Notes from Nanofest

Nanofest, a beer festival spotlighting breweries that operate on 15 or less barrel systems, was last weekend and my friend Noah and I checked it out on Saturday.

I hadn’t been to Nanofest before but I thought it was pretty decently run. There was plenty of shade and water, in addition to free craft rootbeer or ginger beer for people who were driving. It also had a reasonable amount of seating, which was quite welcome because the event took place in the John’s Market parking lot-everyone stood on asphalt the whole time.

The beverages, though…well, the (lightly) edited notes follow.

braggotFire Cirkl-“Dragon’s Blood” braggot-This has a weird nose. Chocolate runs through it but the finish is odd, too. Like chocolate sludge I’d make from chocolate milk mix when I was a kid.

Leikham Brewing-“Grateful Red” red ale-flower nose but the finish is burnt and unpleasant.

Brewed by Gnomes-“Gnome Pale Ale” herbed pale-MEDICINE. No. (I did not finish this taster).

Bridge 99 Brewery-“Rock Crawler Red” red ale-the finish is a bit chalky, the nose more medicinal than malt.

Noah wasn’t having much luck either. Cooper Mountain’s stout and Shattered Oak’s Dopple berry did not meet with his approval. I recommended to him Bent Shovel, because I’ve had their beer before and liked it. He, too liked the pale ale Bent Shovel had on offer.

Conversion-Wee Heavy ale-This was the first beer that Noah and I both got and we agreed: it was a nice malty beer. It didn’t bowl us over but we enjoyed it.

Wolf Tree Brewery-“Camille’s Golden IPA” golden ale-This had a nice and not overwhelming grapefruit nose and followed up with a similar flavor. It was a little dark for a golden ale but for an IPA? We’ll let it slide under.

26136466590_f2a26dfab3_cEthereal Mead-“Happy Troll” melomel-this looked and tasted like pink lemonade. The good kind-slightly tart and refreshing.

Gateway Brewing-“Glendoveer Golden” kolsch-Corn farts in the nose and the flavor of sadness.

Overall I’d have to say that most of the breweries I tried need a little more work. I had avoided breweries like Pono or Bent Shovel because I’d had their beers before and enjoyed them. But it doesn’t seem like many of the other breweries have risen to their level of quality. Fortunately, they’re at the size that allows them time to grow and improve. I look forward to hearing more from them in the future.

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