Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Yorktoberfest 2011 Follow-up

Here's a follow-up to my "live" post from Yorktoberfest.  I said I was aiming to try all the varieties of craft beer at the festival...and I was close.  Looking back, I only missed one - Tröegs JavaHead Stout - which I already know is an enjoyable brew.

I took my pint glass from tent to tent, and the barkeeps faithfully filled it up.  Each 2 to 3 oz sample provided just enough to fill up the bottom of the glass and for me to savor the flavor.

Here's a comprehensive list of the beers they proffered and some quick tasting notes*:
  1. Tröegs JavaHead Stout
  2. Tröegs HopBack -- "hoppy"!
  3. Tröegs Dead Reckoning Porter -- amazing! not as smooth as a typical porter; it has a bit of a bite
  4. Stoudt's Scarlet Lady Ale -- surprisingly not as complex as other ales
  5. Stoudt's Oktoberfest -- strong-ish and fizzy
  6. Stoudt's Heifer-in-Wheat -- clever name, great taste (banana!)
  7. Stoudt's Gold Lager -- classic golden liquid
  8. Springhouse Brewery Seven Gates Pale Ale -- bitter aftertaste
  9. Spoetzl Brewery Shiner Bock -- not as dark as I expected
  10. Spaten Dunkel -- smooth, almost like you're not drinking anything; would make a good session beer except for the 5.5% ABV
  11. Sixpoint Vienna Pale Ale -- the right amount of hoppiness, just the way a beer should taste!
  12. Sixpoint Brownstone -- similar to a porter but has more of a mild, nutty flavor
  13. Rogue Dad's Little Helper -- a black IPA (mmm!) strong on the hops!
  14. Magic Hat Circus Boy -- a good summer brew, light and refreshing
  15. Lancaster Brewing Company Shoo-Fly Porter -- smooth; light flavor of shoo-fly (my favorite pie!)
  16. Hauser Estates Jack's Hard Cider -- "local Adams County apples put to good use", said the vendor
  17. Dogfish Head Festina Pêche -- love Dogfish Head, didn't love this brew (tart, juicy)
  18. Anheuser-Busch, Inc. Shock Top -- an always enjoyable summer beer

Also, I did some digging into why York's own LiquidHero and Mudhook breweries were not represented at Yorktoberfest, much to my (and I'm sure others') chagrin.  The organizers of Yorktoberfest were not immediately available for comment, but it was rumored that the "big boy" distributors may have pulled rank over the newbies and blocked them from the event (politics, ugh).  LiquidHero was undeterred.  A representative commented, "we supported this fest and we also made alot of new friends this weekend from people coming over to our brewery after this beerfest...we love the revs and we love york county...and we are here to stay".  That's the spirit, fellas!  You truly are our LiquidHero!  Prost!

* BeerAdvocate.com recommends not reviewing beers at fests for a variety of reasons: "small sample sizes...loud environments, slew of smells, and tasting of numerous beer styles back-to-back. [...] Doing so does a disservice to the brewer and could mislead others." (Source: http://beeradvocate.com/articles/637)