So Bailey’s 3rd year of being open was celebrated in fine style, with twenty beers kept in barrels for months finally making a showing. It was crowded but civil, and between myself and the other four people I was with, every beer got a fair shake.
In a fit of…maybe not-so-smartness, I used Twitter to catalog my general thoughts on the beers I was drinking. So if my comments on these beers more pithy than descriptive, you’ll know why.
Before I start though, I want to mention the awesomeness of the tokens used at the event. The picture’s on the left-how cool is that? Old bottlecaps are reusable, colorful, and beer-related. Way, way better than the wooden tokens or paper tickets I usually get at such things.
I started with the Cascade Quadratic. From the feed: reminds me of a sweet tart with dry finish. I liked it-and it was certainly one of the most complex beers of the bunch.
Next, I had the Allagash Curieux: “has a woody flavor that finishes in a bad way for me.” But later I upgraded this beer saying “as it warmed up the woodiness has mellowed. Drinkable.” I wasn’t a huge fan but I did end up seeing the good side of this one.
The third sample I had was Oakshire’s Ill Tempered Gnome. An old ale I said was “pleasantly hopped on front and back with a solid middle.” I remember being surprised by this beer, as it was the first one that presented me with any hop presence that I could discern. That certainly helped it stand out in a field of oak and pinot barrel aged brews.
Fourth up was the 3 Skulls barleywine. I got this in part because I like the name 3 Skulls. My notes say: “good but there is a quirk I can’t place.” I never was able to figure it out and in a rare instance, my friends couldn’t assist me, in most cases just not picking up on what I found strange.
My fifth sample was New Holland’s Dragon’s Milk. After some teasing from my girlfriend, the tweet said this: “New holland dragons milk is smooth tasty and caramel coco w/alc warmth.” I liked it quite a bit.
After this, some surprises were in store. I found Deschutes’ Twilight Pinot to be a “solid pale with a fascinating Pinot influence that spikes near the end. Worthy mixture. ”
Upright’s Six was “a sour beer for the masses. Good and drinkable but not distinctive.” I mean this in the best possible way. Sour beers are very, very difficult for many people to drink and some even ask why bother. This beer could serve as a gateway for some into the style, and for others a chance to try the style without taking a sledgehammer of sour to the tongue. I call it a win.
I also liked Lompoc’s LSD “is my final beer smooth and drinkable but…fuck you I’m drinking.”
So clearly, by then I was done writing even though I liked the LSD a lot.
But it seems like the local boys made good in this event. Lompoc, Deschutes and Upright all made good beers I wrote about. I also had Hopworks’ For Those About To Bock on the recommendation of my girlfriend and thought it was very good, and Cedric dug on Hair of the Dog’s Cherry Adam.
I also heard good things about the Lagunitas Pinot Saison and Jolly Pumpkin Oro de Calabaza but there just wasn’t enough time in the day to try everything personally.
Anyway, Cheers to Geoff and his staff for three great years. Here’s to next year!