(photos stolen from Kelly's facebook)
Last Saturday, August 14 was one of the greatest beer dates in the country. What, you weren't one of the (roughly) 5,000 people there?
This year was pretty great. Normally I park at Ale Asylum and take a bus to the festival, but this year we were near Middleton, so we went to Capital. We got off the bus and walked up towards the line. Jacob didn't have a ticket, so he was kind of worried about what he'd have to pay for the ticket (especially after his Philadelphia incident). Luckily he got his ticket for $40 (face value), which made Kelly a bit upset since she paid a traveling fee of $10 for hers. We got our programs and moved up to the end of the line. Which wasn't too far from the entrance to the fest.
This year the glasses were little mugs with a handle, which was convenient. I didn't mind the previous year's glasses, but the mug was nice. You may not have gotten more beer, but the glass was neat.
Our first stop, once we got in, was at the Three Floyds booth. Roo Goop was a rye wine they put on tap at 1, so we hustled over to get a glass. Being a rye, it held the hops flavors well. It was almost IPA-ish, but had a peppery flavor that comes with rye's.
We then worked our way over to O'Fallon's booth because according to the schedule, they were going to be offering bourbon barrel smoked porter at 1:30. We got there at 1:30 and they were out of it. This puzzled me, so I asked and they said there was a misprint on the program, and we should check their board for serving times. So, I rinsed my glass and cleansed my palate with Wheach. I followed that up with their oak aged wee heavy. It was good, but it wasn't barrel aged smoke porter.
I had most of the day planned out, to be in line for special pours, and got to most of them. I was at Founders for Canadian Breakfast Stout, which I've had before, but it was there, so I got it. The beer I was most looking forward to was Goose Island Bourbon County Stout Brand Vanilla Bean. Sadly, that wasn't my favorite beer of the day. My expectations weren't met. Others really enjoyed it, but I guess I wanted more vanilla flavor. It was good, but it wasn't what I hoped... I probably wanted it to be vanilla bean Dark Lord, but it wasn't.
My favorite beer on the day came from a brewery I've never heard of, Old Hat Brewery. They had a peanut butter stout (or porter) that was awesome. My next favorite was probably Flossmoor Station's Collaborative Evil. It seems Collaborative Evil will be on sale in mid-September, watch their blog to find out when. This years is a baltic porter. It was excellent, Jacob and I were the first two to get the pours.
What else did I have that day...
I had some ciders, I had some meads. One of the great things about this festival, is there are no tickets for beers. If you could do it, you could have a taste of everything there. Instead of getting 10 or 20 tickets for your money, you get a bottomless glass. Another great thing, is if you are walking to get to a specific brewery for a tapping, if your glass is empty, you can just turn into the nearest tent and have something that you didn't plan on having.
After about 3 or 4 hours of drinking samples of beer, I was pretty trashed, tired, and ready to leave. So we got on the bus and headed back to Capital. I had to work at Radio Maria later that night, so we had to go. I then fell asleep in the car, and woke up at the halfway point of Mendota, Il. I was still tipsy after getting to work at 10:30, and wasn't fully clear until about 1:30.
Sunday, I went into Radio for a beer before softball, and Jacob informed me that I was tipsy because someone bought us a beer at Capital, and it was the Eisphyre, and I downed it in a couple of chugs.
The lights were off for a while.