after last night, we have a new found respect.
BOB Lambic: This beverage looks like a magical potion. It glows with a maroon red coloring. BOB introduces itself as a beer with wine-like qualities. It smells like red wine vinegar, tastes like a smooth, well balanced sour and finishes with a light, smooth sensation that pours down your throat.
Fred: This Bourbon barrel aged golden strong ale will knock your socks off. A dessert masked as a beer, Fred is thick with a prevalent caramel flavor. The “Candyland Milkshake of Life,” if you will. The smell is overwhelmingly sweet and pleasant. Fred is named after the first person to purchase a Hair of the Dog beer back in 1993.
Moving right along to Port Brewing out of California. Both Older Viscosity, a barrel aged version of the dark ale Old Viscosity and Brouwer’s Imagination #2 Strong Sour were tasted.
Imagination Strong Sour: Smells like sweet balsamic vinaigrette. The taste is sour without a doubt. Imagination has a surprising maltiness while lacking a strong sugar taste.
Older Viscosity: This beer is complex, salty and sweet. Smells like hot, soft pretzels. The flavors are reminiscent of chocolate fudge. You can taste the age on this one as it burns the back of your throat in a way that leaves you wanting more.
Some other highlights of the night include:
New Belgium Eric’s Ale Sour Peach: This beer is similar to Love, but has hints of peach. Peach is a subtle fruit. The natural sugars of the fruit add a level of complexity.
Great Divide Espresso Yeti: Tastes like a smooth after dinner coffee drink. You can taste the alcohol, but it is combined with the bitterness of the coffee flavor.
New Belgium Bottleworks 10- Wild Ale: After just having the Wild Ale this past weekend, comparing the two was quite exciting. This beer was different, much more sour than the “normal” Wild Ale. A must try!
Other beers you should check out: Allagash Interlude: Belgium style ale aged in Merlot and Syrah barrels, Hales Bucephales Blended Sour: sweet, bitter but mostly sour with flavor notes of licorice and vanilla, and Port Townsend Oak Aged Imperial Porter: smooth, chocolaty flavor, thick and simply delicious.
With a list of beers from Belgium, Washington, Oregon, California, Pennsylvania, New York, Maine and Colorado, Big Wood was full of flavor, potency and unique beers. An event that features sours, saisons, porters, stouts, IPAs, Winter Ales and more, there is something for every beer lover!