Boulder City Beer Fest

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Beer festivals are just fabulous events. So far in my experience they are not rowdy, raucous melees. Boulder City’s 2nd annual festival had good weather (aside from some wind, but if you’re from Kingman it was normal) in a good location.

The wife and I enjoyed the casual afternoon wandering from tent to tent. There were some great offerings. We started at Firestone Walker and had a decent pale ale. Then we wandered to Oskar Blues, enjoyed some Old Chub, and then hit the nest tent, a new Vegas local. Banger Brewing had about half a dozen offerings. I tried their jalapeño hefeweizen. It was nicely done if mild.

College Street Brewhouse was nearby. They’re from Lake Havasu, which is close to home. I tried the Sweet Devil nitro stout and it was outstanding. My wife tried their Brother Dewey’s Date Night, made with real dates. They also talked my wife into trying their flagship brew, Big Blue Van. Good call, College Street. She loved it. And I love it when she loves a beer.

We also hit the Indian Wells tent, Stone’s, Gordon Biersch, and several others. I think my favorite of the day was College Street, though. Well, maybe not ….

Kingman’s own Black Bridge Brewery was pouring at festival. And while I sample their brews regularly, I found myself visiting their tent a few times anyway. They were pouring Evil Red, Wicked Poison and Scorched Earth, which is a superbly done pepper beer. It’s hot without being uncomfortable and the beer still shines through.

I hope there will be a third annual beer Fest in Boulder City. Until then, I look to Flagstaff and the Made In The Shade festival
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These Are the Beers I Came For

It was Friday. Beer night. There was only one destination. And this time there were two beers on tap that I’ve been waiting to drink.

Train smoke

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It’s on the left, the remains, at least. It’s a smoked porter. No aroma that I could detect, which did not bother me. I seek not the hops. It was acrid and dry – but not enuff smoke for my palate. It was there but not as prominent. Almost … Milky. Weird.

It’s a wookie of a beer, chewy.

Love the dry aftertaste.

Caramel as it warms. Grows on you like, well, a growing thing.

Scorched Earth
Nicely, nicely done.
Brut and jalapeño
Pepper beers can be difficult. This is just right. Needles on the lips heat in the gullet.
Give me more.

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The Session #68 – Strange, New, Unusual, Different Beers

The theme: Novelty Beers
99 Pours gives us this theme:  “With the onslaught of even weirder beards…erm…beers…than before, I can’t help but wonder if novelty beers are going too far. Or maybe not far enough? LOL! As a merchant of beer, I can see the place for novelty beers, as I am choosing for some customers who say, “I want the strangest beer you have.”

So, novelty.  I had to tell myself what this was.  What follows is the odd debate/investigation/whatever that went on in my head regarding this subject.  Novelty is “something that is novel.” And not the literary kind. No, novel is a thing that is “strikingly new, unusual, or different.”  In the announcement above there is also the added qualifier “strange.”

Thus, I am presented with discussing beers that are strange, new, unusual, different.  It’s the “strange” connotation that is troubling me.  I suppose the argument could be made that if something is strange it is strikingly different.  But strange isn’t necessarily strikingly new.  New and unusual is usually innovative, imagination-capturing, cool, the first time you fall in love, iPads, lightsabers.  Different can be good or bad.  But strange throws me off.  It’s like there should be a distinction here between a thing that is new and a thing that is strange.  Strange, for me, wants to be a thing that is just, well, not right.

Then there is the temporal aspect that the word novelty engenders.  It almost imbues an object with a transitory existence.  Or, at least, a short life that ends in dusty nostalgia – you know, that “novel” coffee mug that is taking up space in your cabinet.

Within those boundaries I must fit beer.  A new and unusual beer, for me, was wit beers.  They were brilliant, cloudy, spicy things.  Yet, they are anything but transitory.  They are different, but not strange.  Same with lambics, which were my first thoughts for novelty beers.  Sour, fruity … weird.  Yeah, maybe those are the beers that fit here.  They are unusual.  Even avid beer lovers will sometimes shy away from these face-curdlers.  Or some may turn up their nose because of the fruity nature.  But they intrigue me and many others.  Raspberry and cherry and other stuff.  I don’t like fruit in my beer,  but it seems so appropriate in a lambic.  Truly, I have only had a couple of easily imported or domestic made lambics.  Not the real things.  They are unusual, I want more.  Are they strange?

One beer style that stretches for a place on the strange list is chili beers.  I had a Crazy Ed’s Chili beer once, long ago.  There was an actual chili in the bottle.  It was the most horrid thing I’ve ever had.  It was, without doubt, strange.  I didn’t want to give up on them, though.  I tried Ring of Fire from Dragonmead Brewery.  It was like drinking a bowl of nachos.  That’s weird.  It was a good beer.  But definitely … different.  I might drink it again.  I love peppers, but apparently not in my beer.

At times, I think the brewing scene on the west coast of the US is all novelty, what with the idiotic amount of hops brewers will put into any style.  Ridiculous.  Does all this cover “novelty?” I just don’t know.  My experience is limited.   Other, better, brewers and bloggers will be weighing in on this subject.  Look to them for guidance!