Wednesday, April 11, 2007

Spring Beer & Wine Festival 2007

Spring Beer & Wine Festival 2007

On Saturday, we dropped by the Spring Beer & Wine Festival over at the Convention Center. This has always been one of my favorite beery events; it's indoors, it's always held the weekend of Easter, the selection's usually pretty good, and you're more likely to encounter the actual brewers than at most events of this kind. Beerwise, this year wasn't the best SBWF ever, but we had a good time as always.

Spring Beer & Wine Festival 2007

Some impressions:
  • A lot of breweries brought their usual fare you can find at the grocery store. Which is not why we go to these things. We generally tried to avoid beers we could get elsewhere, even beers we otherwise enjoy.

  • I didn't do any detailed tasting notes this time around. I had the Blackberry along and everything, but it just sort of felt like that would take me beyond mere dork territory into full-bore twitdom. Yes, do I realize I've done precisely that at least once before. But maybe I'm starting to develop social skills or something. I'm not sure.

  • I'm kind of surprised the local beerblogosphere (and there's got to be a better word than that ) hasn't had much to say about it. So far I've run across just two mentions of the festival, and the first is by someone who wasn't able to go.

  • My overall favorite of the festival was the Bitter Bitch IPA (128 IBU, 9% ABV), from Astoria Brewing out in (you guessed it) Astoria. Mmmmm.... I was far from alone in this. I got there early and tried it before the huge line formed. Later when we walked by, the line was starting to interfere with the cooking demo stage. If you were stuck in that line, don't blame me. I told nobody. Ok, I let my wife try it. And I ran across a couple of coworkers late in the day and I told them, but the line was already in full swing at that point. The line was someone else's fault, basically is what I'm getting at here.

  • I always run into coworkers at these things. I can never decide whether that's a good thing or not.

  • The one line we did get stuck in was the line to get in. Seems that word got out about free admission before 2pm. So we were in line for maybe 10 minutes, and right behind us there were a couple of guys who were there to party. One spent most of the wait telling the other all about the totally awesome lap dance he had the other night. Guys: This sort of thing falls firmly into the Too Much Sharing Department. Thanks.

  • While I'm your classic Northwest IPA dork, my wife's more of a red fan. Hairsplitting arguments about whether "red" is a legitimate beer style would be unwelcome in her presence. Her favorite was Red Zone, from Hazel Dell Brewing up in the 'Couve. Full Sail's seasonal red was a close second. She's usually not a big Full Sail fan, so this was kind of a surprise. She didn't like the red from Pelican quite so much, which was even more of a surprise.

  • We both liked the imperial brown from Walking Man, which they brewed up specially for the festival, bless their beery little hearts. They always give their beers funny names that have something to do with walking, or feet, stuff like that. So they named the brown "Foot Fetish". (giggle) Which still isn't quite as funny as the "Streetwalker Malt Liquor" they did a while back.

  • On a lark, I tried the Huckleberry-n-Honey beer from Lang Creek, a small Montana brewery I'd never heard of before. Way better than I expected. Even my wife liked it, and she usually considers fruit in beer an abomination.

  • One nice thing is that although kids were allowed before 7pm this year, there weren't very many of 'em. Mostly babies in strollers, and that I can understand. If you have a baby in a stroller, you probably need a beer. Why else would they make strollers with cupholders? It all makes perfect sense, really.

  • Lompoc's EZ Taxation ale was really tasty as well. Which reminds me of something important I still need to attend to.... Hey, there's still a few days left, what's the big rush?

  • I was puzzled at first by how many people were walking around munching on bags of Beer Chips, when there was real food to be had just steps away. Then I saw the booth, which was run by a couple of bubbly young women in extremely tight tops. We men really are the simplest of creatures, aren't we?

  • The food's never exactly gourmet at these things. But there were ribs to be had, therefore I was a happy camper. Please note previous comment about being among the simplest of creatures.

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