Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Best of the fest: Summing up the Saucer's spring beer festival

Image credit: Flying Saucer Draught Emporium
You'd think that sooner or later, Mother Nature would give BeerFeast a break. It's springtime in Texas, so we expect it to be warm, but one year we get a lake breeze that just about stops you in your tracks, and the next, nothing. Honestly, I'm not sure I've ever seen Lake Ray Hubbard so still. Who turned off the breeze?!

Thank goodness for cold beer, as the Flying Saucer delivered on what mattered most, a plethora of tasty pours. Nothing to review here, been there, done that, and we'll do it again next time it comes around. Someone please just remember to call that brewery with the blue and white logo (and maybe the one up the street, and that one with a big bird on the building, too).

Let's just call this the BeerFeast four:

Pairing beer with food
Seeing as how pretzels are commonly associated with beer, it was just a matter of time before someone included the snack time staple in one of their brews. There Will be Stout by Martin House is dubbed the original pretzel stout, and given its dry roasted character and salty undertones it drinks just about as you'd expect. In sample form it's an intriguing brew, so I'll be curious to see how it evolves over the course of a full pint.

Hands off the hefeweizen
Bring me a hefeweizen with a fruit wedge attached and I very well might throw it at you (the fruit, not the beer). This is the style that got me into craft beer in the first place, so I get a little jumpy when people start horsing around with my hefe. That being said, Franconia did a little dry-hop number with Sterling and Columbus hops I think I'm ok with. It gave their Bavarian-style Wheat a refreshing and subtle citrusy edge that I suppose some might argue can be obtained by ringing out an orange slice over top of their carefully crafted beer. Unfortunately, they're wrong.

Finding a comfort zone
I guess you could say I'm becoming more comfortable with Numb Comfort. My first taste of Deep Ellum's barleywine seemed a little sweet and a little bitter for my taste, but subsequent pours have smoothed out to the point that it might be time to give this one its proper due. I do believe it's working. Good.

Am I delusional?
I by no means consider myself a hophead, but BeerFeast now marks the third time this year that an IPA has turned out to be my festival favorite. This time it's Karbach Hop Delusion, a bright and bitter brew that's properly labeled as dank and resinous. Considering this and that Bourbon Barrel Hellfighter that's been making the rounds, I just have one thing to say. Where were these guys when I lived in Houston?


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