Winter Beer Festival 2011

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The Michigan Brewers Guild Winter Beer Festival was excellent just as it is every year. Aaron and crew over at Dark Horse just went crazy and had at least 25 beers on tap. While it took at least four trips through the blacklit stout tunnel to finally sample it, the Sour Plead the 5th was very complex and was in the top five brews on tap that I tried. I think the best brew I sampled was the Bourbon Barrel Stout from Hideout. It was on par with the Plead the 5th Barrel aged from Summer's Festival. Frog Island has been around for a while but I think they are relatively new to the Brewers Guild. They had a number of excellent brews on tap. The two brews that stand out for being one of a kind, unique, and just plain excellent brews, were Lily's Woodbutchers Pale Ale, and Right Brain's Naughty Girl. Woodbutches had the taste of salty peanut shells, not hops, not malt, peanut shells. Just amazing. Nice girl was ok, but Naughty Girl was made with fresh organic mint. This is the first time that I have ever had a chocolate mint stout. This is the one brew I definitely want to try again. A few others that stood out were OG's Bourbon Barrel Ginger Ale, the aging really mellowed the sharp ginger bite. Olde Boys Le Belle Apple came in at 9% ABV but with 20% cider it was sweet and very drinkable. Odd Sides did a Peanut Butter Cup Stout that had the definitive peanut butter character you would expect and a Fig Brewton Ale. Fig Brewton reminded me a Magic Hat #9 style brew, but it was far better than anything I have ever had from Magic Hat. Copper Canyon did a Gingerbread Cookie Ale that I was a little disappointed in, not because it wasn't a great brew, but it seemed to lack much Gingerbread Cookie flavor except at the very end. But the Brewmaster is a cool guy and gave me come good suggestions for making a gingerbread brew.

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This page contains a single entry by Brewmaster published on February 27, 2011 11:48 AM.

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