10 October 2011

World Beer Festival, Durham, 2011

These are my notes from this year. I didn't take very detailed notes, because I, in a fit of talent and rushing out the door, forgot both my pen and my carefully-planned list of booths I wanted to hit. I managed to recreate it on my phone, at least. A bit of a pain in the ass, but what can you do?

Unibroue, Quebec, Canada: Don de Dieu (tripel) I tried this toward the end of the night, and I remember it being good. Fruity and sweet, like most tripels.

Legend Brewing, Richmond, VA: Tripel: nice, drinkable. Quad: fucking amazing. I passed this one around, and everyone liked it (even Ben, who isn't into quads), then I had to get more, because I didn't have any left.

Kind Beers, Charlotte, NC: Belgian Style red ale: Mo got this, and I had a sip. It was awful. Very bitter and unpleasant.

North Coast Brewing Co, Fort Bragg, CA: La Merle (Belgian specialty ale): It was fruity and pleasant, and it had a thick mouthfeel. I had a sip of Enne's Brother Thelonious (Belgian dark strong ale), and it was as good as I remembered it.

Kuhnhenn Brewing Co, Warren, MI: I wanted to try their White Devil (imperial white), but they didn't have it. The imperial creme brulee java stout was really good, though it had a strong coffee bitterness (unlike the Southern Tier creme brulee stout). So I tried the Simcoe Silly (Belgian/American hybrid) and strongly disliked it.

Timmermans Brouwerij, Dilbeer-Itterbeek, Belgium: Bourgougne des Flanders (Flanders brown ale). When I got the sample, the pourer said, "It's sour, just warning you." I told him I drink straight Berliner Weisse, which is really damn sour, so bring it on. This was easily my favorite beer of the night, with Legend's quad in a very close second. It wasn't very sour; I'd argue that it's not sour at all, but someone who doesn't enjoy sour beers might disagree. [Interestingly, Belgian whites/wit beers are also technically sour beers, though I don't find them sour at all. I can kind of taste it if I think about it while drinking one. Lambics are another popular sour style.] It had a fruity note to it, and a heavy, thick mouthfeel. Very, very nice.

Mystery Brewing, Hillsborough, NC. I sponsored their Kickstarter project last year or the year before, so I had to go try their beer. I tried the Langhorne (rye wit), and it was odd. It tasted like a wit, but it had an unfamiliar note to it, which was the rye. I'd try it again to see if I liked it. Sadly, the beer we all wanted to try, the Six Impossible Things chocolate breakfast stout, had fallen victim to a catastrophic beersplosion. Ben got the Queen Anne's Revenge (black IPA), and I think he said he hated it less than other black IPAs he'd tried. (Neither of us is a fan of IPAs in general; they're victim to the American craft brewers' belief that MOAR HOPS is better. Yuck.)

Bull City Burger and Brewery, Durham, NC. Pro Bono Publico (porter): All I have written down is "bitter."

Aviator Brewing Company, Fuquay Varina, NC. Devil's Tramping Ground (tripel). I don't know if the batch was off or if it had gotten skunked (or if they gave me the wrong one), but this was very unpleasant. It wasn't like a tripel at all.

Roth Brewing, Raleigh, NC. Forgotten Hollow cinnamon porter: I still love this beer. I first tried it when I went to the Flying Saucer one time when my dad was in town and they had it on draft. It's kind of like drinking autumn. Their Dark Construct stout was nice, though it's not going to be my new favorite stout. Ben really enjoyed it.

Palm Brouwerij, Steenhuffel, Belgium. Palm (Belgian amber ale). Dear readers, I poured this one out.

Boulevard Brewing Co, Kansas City, MO. The Sixth Glass (quadrupel): Not as nice as the Legend quad, but it still had a good flavor and modest sweetness to it.

Holy Mackerel Beers, Fort Lauderdale, FL. Panic Attack (Belgian Strong): very sweet, thick mouthfeel. Special Golden Ale: good, but not as sweet.

Anderson Valley Brewing Company, Boonville, CA. Winter Solstice (seasonal ale): tasted like Christmas spiced cider. It was really good. This would probably be my third favorite new beer.

Number of beers sampled: 18 (plus refills on two of them, one of them twice...)
Top three samples: Timmerman's Bourgogne des Flanders; Legend's quad; Anderson Valley's Winter Solstice.


Laura said...

Paul tried Mystery's chocolate breakfast stout, and wasn't a fan. We both tried Timmerman's lambics -- he the raspberry and I the strawberry. We both liked both of those quite a bit. Did you get a chance to try 21st Amendment's "Come Hell or High Watermelon"? They had run out (or were saving a batch for the evening session) by the time I got to their booth.

CD Covington said...

None of us got to try the watermelon one. One of our friends was interested, but it wasn't high priority, so by the time we'd tried the things we'd ranked higher, they were out. I can't decide if it would be good or terrible, you know?

What did Paul say about the stout? I have trouble liking oatmeal stouts & porters in general, but I've found that sometimes, the addition of other things make it taste OK enough.

Laura said...

He said it was more watery and thin than he expected from a stout (he generally likes strong stouts and porters), and that the coffee flavor didn't come through very strongly. He poured that one out.

Yeah, the watermelon one could be good, could be bad. In my mind, I'm imagining something like a lambic but with watermelon instead of berry.

Kim said...

can't believe you tried one with Simcoe - it's supposed to be the most offensive hop to those who don't dig heavily-hopped stuff. :)

CD Covington said...

The description of the Simcoe was this: "combining the tropical fruit flavor and aroma of Simcoe hops with Belgian clear candi sugar, coriander, and orange peel. Pilsen alt and unmalted wheat make up the mash. The special Belgian ale yeast strain produces esters of banana, with bubblegum and clove aromas."

It lied.

Kim said...

If by "fruit" they mean rotten grapefruit ;) well, ok then.

Paul Cory Photography said...

Well, actually the coffee flavor was there, but combined with the other flavors, and the surprisingly thin mouthfeel, bleah. Other years have provided beers that I absolutely had to hunt down afterwards, this year not so much. I have to go with the Fox Barrel cider as my top, followed by the Timmerman's Rasberry Lambic.