Examiner: Beer Festival Recap: American Craft Beer FestJune 5, 2012
The largest beer festivals on the east coast, the American Craft Beer Fest attracts some of the best brewers from all over New England and beyond. Over 120 brewers made the trek to Boston's Seaport World Trade Center to have beer lovers sample their wares. Hosted by BeerAdvocate and Harpoon Brewery, the event takes place over two days and opens the door to some of the most interesting brews in production.
So what's brewing? Here are some of my favorites.
Interesting Flavors, Interesting Beers
Rosemary IPA (American-Style IPA, 6% ABV)
Boston Beer Works
Believe it or not, the rosemary and hops work extraordinarily well together. The herb flavor is not overwhelming, and actually serves to mellow the hops quite a bit, making this a pleasant, savory beer that would pair well with garlic-rubbed chicken or a pepper-spiced ribeye.
Perry's Revenge Ale (Scotch Ale, 8.5% ABV)
Cottrell Brewing Co.
With hints of cherries and just a little bit of spice, Perry's Revenge is a fantastic apres dinner beer, especially when paired with some pie or shortcake. With its fairly high ABV, it does have quite the revenge if one partakes a little too much.
Even more interesting than the beer is the story of Oliver Hazard Perry himself, and how he came to be honored by Cottrell.
Harpoon Ginger Wheat (Spiced Beer, 7% ABV)
Harpoon has successfully made the ginger snap for grown-ups. This wheat ale has got ginger and hints of honey, making it the perfect companion for bonfire s'mores. It's on limited release though, and only available in 22 oz. bottles.
Newport Storm Rhode Island Blueberry (Kolsh, 4.6% ABV)
Coastal Extreme Brewing Co.
The blueberry ale has been brewed over and over, but Newport Storm has it down pat. This beer has a very nice aroma of blueberries, but finishes with a delightful cream ale taste, giving the brew an impression of Grandma's berries and cream. Perfection has found its way into the New England berry beer circuit, and its name is Newport Storm.
Viva Habanera (Rye, 6.7% ABV)
Night Shift Brewing
There are no words to describe this beer, except for maybe "wowwie wow wow wow." With just the perfect amount of habanero spice, with one sip this baby will have you by the tastebuds. While it may seem odd to incorporate a chile spice into the brewing process, Night Shift manages to do it without letting the capsaicin take over.
Still, keep some pretzels on hand to cool down.
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