2016 Decatur Beer Festival Wrap Up

A little over a week ago, my husband and I took part in one of our favorite Fall traditions – The Decatur Beer Festival(DBF). Held annually on the Decatur Square in Decatur, Georgia it is the perfect blend of craft beers,  community, and cool weather. It was at this very festival that I had my first beer from Blue Tarp Brewing and fell in love with Creature Comforts’ Tritonia with Cucumber and Lime. If you forget to make a pretzel necklace – the Decatur High School’s booster club sells them. And if you are looking for the best time of year to have a festival – my vote has to be October.

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I highly recommend this event for anyone who wants to taste some of the best beers from Georgia as well as other notable  U.S. breweries. The organizers do a wonderful job of keeping the event small and of showcasing predominately small/independent breweries and I applaud them for that. While there are some large brewery beers on tap at DBF, small/craft is king.

I sampled several hits and a few misses this year; but why waste space with negative words? Overall it was a great day and we were able to enjoy old favorites and add some to our “must-buy” list. Here are some I recommend you try if you see them at your favorite bar, growler shop, or liquor store:

Here are a few pictures I snapped at the festival. I believe that Next to DragonCon, the best t-shirts sightings happen at beer festivals…

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What should be my next beer festival? I’m open to suggestions and we are not afraid to hit the road to get there!

 

 

It’s Fall Already?!

As daily temperatures finally stay below 80 degrees and my stomach begins to crave anything made in a slow cooker, I am able to say it – It is fall. Who cares what date your calendar and the Google Doodle of the Day said that fall began; living in the south it’s not truly fall until you can drive with no a/c on in the car and not get the back-sweats. For me that was last week.

Now you all know that Starbucks has been pushing those freaking Pumpkin Spice Lattes since Labor Day weekend but I have refused all things pumpkin until now.  While people were chomping at the bit to wipe their butts with pumpkin spice toilet paper I was looking forward to pumpkin beers! But before I list the fall brews I am most looking forward to partake of this season, allow me to share with you a few of my favorites from this summer.

L’Amoureuse by Brasserie Trois Dames – This beer can be found year round but the light fruitiness makes it a great warm weather drink. The label is also pretty wonderful. Available in Atlanta from Liberator Distributing


Duet and Hoppy Birthday from Alpine Brewing – I got acquainted with these brews at the Old 320 Beer Festival at Max Lager’s Brewery. They are wonderfully balanced and will appeal to light hops fans (Duet) or true hop heads (Hoppy Birthday).

Tart Ten Sour Dubble Ale – This one by the Victory Brewing Company had me at dubble.

Biere de Garde – Wild Heaven makes this 7.5% glass licking delicacy that is aged in Bordeaux barrels. It was a “special brew” at the Old 320 Beer Festival and I know of no plans to sell it en masse. I shed a tear everyday thinking about it.

And now the cool weather beers I look forward to enjoying this autumn…

The Carrot Conspiracy by Jailbreak Brewing – Ingredients include raisins, roasted carrots, brown sugar and spices. It sounds like carrot cake to me which means I need to at least have a sample of this one. i always fear sickly sweet. Hoping for the best on this one.

Southern Tier’s Pumpking – This is a winner with me every fall. Not too sweet and not to heavy it’s my go-to pumpkin beer.

Southern Tier’s Warlock  – This Imperial Stout is brewed with… you guessed it – pumpkins. It has a slightly bitter bite to start with a smooth finish. A great next step for those who enjoy pumpkin brews and looking for something a little different.

The Maharaja by Avery Brewing – This is not strictly a “fall” beer but this Imperial IPA packs a punch. It’s actually brewed January through July but the powerful flavors are just the thing I like when the weather turns cooler. Sadly the more powerful iteration of this beer,  Bombay Berzerker by Clownshoes Brewing, is no longer in production.

New Holland’s Dragon’s Milk Reserve Coconut Rum Barrel Stout – Yes that is a long name and I’m sure it’s going to be freaking worthy of it. Dragon’s Milk has always been one of my favorites and this year’s special release (out this month) is touted as that awesomeness “on a tropical vacation.” Sign me up!

Ballast Point’s Dead Ringer Octoberfest – There has to be an Octoberfest on the list and what better brewery to get it from than Ballast Point. Their Pineapple Sculpin kicked butt this summer and I look forward to trying this caramel toffee goodness.

What are you looking forward to drinking this fall? This weekend in our fair town of Decatur, Georgia the annual Decatur Beer Festival is happening. Several of my favorite local breweries will be there so look forward to me adding more tasty new beers to my must drink list.

 

The Most Wonderful Time of the Beer – The Decatur Beer Festival

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The Decatur Beer Festival was earlier this month and as usual it did not fail. The beers were magnificent but the organizers also arranged for a flawless fall day to set the mood. A brilliant blue sky and find amber ale go together beautifully.

This continues to be one of my favorite beer festivals for the amount of Georgia Brewers who attend and the small amount of tickets that they sell. There is nothing worse than standing in long lines. You aren’t able to talk to reps about their take on the brews that they offer  and feeling claustrophobic and beer buzzed is never a good combo. If you like to have a bit of breathing room with your beer, be sure to come to this festival next fall.

I flat out refuse to drink pumpkin beers in August or for most of September so I look forward to tasting them here.  I got to try the Harpoon UFO Pumpkin  and I found it flavorful, well balanced with a true pumpkin flavor. Often fall beers taste like someone poured pumpkin extract into a Sam Adams…blech! Congrats Harpoon, you guys got it right. While it can’t hold a candle to my favorite, its pretty freaking tasty.

My favorite of the festival was the Lonerider Tombstone Reserve Oak Aged Rye  Stout. They succeeded in making a malty, chocolatey Bourbon aged drink that does not overload you with the smoke. This was originally released in 2014 but they realized how great it was and did it again.

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Creature Comforts came with  their Tropicalia, but what I am really looking forward to is their Koko Buni Milk Porter with toasted coconut- Yes you read that correctly. How pretty does that sound? They have impressed me in the past with their Cucumber and Lime Tritonia and Bibo pilsner. I’m sure the Koko will not disappoint.

Reformation Brewery’s Cadence makes driving outside of the perimeter (if you aren’t a Georgian and don’t know what that means look here) to visit them not seem so bad. That being said, I think I will still just find them at one of our local beer shops. The color, flavor, and aroma of this beer is makes for a cozy drinking experience.

Service Brewing Company – The only thing better than a good beer is a good beer with a great story. Service Brewing is from Savannah, Georgia and they are owned and operated by veterans. They do great Pale and India Pale Ales but their Teufel Hunden was the winner for me! I will be on the look out for this Savannah beer closer to home.

Florida Beer Company’s  Swamp Ape American Double IPA was another favorite of mine. This was my first time trying beer from the Melbourne Florida brewery and I loved it. A big 10% with big hop flavor.

After so many samples it was time to eat. We finished off the day with too many grit tots, Ahi tuna poke, and chicken and waffles from the Pinewood Tippling Room. I slept well that night my friends. I slept very well.

What are you drinking this fall?

I’d Like to Eat: And Drink These Beers

The top shelf of our fridge. There is no beer in the Nemo sippy cup I swear!

The top shelf of our fridge. There is no beer in the Nemo sippy cup I swear!

 

This summer has been a hot one and what better way to cool off than some yummy summertime brews. This is when we enjoy the crisper and lighter weight beer options with a penchant for pale ales, radlers, pilsners, and my favorite – IPAs. I find that these are great to bring along with you on outdoor adventures where a refreshing beverage will be appreciated  Here is list of a few of our favorites thus far this summer…

Stiegl Radler – A grapefruit based beverage that is very bubbly and crisp. Part juice. Part beer. All good.

Ginger-Lemon Radler – Boulevard Brewing, zesty with a wonderful ginger bite.

Not Your Father’s Root Beer – The name says it all. I think I will try this on vanilla ice cream.

Twain’s Berry Tart  – Visit this Decatur, Georgia based brewery and try this not too sweet balanced treat.

Terrapin Recreation Ale – A summer session ale that packs great flavor that pairs well with anything served at a BBQ. It comes in a can so it is perfect for the pool and beach!

Prince of Pilsen – Three Taverns does it again with this Eurostyle Pilsner. Good intro for craft beer  noobs.

Glimmerglass –  Ommegang consistently delivers and this one is another winner. If you have never tried a Saison/Farmhouse Ale start with this one.

As you can tell from the photo above we have a few beers waiting to be loved in our fridge. Find out what I think about them by following me on Twitter @mpinkelton, or by friending me on the most marvelous beer app around Untappd.

Don’t know a Saison from an IPA? Check out this easy to understand beer term glossary from craftbeer.com.

Let me know what beers you are loving this summer!