Two weekends ago was my birthday. Okay, that was an excuse to treat myself and go to Boston last week for the Extreme Beer Fest runs by Beer Advocate with my husband. For those of you who started to get beer fever (for the past couple years, craft beer is a hit!), go to www.beeradvocate.com It is like diving into Wikipedia of beer world.
I have been to Brewfest at Fairgrounds before so I thought it would be similar but bigger. Heck NO! What was I thinking? I was blown away! And here is why:
- Thousands of people were lined out the door but everyone was so organized and respectful, yes, associate that with non-stop drinking for 3.5 hours straight!
- Just to pour you beers, they use people from breweries who care and want to educate you, who are proud of their products and have tons of passion to share.
- Brews and beers were incredibly diverse and original. Many were something I have never heard of and from somewhere I have never been. Allow me to blabber more..
IPAs oftentimes are the main feature. The stronger and or more hoppy, the more people rave it sometimes seems. Nope, not here, not at the EBF, there are a variety of beers from a plethora of micro-breweries both local AND abroad. These breweries bring their cool creations and everyone just has a blast time experiencing new tastes.
I think beer like I think food.
First appetizers. Sour beers are IN though not in Syracuse, but there were a lot of Gose and Berliner Weisse. Both are sour wheat German ales. One of the differences would be the saltiness Gose has. I know this may sound a little weird. One thing I am certain is that these will go really well with our lighter Thai dishes such as Tom Yum soup, Lobster & Mango Salad or even Pad Thai and Caramelized Tamarind sauce! Another interesting style on this savory side that would pair similarly is American Wild Ale. They introduce “wild” yeast or bacteria into ales. It could be from treated barrels or sour mash techniques. My favorite was Figaro from Cascade Brewing, Oregon, which is aged in Chardonnay barrels. This is a style I think you will either love or hate. It’s harder to please people with this funky style. Hence it’s harder to make their way up here in this area. I’ll try to request these at Lemon Elephant. It definitely will be fun to make a WILD dinner out of it.
Next course is entrée. I have got Rauchbier for you. Fine, call it “smoked beer”! This was probably our favorite style of the night. So light and refreshing, yet smoky, it is like you are having Kobe on the grill, camping in the woods next to waterfalls! I can drink this all day long. I recommend pairing this with our flash-grilled Kobe with the toasted red bean sauce or steak. And maybe when we do Gai Yang (grilled chicken Thai style) or Northern Thai sausages.
I also love Quad but couldn’t find my favorite at the event. Maybe because I already have my favorite that is hard to beat - St. Bernardus Abt 12. We will talk about quad later then.
Dessert course, thinking of stout? Maybe, maybe not..you name it. Peanut Butter Chocolate Stout by 4 Hands, Maple Orange Imperial Caramel Cream Ale by Due South, Hickory Smoked Barleywine by Trophy that tastes baconie and would be perfect for our Maple Bacon Ice Cream. Or a Euro Strong Lager “Baby Maker” by Jack’s Abby, a sweet creamy bourbon barrel aged wine lager, could pair well with our Apple Bread Pudding. Yet my favorite and to end today's blog is Avery Brewing’s “Tweak”, a 16.03% Imperial Stout with such a refined foamy/creamy coffee, roasty, bitter sweet taste. This to-die-for would pair so well with my favorite dessert Chocolate Pyramid. Yum!
Some of these breweries used to send beers up here but not anymore (Allagash).
Seriously, these beers should be carried up in this area and we need to change this. Of course, I will try my best to get them up here, but we need you all to come check them out and be the real judge.
Hungry now, gotta grab a dish or two from the kitchen. Jealous? Stop by and join us!
See you soon,