We are officially geeks. Only geeks would have t-shirts and business cards made to advertise their beer blog. Our goal was to gain some attention for ourselves. And it worked. Everywhere we went, people were reading our tee's. And whenever we noticed somebody taking notice, we gave them a business card with our web address and blog description. So to any new readers who found their way here because of our t-shirts and business cards, thanks for stopping by and checking us out. And thanks for not making fun of us for being such geeks...or at least waiting until we had our backs turned.
Despite this being the twelfth go around for the Indiana Microbrewers' Festival, this was the first go around for me. And I can say with absolutely no doubt in my mind that this festival is perfect for beer drinkers of all sorts. Whether you are a Hop Head, a Malt Man, or a Better Beer Newbie, this is a great place to be.
For example, I bumped into friend and co-worker Megan, who is easily classified as a Better Beer Newbie. She doesn't like dark beers at all. But she did find that Sea Dog's Blue Paw Wild Blueberry Wheat was exactly to her likening and is now her new favorite beer. Certainly, this violates the Man Law of "No Fruit In Beer", but there is no room for chauvinism in better beer. And we should all be happy for Megan, who would rather drink the Sea Dog brew than a Zima, wine cooler, or Miller Lite. One small sip for Megan, one giant leap for Megan's taste palette.
With easily over 50 brands represented (including the multiples from World Class, Zink, and the like), a Better Beer Newbie has an opportunity at beer festival like these to try multiple brands and styles. And if they are lucky, they'll find a new beer as their favorite beer.
And it is possible for a "geek" to find a new favorite as well. For the past 8 months (ever since my first taste of Hopslam), I have been heavy on the hops. Couldn't get enough of it. But over the past couple of weeks, I've been sliding back into the maltier, darker beers. It probably has a lot to do with my desire to have football season start, which leads to cooler temperatures and warmer beers.
While Mike can't stand Bourbon aged beers, they are my cup of tea. Or mug of beer. Or something. Last week, we reviewed Founder's Kentucky Breakfast Stout, and I said, "I'm reluctant to give this beer a 5 mug rating simply because I have not tried every single beer in the world and there is a chance that there is a better beer out there. But I'm going to do that anyway, because I could not imagine a better beer."
One week later, I found one. Bell's Bourbon Barrel Double Cream Stout/Expedition Stout Blend. Talk about an orgasmic yum. In the words of the ever annoying Rachel Ray: "Yum-o". The caramelly sweetness of this nectar of the gods...I just couldn't say enough about it.
Of course, this is from a 2 ounce sample. Maybe after a full beer, I'd grow tired of it. But at this moment, I can say that I lust after this beer. What is a shame is that I won't likely taste this particular beer again for a long time. It's not on Bell's regular rotation of beers. I'd probably only find it at other festivals like this and, perhaps, at their pub. So I'll be dreaming of that delicious moment for a while.
There were many other new-to-me beers that I enjoyed as well, including New Albaniam's Hoptimus, Schmaltz He'Brew's Lennys RIPA, Founders Space Mountain Brown Ale, and Three Floyd's Dark Lord Russian Stout.
And along with the good beers came the good people. The brewers, bar, restaurant, and liquor store owners, and distributors. The media types from Intake, Nuvo, Good Beer Show, Indianabeer.com, Great Lakes Brewing News. And the numerous general beer fans we met from the Foam Blowers of Indiana to the occasional reader that we ran into. We had a great time and we look forward to seeing you all again next year.