PIB Interim Report

No time to do a full review on the beers I tried last night, but here's a thumbs-up/thumbs-down quickie in case you're still heading to the Fest. Most of the beers were in that middle category of average to excellent. Below are the sublime and disappointing.

Thumbs Up (Don't Miss These)
  • Coniston Pale Ale. Amazing how much flavor you can get from so few ingredients.
  • iQhilika African Birds Eye Chili Mead. In your mouth it's a sweet sensation (though quite dry for a mead) but going down the hatch, it heats up mightily. Strange sensation.
  • Rodenbach Grand Cru. Amazing as I remember. One of the best beers in the world.
  • Oudbeitje (Strawberry Lambic). This was wild stuff. Sally said, "It smells like our compost!" (It did.) It was sour, only very faintly strawberry-y, and had a rank, musky quality. I couldn't put it down.
Thumbs Down (Don't Bother)
  • JW Lees Legavulin. I missed that it had only 25 IBUs--WAY oversweet and not a hint of the Scotch cask. An expensive dud.
  • Bink Bloesem. For such a big beer, surprisingly little taste. Not horrible, but not worth a pour.
Best value: Flyer's Sick Duck. One token, and it appears to be leavened with a half-ounce of rum. Hoo boy.

Bait and switch: the printed pour prices are not the actual pour prices, so buyer beware. (You won't be surprised to learn that they are inevitably more expensive than listed in the guide.)

Further reax by the BS brew collective at Champagne of Blogs.