Tuesday, November 17, 2009

The Bistro Wood Barrel Aged Beer Festival...need I say more?

65 barrel aged beers under 1 roof + $40 tasting glass plus 10 tasting tickets + Easy Bart transportation = 3 happy barrel aged drinking fools.
We didn't get to try all 65, but you got to pick your best choices; especially since some beers weren't that rare and you can get them at home. BUT there were a ton of barrel aged beers that they don't even bottle and that you got to enjoy.
The highlights of the day were in my order of top favorites:

1-Avery Voltron 9% (the last keg of it!) (another sour, a little darker than the Vogelbekdieren, aged in 2 Chardonnay, 2 Port and 1 Cabernet barrels)

2--Fifty Fifty Brewing :Concentrated Evil on 'Jack' 10%, (Belgian strong dark ale made with raisins, exotic sugars and aged in Jack Daniel Barrels)

3-Lagunitas: Cruisin' with the Ruben & the Bretts on Cherries 13% (Imperial stout with cocoa nibs, brettanomyces, Sonoma county cherries aged in Heaven's Hill Bourbon barrels)

4- Lagunitas: Imperial Stout w/Brett &  Raspberries13% (Imperial Stout aged in Heaven's Hill Bourbon barrels, with raspberries)

5-Moylans: Wet Hopsickle 2009 9.2% (fresh organic wet picked hops brewed into an Imperial XXXIPA, aged in Girard Chardonnay Medium Toast French Oak barrels)

6-Avery: Vogelbekdieren 10.5% (which is a sour beer aged in Opus One Cabernet Sauvignon, Ferrari-Carrano Chardonnay and Eagle Rare Whiskey barrels)

7-Glacier Brewhouse: Big Woody Barelywine 9%,    ( Barleywine aged 10 months in Jim Beam barrels)

8-Glacier Brewhouse: Ukrainian Imperial Stout 9.7% ( Stout aged in Ukranian Oak, a style originally brewed for Catherine II, the Empress of Russian over 200 years ago) Yeah Ladies!

9-Stone- Old Guardian Barleywine Ale  11.2% (2008 Guardian BarleyWine aged in a mix of Central Coast Winery of Cabernet and Merlot barrels)

10-Bear Republic : Blackberry Grizz 11% (super sour aged in a neutral barrel and 1lb per gallon of free range, sustainable organic Sonoma blackberries)

Not that there weren't others that were really good as well, there are just too many to name.
But there were a few dogs too:
1-Drakes- Geroge Brett Triple (sour aged in Pinor Noir barrels) Tasted like solvent.
2-Marin- Grand Funk (2006 Star Brew wheat wine aged in a 15 year old Chardonnay barrel with Brettanomyces) Tasted like funky apples mixed with solvent.
3- Valley Brewing- Cuvee De Evil (Belgian Style strong Golden brewed with Organic Pomegranate Honey) this sounds better than it is, although my compadres enjoyed this beer. It tasted like Mead, which is made from honey, but I am not a fan of mead and after tasting all of these barrel aged beers and then tasting that- it just wasn't a good mix for me. It's not a bad beer or a beer that's gone bad, it's just not my style.

All in all, a good time was had. Looks like this festival will become a yearly pilgrimage to the exotic land of Hayward each year.

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