Blues & Brews is the party of the Summer for Northeast Ohio Craft Beer fans. Check out my preview of what beers you shouldn’t miss, including some you’ve probably never tried before. I’ll see you at the festival!
On a rainy Saturday afternoon in March, many of the people responsible for moving things forward assembled at the Sachsenheim Hall for the 5th Annual Winter Warmer Festival. There was no shortage of the latest, newest, freshest offerings from many of the top Ohio breweries. Here’s how the 10 (at the very least) “new-to-me” beers poured that rainy afternoon, in no real order
Barleywine is truly the ale of kings and several samples can make one feel rich, not just from the hefty alcohol content but from the artistry each sip represents. This was definitely the case with the Winking Lizard’s 2nd Annual Barleywine Festival, as a group of fortunate craft beer lovers were given the chance to witness all that is the mighty barleywine.
The Buckeye Beer Engine hosted the third annual Wood-aged beer tasting on Saturday, January 29th. I was fortunate enough to sample a few extraordinary beers that I need to spotlight, but there was a great selection including several rare bottles that one could order samples from. After all the sampling was complete, here are the beers that stood out.
Scratch series #37-#40 are all American IPA’s. They’re all similar from a malt bill’s perspective, so the primary difference between all these beers is in all the different hop varieties that they use. This always makes for a fun beer tasting experience! Here’s how the beers stacked up:
Part of the reason I love Blackout Stout so much is that each year a batch of this luxurious liquid makes its way into bourbon barrels, where it resets for months and soaks in fantastic wood, bourbon and vanilla flavors. The result is an amazing beer that’s released once a year with a celebratory party followed by a “public on-sale” at the Great Lakes Gift shop.
Normally things don’t work out well when a monster invades a city. But on Saturday October 23rd, Brewzilla attacked the beer lovers of Cleveland with a wonderful event that featured over 80 breweries and hundreds of kinds of beer. No, he didn’t come out of Lake Erie. Instead, Brewzilla assaulted us in the form of an overabundance of ale and lager.
The first year had some great hoppy beers, but the 2010 Fat Heads Celebration of the Hop Festival was simply one of the best hop harvest festivals ever, worthy of Silenus, the god of beer, himself! Hops in particular are normally picked in late August or September, and only at that time can “harvest” ales be brewed. October is clearly the best time of the year to be a hophead, so why not throw a party?
Fifteen, count them, fifteen beers paired with Beer Engine Chef Greg Tushar’s innovative, beer-friendly dishes. The food and beer would be served in five flights, each with a theme and each with a story courtesy of Adam Avery himself. The sold-out crowd of explorers gathered and made our way to the Engine Room to begin what was sure to be an epic night of great beer, great stories and wonderful food!