Sunday, April 17, 2011

Taming of the Brew Recap

Here is my late recap of The Taming of the Brew- a fundraiser for the Bloomsburg Theatre Ensemble. This is the eighth year for the TotB, of which I have gone to four of them. Crowd wise, this was the best feet yet, although that may be due to the raise in ticket price- I heard dumped of tickets left over, which hadn't happened in previous years.

On to the beer. Nice new entries, thanks to Breaker Brewing and Purple Healer coming to the TotB for the first time. Breaker is out of Wilkes Barre, and has caused a bit of a ruckus lately with their expansion plans- they are converting an old catholic church into their brewing facility/brewpub. I tried all of their offerings, my favorite being the IPA that they brought along. Purple Healer is a nano brewery that is just starting up in Bloomsburg. Brewer Larry DeGreen has hopes to complete his paperwork in the next month. He provided a very good dopplebock, and I chatted with him about his Czech Pislner. Yes, Fuggled, he does a triple decoction. Hopefully, his paperwork goes through soon and we can sample some of that.

The award for best beer went to Otto's Apricot Wheat, a fruity sweet, light, refreshing beer. It wasn't too over the top, but right in line with a good wheat base, complimented by the sweetness from the apricot. The Best Food award went to The Eagles Mere Inn, although I am not sure what. They had, they typically provide very good food at TotB and at the restaurant (my wife and I have stayed there, and it is awesome). The Best in Show award went to Purple Healer. Although there may be some hometown bias, the beer was delicious, so you cannot argue with that.

Other things to note are that Marley's Brewpub and Turkey Hill (whose beer, like Breaker, is not quite available to the public) were both represented well. I thoroughly enjoyed the offerings from Turkey Hill, I thought the Golden Ale was simple yet exactly what I would want, while Marley's had a Hefeweizen and (I believe) scottish ale. I tried the Hefeweizen, thought it was good, but I do not trust myself on quality in Hefes. I'll get to the brewpub and try what I was hoping they would have- the Kolsch.

The person pouring from Weyerbacher might have had the best line up. Merry Monks, Double Simcoe and Verbotten were being poured out of bottles. I could have take. That table home with me. As an added treat, he opened a bottle of Tiny (apparently from his personal stash) and shared it. I truly believe it might be one of the best Belgian Imperial Stouts out there.

Overall, it was a good time, a bit pricey, but the beer and food were worth it.

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