One of my favorite homebrewing events is the Rat Pad Fest at the Corner Brewery. In a nutshell, various members of various homebrew groups use the Corner’s brewing system to brew their creations–anything from Hawaiian pizza beer to plum beer to chocolate chipolte beer. Then, on one magical day, we all gather to drink these creations. And it is Good.
So this past Saturday, we gathered at the Corner and drank beer and it was Good. Beers arrived from five different homebrewing groups: Brighton Brew Club, Ann Arbor Brewers Guild, Maize & Brew, Sons of Liberty, and Motor City Mashers. Here are my personal favorites from each:
1) Sons of Liberty: Far and away, my favorite beer was the Arr-PA. First, it was fun to say! And next, it was a yummy dry hopped beer with chamomile. Now I must confess that when I heard “chamomile” I thought, “Ew.” I am not now and have never been a fan of tea. I worried that it would taste like, well, tea. But it didn’t! It was hoppy with a nice, smooth finish. I also liked their Black Hops, which was a black beer with lots of hops, as the name implies. It wasn’t a heavy black beer, and was nice and crisp.
2) Motor City Mashers: I somehow didn’t make it to the mashers table until later, and I was sorry that I waited. I liked all of their offerings, but was really fond of their bourbon beer (I’m sorry that I neglected to get its full name). I was so, so sad to hear of the misplacing of the Jewish Rye beer but shit happens…hopefully, the beer will get made again for the next fest.
3) Maize & Brew: The Stinger, baby! Far and away my favorite was their stinger beer, which was a trippel and really did sting my ass. Especially since I had about four tastes of it.
4) Brighton Brew Club: Again, I enjoyed all of their offerings but man, that chocolate chipolte stout was killer. Spicy and not too chocolatey…it was delicious and filling.
5) Ann Arbor Brewers’ Guild. Okay, I’m biased here, as I am a member of this lovely group! And I helped on the pffeffernusse beer (several dozen pffeffernusse cookies were put into the mash), so I gotta give props to that beer. It tastes like…a cookie! The cookies (which I had never heard of prior to the brewing) featured spices like anise, cloves and nutmeg. You get a nice subtle taste of those spices, but nothing overpowering. I also loved the Hawaiian pizza beer! I was a touch skeptical, but it was terrific…smoky with tastes of oregano.
I heard that they want to do this event up even bigger next time and I say, bring it. In this case, too much is never enough!