At the Belmont Station this week is Puckerfest, a celebration of sour beers, with rotating samples from brewers all around. At Fuz’s behest, I went; he had specifically recommended New Belgium La Folie, saying it echoed The Dutchesse but alas there was none left when I arrived.
I started with Cascade’s Flanders Red. With a nose of rotting grapes at the end of summer coupled with balsamic vinegar, I was less than hopeful. Still, the Dutchesse is a Flanders Red, so I sallied forth. However, this beer tasted like vinegar, its sourness so entrenched that no other flavors could be detected. I drank it swiftly, my tongue refusing to keep it in my mouth for long. Boil this beer down to make a salad dressing out of it and it’ll be excellent.
I noticed a customer getting a glass boot full of beer, and shortly thereafter noted that some of the beers offered at the cafe came in ‘boot’ size; two liters of certain selections. Another table was so impressed by the boot, that they ordered one for themselves…and started chugging the contents. Chanting the phrase “Das boot!” as one or another of the men pounded the beer (the women were willing to cheer on, but not drink like that) their jovial fraternity air could be heard throughout the Belmont. Some things do not change. You can be paying twenty bucks for your beer, and there will still be drinking contests. Why, I do not know; I’ve never had any trouble getting drunk myself, but perhaps there is a contingent of people who do.
I did, however, chuckle at their insistence on chanting the German word for ‘boat’. I suppose once you start something stupid, you might as well go to the hilt.
Shaking my head and ordered New Belgium’s Lips of Faith, a peach ale. I did this on purpose, after the discussion about tarts a few days ago. This beer was delicious, tasting like a peach cider. A touch of dryness at the end not quite as sharp as a cider, but still reminescent of one, and really drinkable. Oddly, this beer wasn’t quite refreshing enough to be a great summer beer but it was tasty enough to be a solid anytime beer.
A little unsure what to get next, I asked the bartender for a recomendation. His favorites: the Cascade and Double Mountain’s Devils Kriek, a cherry beer. This was like getting a music recommendation from someone who told me they really love reggae. Reggae is for some people, but it is not for me. I reluctantly ordered the Kriek, because why not? I’m there to try beers, right? Let’s try. The nose wasn’t as strong, and this was an indicator for the beer at large, as it turned out. The flavors were nondescript, and if I hadn’t read that cherries were used in the beer, I wouldn’t have picked that up at all.
At this point my stomach was protesting at the beers I’d been subjecting it to, so I decided to call it a night. Sour ales are challenging to more than my palate it seems.