Previewing The World Beer Festival In Raleigh
Because I love you, I mean, beer so much, I spent the weekend before my birthday down in Raleigh, NC for the World Beer Festival. This is the same festival the folks at All About Beer magazine are bringing to Brown’s Island in Richmond on June 12th. In its 5thyear in Raleigh, the first thing I noticed about the festival was all the people lined up waiting to get in.
I later learned the 8000 tickets available sold out within two days of going on sale. It was mindboggling to think that it only took 140 volunteers to get the festival ready for the 4000 people per session that would be sampling the almost 15 tons of beer brought in for the day..
There are two main ways of approaching the festival. You can sample beers from the 120 booths in the Beer Gardens or you can have beer brought to you in the Tasting Tours tent. Let me just say if there was a way to plant a beer garden I’d be the first in line to buy the seeds.
Strolling through the garden, I sampled two beers from C2 Imports: Viru’s Estonia Lager and St Martin’s Triple. Both beers were smooth and satisfying.
I had the opportunity to chat with the people from Heavy Seas Brewery. Tasting their Loose Canon, which was put on cask, was an ultimate pleasure. I even learned a secret but I’m keeping that one to myself. I have high hopes to see this Baltimore, MD brewery on Brown’s Island.
Moving on from the gardens, I decided to relax and take a coupel of tasting tours.
Beer 101 – a tour through six beer styles.
- Belgian Ale – Witbier – Allagash White (a personal favorite) was poured as a classic example of the style.
- Hefeweizen – Orginating in Southern Germany, beers of this style are highly carbonated and cloudy due to the presence of wheat grains. Arcobrau’s beer was outstanding.
- Pilsener – A lager typified by the presence of Saaz hops.
- American Pale Ale – Anchor Brewing’s Liberty Ale was hoppy but balanced. India Pale ales began as a way to make beers last on a long sea voyage.
- Bockbeer –Lager with 6.5 – 9% ABV.
- Porter – Duck Rabbit Brewery’s beer was a perfect end to the tour.
6 Exceptional Beers – Rick Lyke, a contributor for 1001 Beers You Must Try Before You Die, guided this tour.
- 21st Amendment – Hell or High Water Wheat – Watermelon added to brew. It is perfect addition to cocktail party or with dessert. Watermelon festival anyone?
- Thomas Creek’s Deep Water Dopplebock started as a homebrew; frothy head with caramel and toffee aromas
- Saison Dupont– This bottle conditioned beer is the most famous beer made by the Dupont brewery.
- Terrapin Rye Pale Ale – An impressive combination of grains and hops make this a wonderful beer.
- Avery’s HogHeaven was an absolutely delicious barley wine with 9.2 % ABV accented by Columbus hops.
- Duck Rabbit – Milk Stout – Tasty end of dinner beer.
Just like that the first session of the festival was over. I was tempted to stay for the second session if only to go to Julie Johnson’s Beer and Chocolate tasting. For now, I will have to hope she will do the tasting in Richmond as well.
There is still time to get your tickets online here. Tickets can be purchased locally at Mekong and Capital Ale House locations.
Silver Dining has been a home chef since the first time his mom asked him to start dinner before she got home. He believes cooking should be fun and draws immense pleasure in seeing the satisfied faces of his guests. Find more inspiration on his personal blog “Chef Tell’s Kitchen.”Stay up to date on Richmond brews and more beer news on his Richmond Beermeister Blog.
Richmond will open the gates of Brown’s Island for its second World Beer Festival on Saturday June 18, 2011 with the proceeds benefiting FETCH a Cure.May 12, 2011
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