Off to the NAOBF this year! And man, do I still hate jam bands. Fortunately, these festivals are still about the beer and I think it’s fair to say as an overview that there wasn’t much middle ground. Of the beers I had, I either thought; yeah, this is good, or where can I discretely dump this out?
Fortunately, I was joined by my pal Seth (some of his beverages made it into my pictures and the occasional insight into my notes), who kept my temperament even and tilted more towards the ciders and meads, which seemed to be a better deal, overall.
So let’s get to the notes!
Pints Green Line Organic Radler-
Has a soda pop nose; sweet, lime. But the beer is pretty refreshing and doesn’t contain any soda sweetness. There’s a lemony wrap around the malt that keeps everything well in check.
Coin Toss Nine Eyes IPA-
Nose like the pith of a grapefruit and a finish the same way. That isn’t hops, that’s just bitter.
Logdson Farmhouse Kili Wit-
This is a nice , not too sour ale with a very dry finish. The nose is sweetly funky, and it reminds me a little of white wine. Good stuff. I tried this beer because of their efforts at the OBF (Fuz really liked their beer) and it paid off.
Beau MaddAddamites Noo Broo Gruit-
Funkyish nose, like the farmhouse but the beer itself is malt-toasty with a dry finish. It’s complex and I’d like a pint. It’s very drinkable and very, very good.
13 Virtues ORG pale-
This isn’t bad, but it’s so thin that I’m really hard pressed to glean flavors from it. It isn’t making itself memorable at all, which is a bummer.
Loowit Gaiabolica pale-
There was a nice sweetly lemon nose on this one, and the beer itself pushes IPA levels of bitterness on the first impression. But further sips reveal a bitterness that’s actually provided by light body. It’s a beer that walks the pale/IPA line and it doesn’t have the malt presence to keep it balanced.
Pinkus Muller alt
It’s got a bland maltiness and…Seth says, “McMenamins would love to serve this(bland) beer”. I don’t feel the need to finish this.
McMenamins double barrel aged Pavol the collector Baltic porter-
The surprise of the festival, no question. McMens is known for doing unremarkable, bland ales so this was a revelation because it was quite good. The chocolate milk smoothness on the finish was especially welcome. Seth: “It reminds you of dessert without being sweet” and that captures the beer very well. It’s damn good and part of a series of beers they did well at this festival. Seth’s Oaken Tower, also by McMens, is a very nice sour. (The lager, on the other hand was awful. 2 out of 3 isn’t bad though!)
Kells Red ale-
This has that toasted malt scent (a little biscuity?) that I’ve picked up buying supplies for beer. Flavor carries this too. Took me a minute to appreciate it but once I did, I enjoyed it.