Great Taste of the Midwest 2012

November 19, 2014 § Leave a comment

It was perfect weather for the Madison Homebrewers and Tasters Guild’s Great Taste of the Midwest, hosting 142 midwestern craft breweries this year at Olin Park. There are a few standards I have to pay homage to, but I always try to find new and interesting beers to fall in love with.  Here is an alphabetical listing of the beer tried and responses.

Ale Asylum Madison, WI
Happy Ending: This is a 7.7% abv, Belgian Abbey Ale.  This is a fine beer, but not as full flavored as I want an Abbey Ale to be.  It’s light-weight and easily drinkable.  I’m still looking for my Ale Asylum beer.

Bell’s Brewery Galesburg, MI
Cherry Stout: I don’t generally like fruit beers, but this one was surprisingly good. The cherry really blended nicely with the stout, making it a compliment, not a competition.
Raspberry Wild One: Yikes, very fruity, almost like a wine cooler.  If you like really light-weight beer that doesn’t taste like beer, this is yours.  Sorry, Bell’s, not my beer.
Black Note Bourbon Barrel Aged Stout: Still awesome.  They tapped the keg at 4:30pm, and you can better believe I was in line. 

Destihl Champaign, IL
Barrel-Aged Cherry Chocolate Imperial Stout: This is dessert in a glass.  Really, it’s like a slice of cherry chocolate cake.  I really wanted to try this beer, since the last time I was at the brewery, I was unable to sample.  This is a special release, which I think they should add to the rotation.  Well done, Destihl!

Founders Brewing Co. Grand Rapids, MI
KBS: Founders is a great brewery. I’ve been to their brew pub in Grand Rapids, it’s a fun place, lots of atmosphere and yummy food. The beer is solid, and a sure bet.

Right Brain Brewery MI
Chipotle Porter: spicy, smokey, solid porter. Found in the Real Ale tent.

Great Taste of the Midwest 2011

August 20, 2011 § 1 Comment

Celebrating 25 years of brewing greatness, the Madison Homebrewers and Tasters Guild hosted 124 midwestern craft breweries this year at Olin Park. As a first-time attendee, I thoroughly enjoyed myself and would recommend this festival to anyone who appreciates or has a curiosity about beer. This is a alphabetical listing of the beer tried and responses.

5 Rabbit Cerveceria Chicago, IL
5 Rabbit: I tried this beer because it sounded really interesting. The brewery concept of mixing historical and modern Latin flavors is intriguing, but I’m afraid it didn’t come through in this beer. I’m looking forward to trying other brews from this brewery.

Bell’s Brewery Galesburg, MI
Black Note Bourbon Barrel Aged Stout: Very good. If you like barrel aged beer, this is a sure thing.
Eccentric Ale 2008: Fantastic! My new favorite beer. It’s a dark, barrel aged beer that is a step above. It takes smooth and depth of flavor to a new level, only brewed for this event.

Blind Tiger Brewery & Restaurant Topeka, KS
Java Porter: Strong coffee flavor that balances well with the porter. A lot of coffee porters have a burnt flavor, not this one. It’s a great combination.
Whiskey Porter: Blind Tiger was going around the festival with backpacks of beer, handing out pours. This was one of them. It’s a delightful, not too dense, barrel aged porter. Definitely worth pursuing.

Blue Heron Brewpub Marshfield, WI
Grapefruit IPA: One of the specialties of the Great Taste is all the experimental beers. So, when I saw a grapefruit beer, it had to be tasted. Now, I’m not an IPA fan. If you like bitter beer, you’ll like this one. The grapefruit flavor came through great, but it was too bitter for me.

Founders Brewing Co. Grand Rapids, MI
Red’s Rye PA: Founders is a great brewery. I’ve been to their brew pub in Grand Rapids, it’s a fun place, lots of atmosphere and yummy food. The beer is solid, and a sure bet. The Red’s Rye PA has a strong rye flavor with a bitter edge. If you like rye, this beer’s for you.

Right Brain Brewery MI
Chipotle Porter: spicy, smokey, solid porter. Found in the Real Ale tent.

More beers to be added…

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