Tuesday, June 17, 2014

5th Annual Boulder Sourfest hosted by Avery Brewing

It's been two years since I last attend the Boulder Sourfest at Avery Brewing. The tickets for this event has been solely sold online for two years now and it's a rush of people jamming on their computers trying to get into the system. A friend generously sold me one of his tickets.

Saturday June 7, I descended to Avery Brewing's taproom in Boulder and was greeted with a long line. I happen to be in line with Stefan Beck, beer director at The Kitchen in Boulder.  It didn't take too long waiting before the line started to move, the excitement of what's ahead was palpable.

We went through a gauntlet showing ID and our tickets then a wristband was affixed to the wrist, handed 16 taster tickets, and a commemorative Belgian beer glass.

I had all ready decided what beer I wanted to drink first, Manhattan NW from Cascade Brewing in Oregon. I thought that hardly anyone would know Cascade Brewing since it's not distributed in Colorado, boy was I ever wrong!  It had the longest lines in the whole fest! It was worth the wait, Manhattan NW is a nice sour quad at 11.5% ABV that was barrel-aged for 12 months with 150 pounds of cherries!  Their Pumpkin Smash, a strong blond at 12.25%ABV was another one of their beers I tried and there was a strong flavors of the pie spices in the beer. It was barrel-aged for 20 months with roasted pumpkins. If this beer was bottled, it would be a good candidate for cellar aging.

Pumpkin Smash from Cascade Brewing.
Long line to taste Cascade Brewing's sour ales. 

I met up with friends, Mitch, Max, Brad, and Steve to name a few. I also bumped into a few people in the business, Ali Benetka from Renegade Brewing, Kyle Krebsbach from Crooked Stave Artisan Project, Abby and Steve, bartenders at Gravity Brewing and John Feyman owner of Backcountry Pizza.

I tried a few other sour ales that didn't impress me much either they were flat with no depth of flavors or they were too sour for me so I won't name names.

Ali Benetka and Mitch Smith.
At this point in time it was a good break on my stomach to eat some real food, not the Tumms that were placed all over the fest.  Avery Brewing has a partnership with a catering company across the alley that serves food at the taproom, Savory Cuisines so with the other company, Front Range Catering, they served hot food in a separate tent out front of the taproom. I had a soft taco that went well with the beer I was drinking.

The next brewery that I tried their sours was AC Golden, a offshoot of Coors Mega-Brewery.  The barrel-aged brown at 5.5% ABV was really good with that sweet/tart front end and a nice boozy aftertaste. It tasted like a bigger beer in alcohol. The American brown ale was aged in fresh Kentucky bourbon barrels.

Brad, Steve, and Tim in the Avery Taproom.
Another surprise brewery was from Illinois, DESTIHL Brewing, I hadn't had any of their beers before so this is one reason I'm at the fest, to try new beers. The Saint Dekkar Reserve Sour Ale at 5.5% ABV, as it warmed up the flavors seemed to blossom.

All in all it was a nice day for this festive with friends, food, and great sour ales. And what's really cool is that all profits from the fest will be donated to the family of Owen Meyer who is battling Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia.

I came away from the fest feeling good, I paced my drinking. I hope next year to be here again, what a great time.

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