On Brewing, Beer as Cuisine and the Appreciation of Real Beer
Sunday, September 09, 2007
Brouwers Hopfest '07
9/7: Brouwers' Hopfest 2007. Beautiful evening, a table on the patio and 56 IPAs on draft. We managed to get through like 30 or so. Quite a broad range of flavors on all accounts; malt, hop bitterness, aroma and flavor, mineral/sulfate, alcohol and yeast flavors. I liked the Dryhopped Pike IPA the best; medium-light body, very fine hop character, great balance of flavor and very drinkable. Way drinkable. Enjoyed the Big Time Scarlet Fire dryhopped with fresh hops out of Bills' yard. Nice herbal/vegetal flavors, like celery tops and lemon thyme. Hair of the Dog Blue Dot like an English IPA on steroids. Flyers Mach II; big Bongwater-Style NW IPA. Very much to my taste with a sweet nose-in-the-hop-bag aroma. Skagit Bourbon Barrel Scullers on cask; firm bitterness, nice oak notes, rich flavors reminiscent of dry cocoa powder and vanilla milkshake. Two vintages of Maharaja Double IPA from Avery. The 2/20 was the best; everything you'd want and expect. Firm body, nice light-toasty caramel malt, firm citrus/resin bitterness/hop flavor all the way through the palate with a slight warmth in the finish. Just enough alcohol rising through the sinus to carry some sweet hop notes, very nice flavor effect. The 5/14 promised all that up front but seemed to be a bit rough with some solventy alcohol. Maybe that extra 3 months in cold storage really did the job for the 2/20. Kitty-corner from Brouwers is the old Redhook keg yard where there are still hops growing up over the walls. I went and pulled some hops off, brought them back to the table and we used them to doctor our own "Fresh Hopped" beers. Not sure of the variety, I think something like Willamette, but really oomphed up some of the "Not So Much" beers. We managed to work in a few rounds of other beers; Rochfort 10, the Lindemans Cuvee Renee, Schlenkerla Mårzen and Einbecker Maibock. Whew. Don't quite recall the walk home. And Saturday was a little rough. Hoo boy, was Saturday rough.