Michigan’s state motto is “If you seek a pleasant peninsula, look about you.” I would like to suggest that, for the Summer Beer Fest, we tell others “If you seek a laid back, hang loose, how I envision America was pre-Ronald Reagan kinda place, look about you.”
That was some fun. My friends and I literally had sweat dripping off of our faces and (almost!) into our beers. We had sweat in our eyes. The ground was so squishy that my Birkenstocks almost came off a couple of times. Around 6:30, it rained so hard that even as we huddled under the CBiM tent, we still got wet. I stood under that tent and watched the Bells flag bend over and hit the top of the tent it was attached to. The tornado sirens went off. At some point I said, “If I’m-a gonna die, I’m dying with Beer Todd’s beer in my glass.” Then I turned to my friends, told them that I’d had a great life and loved them very much, kicked off my shoes and dashed into the craziness. The sirens stopped and we started playing in the rain. People were slip’n’sliding, splashing, running around. We got kicked out of the Shorts tent and then went back and played some more. The rain stopped, the temperatures dropped, drinking continued. We went for a “swim” in the deep puddles that had formed and some of my friends decided to mud wrestle. We were still covered in sweat from earlier in the day, soaking wet from the rain and more than a little tipsy, but it was a time. It was, as I said earlier, some fun.
Jeff & I (and many of our pals) got into the festival an hour early. We are Enthusiast members and therefore entitled to get into the festivals an hour before they open to the public. Several brewers were not ready yet, but we quickly sniffed out the ones that were. I started with Walldorff’s Cobain’s Ale Dark IPA. Nice way to start. (I hear the beer is named after the brewer’s dog, not Kurt. But I don’t know if the dog was named after Kurt or not. Either way–I don’t mean to be disrespectful to a great artist–but I don’t think Kurt was drinkin’ much homebrew in his day. Then again, my man grew up in Washington state, so who knows?) Because I was already having a “dark” beer, my next stop was Short’s Black Licorice Lager. Absolutely fabulous–not a lot of anise, but enough to get that “licorice” taste. I am not normally a huge fan of lagers, but I wouldn’t kick this one out of bed for eating crackers.
Things start to blur into a sweat-beer-rain haze after that, so I can’t tell you what order I drank what. But here are the standouts:
Arcadia‘s B.Craft Double Black IPA. I do love me some IPA.
Dragonmead‘s Sin Eater Dark Strong Belgian. This was a true find for me. I had wanted to get something else, but it wasn’t on tap yet. One of my friends had described this as Final Absolution’s big brother and he was right.
Olde Peninsula‘s Stout Chocula. Mmmmm! The Count would be pleased.
Frog Island‘s Ypsi Citizen’s Chocolate Porter. I was glad to see them there! Nice beer.
Sherwood‘s Daily Grind Kona Porter. I loved this beer for its yummy coffee taste and its perfect coffee smell. It honestly smelled like my morning cuppa joe.
ABC‘s Buzzsaw IPA. This was served to me by the brewer himself which is beyond cool. Excellent nose, excellent hoppy flavor. All around perfect IPA.
Copper Canyon‘s Ginger Kids Revenge Imperial Red. I’ve liked everything I’ve ever had from Beer Todd. Really, I have. But I loved this beer. Everything a red should be.
Jolly Pumpkin‘s La Roja de Kriek. Another find. Jeff had it first and let me try it. I promptly went back for my own taste. It’s their La Roja–pretty awesome on its own–with a touch of cherries. Mmmm!
Keweenaw‘s Widowmaker Black. A commenter on another post suggested this beer, so I made sure I tried it. Nice black ale.
Old Boys‘ Dogtail IPA. How can you not love a brewery with a doggie theme?? They were even selling doggie biscuits, which I brought home to my furry, four legged son. Oh yeah, and the IPA was great too 🙂
As I said more than once–that was some fun, friends! It was like Christmas and New Years and my birthday all rolled into one. The only let down is knowing that it is over until next year. On the semi-bright side though, only 215 more days til the Winter Beer Fest!