On Saturday February 21, 2009 we spent our day, from 1 – 4:30 PM, at the 5th Annual Extreme Beer Fest, held at the Boston Center for the Arts Cyclorama. It is described as “a uniquely awesome and epic celebration of American brewers who push the boundaries of creative brewing – the original fest that helped define what “Extreme Beer” is all about.”
Breweries are hand-picked to attend this event, and are required to have knowledgeable people behind their booths, which typically means the brewers and key staff are there. The room was lined with breweries along the perimeter, and one row down the center, leaving plenty of room for people to stand, sip and enjoy over 100 Extreme Beers from over 30 different breweries.
Naturally, I lost my tasting list in all the excitement, but here is what I can recreate of my tastings from the list provided on Beer Advocate (alphabetically by brewer and in no particular preference order):
Allagash Brewing Co. (ME): Bi-Curieux- Curieuxaged in barrels for 1.5-years with locally grown hops; 11.0% ABV
Bell’s Brewery (MI): Bell’s Bourbon Barrel-Aged Expedition / Double Cream Blend – A brand spanking new blended American Stout.
Cambridge Brewing Co. (MA): CaCow!- Chocolate Milk Stout brewed with milk sugar (lactose) and locally roasted cacao nibs from Taza Chocolate; 6.0% ABV
Captain Lawrence Brewing Co. (NY): Cuvee de Castleton- American Sour in wood with Muscat grapes added; 8.0% ABV; Golden Delicious- American Tripel in apple brandy barrels; 10.0% ABV; Little Linda’s Lixer- American Sour with cherries; 8.5% ABV
Dark Horse Brewing (MI): Whiskey Richard in Mouth with Kumquat- Belgian-style pale fermented and aged 2-years in bourbon barrels with kumquat fruit; 9% ABV
Dogfish Head Craft Brewery (DE): Up Up Down Down Left Right Left Right BA Select- A collaboration beer brewed by Sam Calagione, Bryan Selders, and the Alström Bros at the original RehobothBeach Dogfish Head brewpub. Brewed with maple syrup, chestnuts, green peppercorns, Korean Corn tea (Oksusu-cha), Fawcett’s Maris Otter base malt, MFP kiln coffee malt, Liberty and Vangaurd hops, and DFH’s Raison D’Etra yeast strain. 8.0% ABV. The name is an ode to The Konami Code (cheat code) on the Nintendo Entertainment System in the 80s; submitted by BA thequeue, the winner of the collaboration naming competition.
Flying Dog Brewery (MD): Whiskey Barrel-Aged Gonzo- Gonzo Imperial Porter aged in whiskey barrels; 9.5% ABV
Foothills Brewing (NC): Pappy Van Winkle Seeing Double IPA- Barrel-aged DIPA; 9.5% ABV; Seeing Double IPA- American Double India Pale Ale; 9.5% ABV; Sexual Chocolate Imperial Stout- Imperial Stout; 9.75% ABV
Founders Brewing Co. (MI): Canadian Breakfast Stout- Maple barrel-aged Chocolate Coffee Stout; 8.3% ABV
Haverhill Brewery / The Tap (MA): Leatherlips- Our famous ridiculously hoppysession-IPA brewed with an incredible amount of Centennial and Chinook hops. Hop heads only; 5.0% ABV; Peruvian Cacao Porter- Robust American Porter brewed with raw organic cacao from Peru and Madagascar Bourbon Vanilla beans for a great dark chocolate flavor; 5.8% ABV; Tangaweizen- Spicy Hefeweizen brewed with real ginger and traditional ginger beer yeasts including a lactobaciilis strain.
Magic Hat Brewing Co. (VT): Bergamot Bitter- English Ordinary Bitter with bergamot added during conditioning, most famously used in Earl Gray tea and in the practice of Calabrian witchcraft; 4.5% ABV; Hibiscus Pomegranate Beer- This crisp, hibiscus ale is brewed with agave nectar, pomegranate juice, and the red petals of the hibiscus flower; 5.0% ABV; Wild Ginger Ale- Real California ginger is added during primary fermentation and then once again after fermentation is complete. In English taverns in the nineteenth century, would put out small containers of ground ginger, for people to sprinkle into their beer (the origin of ginger ale); 5.0% ABV.
Short’s Brewing Co. (MI): Cup-A-Joe Coffee Cream Stout- American Double / Imperial Stout and then some; 7.5% ABV; S’more Stout- American Stout and then some; 6.5% ABV; Peanut Butter & Jelly – a blend of Soft Parade(Fruit Rye Beer; 7.8% ABV) and Uber Goober Oatmeal Stout(6.5% ABV)
Sixpoint Craft Ale (NY): Gorilla Warfare – Coffee infused Porter; 8.5% ABV
Smuttynose Brewing Co. (NH): Oak Aged Hanami- Tart cherry ale aged for 9 months in a Jack Daniels Barrel; 5.4% ABV
Southern Tier Brewing Co. (NY): Choklat- Imperial Stout made using dark and bittersweet Belgian chocolate; 10.0% ABV
The Lost Abbey (CA): Phunky Duck- A single barrel from their Duck Duck Gooze program, which will eventually release Duck Duck Gooze(a blended sour ale with 1, 2 and 3 year old beer) in 2009. Phunky Duck was brewed as the back bone for this blend; 7.0% ABV
Tröegs Brewing Co. (PA): Barrel-aged Mad Elf- Strong Belgian Dark Ale; 11.0% ABV; Scratch Beer #18
Weyerbacher Brewing Co. (PA): Twelve (2007)- Ryewine; 10.2% ABV
Thank goodness for the 2-oz marker on the glass, keeping me from getting any happier than I already was by the end of this event!