Good Beer Festival recap

I was lucky enough to get to spend the day with my wife and brother in law at the Good Beer Festival at Pemberton park yesterday. The weather was incredible and there was a good turn out for a Sunday and by all accounts it was a much better day to be there than the day before. From the sound of it there was a huge turn out on Saturday. Long lines for just about everything. While that is good for the future of the festival, I prefer the smaller crowds.

We got there an hour or so after the gates opened and we greeted with a nice souvenir pint glass. The first thing I noticed was there were fewer breweries than had been advertised. Two big ones missing were Southern Tier and the new local guys Burley Oak (http://burleyoak.com/). Both of which I really wanted to visit. But that's what happens when you go on the second day. Many of the breweries had run out of product. No worries though. For the price there were still more than enough brews to be drank.

Some of the highlights for me were Evolution Craft Brewery's Lot 6 IPA (http://www.evolutioncraftbrewing.com/). Evolution doesn't make bad beer period, but this IPA stood out among the rest to me. These guys are still relatively local but are growing quickly. A nicely run brewery and the owners couldn't be nicer. I wish them all the luck in the world. Also, a beer I have just gotten into recently, Oskar Blues Brewery (http://www.oskarblues.com/)had a delicious Russian Imperial Stout (Ten FIDY). This brew was incredible. And for a stout it didn't sit heavy at all. I could have drank a 6 pack of them easily. I plan to very soon. Like Southern Tier (http://southerntierbrewing.com/), these guys do not make a bad brew. Stone Brewing's Oak Aged Arrogant Bastard (http://www.stonebrew.com/) is something you will have to go out and buy if you can find it. I have been wanting to get into the oak aged beers and their take on it has convinced me that this is something I need to do. Along with the brews there was also some good live music. The local blue grass boys Chester River Runoff (http://chesterriverrunoff.com/) played a great afternoon set. Its not often that good blue grass pays a visit to our little area of the shore. This made me a very happy and buzzed camper. The whole band was good, but the standout to me was the fiddle player. Very impressed.

So that was a brief summary of what I and friends experienced at the 2nd annual Good Beer Festival. I see this festival sticking around and growing more every year. The one thing I felt was missing was a homebrew competition. I have already started the ball rolling on bringing one to the festival next year. its the perfect setting and this area has no shortage of talented homebrewers. One of the standouts is of course The Crooked Oak Brewery. I was lucky enough to hang out with head brewmaster Carl during the festivities. I saw many friends and made some more. So next year I want to see some more of my friends. This is an open invitation to next years festival. You have a place to stay and Atomic Donkey Brewery is located a mere 15 mins from the festival grounds.

On the Atomic Donkey front I will be testing the Late to the Party Pumkin Porter this evening. I should be approaching the end to fermentation but I have kept this brew at a lower than normal temperature (64 degrees) for most of the fermentation. Therefore the yeast may be a bit lethargic. I will let you all know how its coming along. Well, that's it for now from Atomic Donkey Brewing. Pass the word around about the blog if you can. It's much appreciated. Take care of yourselves and everyone else. CHEERS

Historic Pemberton Hall



 Chester River Runoff

That game where you throw a bean bag. Yeah, that one.