As most of you already know I am even more of a "sour head" than a "hophead"; so when I heard about the 3rd Annual Boulder Sourfest on Saturday it was a must attend event; and what a Day! 59 Sour beers were available for tasting; 49 on draft, 10 from bottles. The event was held in Avery's cellar and Taphouse, with overflow into the back parking lot; it couldn't have been a better event. The space was still very crowded, but had enough space to escape the grind of shoulder to shoulder congestion with plenty of seating and great food coaches. The weather was perfect with plenty of cloud cover. I am not a big festival fan, and I get tired out by large crowds very fast, but surprisingly after being at this event for almost 7 hours I was only exhausted, not irritable or drunk. I also attended Strong Ale Fest earlier this year and both of these events are going to be a yearly tradition.
The beers were everything I could have hoped for, out of the 59 available I tasted 30 (51%) of which I only drank the complete pour (3 to 4oz) of 6 of those. I had one of the "endless" wrist bands which allowed me to taste and drink as much as I desired. As a result most of my tasters were a couple sips which were then shared or dumped. The 6 that I drank completely were too good to pass off or trash.
Luckily Avery knew their stuff and provided plenty of Tums, this was a saving grace, as over the course of 5 hours I probably consumed over 30+oz of very very acidic liquid. After popping the first Tums I had almost instant relief to the gradually increasing hole in my gutt. Don't get me wrong, when it comes to sours I can hang with the best, but this was a marathon for my belly as a few of the beers were almost pure acid of some type (acetic/lactic/butyric).
I was also lucky enough to stay for the after-party, which provided excellent bbq. They also opened up their regular taps and provided some oak-aged Samael's Barley Wine, a tasty powerful beer which put some hair on my chest. At this point most people were going for the Avery Brown as we were all rather soured out.
An excellent day indeed.
Here is the list of the beers I tasted, and my attempt to transcribe my scribbled notes:
1. AC Golden: Dark Kriek, %6.0__A dark sour with cherries. Notes: Bit of butyric acid, interesting "bamboo" flavors
2. Avery: Dihos Dactylion, %10.7__ A cab barrel aged light sour. Notes: Almost spicy, surprisingly light
3. Avery: Immitis %9.5__ Dark Sour from first-use Zin Barrels. Notes: Very Sour, Dark
4. Avery: 3rd Annual Sourfest Blend %7.0 __Blend of 3 sours cab and zin Barrels. Notes: Light in color, well balanced sour
5. Avery: Erimita II %10.1__ Single Batch infused with apricots and peaches. Notes: great fruit flavors, clean finish
6. Avery: Grapes of Wrath %11.0__ Strong Sour aged for 2 years in Cab barrels. Notes: Excellent Flemish Red, Drank complete pour.
7. Avery: Ross’s Mom %9.0__ Saucy Sour named after the lady herself. Notes: Dark sour, almost some smokey flavor
8. Cambridge: Brett Grisette %3.9__ Pilsner Malt body with two brett strains. Notes: Bready, sulfur, weird
9. Cambridge: Ozymandius %15.0__ 23rd Aniv. Beer, Strong Black Sour. Notes: Dark and Complex, some Maple flavor
10. COOP Ale Works: Wild Wheat Wine %9.5__ Wild Yeast with 150lbs of alfalfa Honey. Notes: Light, sweet
11. Crabtree: Berliner Weisse %3.8__ Old style German Wheat, short Lactic Ferment. Notes: a bit watery, crisp, very drinkable
12. Crabtree: Sauer Power %”low”__ Fermented with peaches, 100% house Lacto. Notes: Very peachy, delightful Dacory flavor. Drank complete pour.
13. Deschutes: Stoic %11.0__ Quad aged in Rye whiskey barrels. Notes: Malty, strong, good.
14. Fort Collins Brewery: Sour Kraut Berliner Weisse %3.5__ Traditional Berliner with lacto. Notes: Vegitably vomit, rough yikes
15. Full Sale: Chris’s Summer Delight %4.0__ Tart Berliner Weisse. Notes: Sulfury Nose, light refreshing and tart.
16. Great Divide: Bretty Yeti %10.0__ Yeti with Funk. Notes: too much going on, dark coffee chocolate with a funky finish
17. Grimm Brothers: Once upon a time %5ish__ Brett Hefeweizen. Notes: I thought it was ok till my wife said it tasted just like Bile, then I couldn’t get that out of my mind.
18. Mountain Sun: Saison D’Tesh %6.9__ Sour mashed farmhouse. Notes: superb saison, very nice.
19. New Belgium: Tart Lychee %8.5__ Sour with lychee and cinnamon. Notes: had it before, but worth tasting in comparison, an excellent beer
20. Redstone Meadery: Black Brett %8.0__ Blended sour brett mead with raspberry nectar. Notes: Excellent mead, very sweet with a tart finish, Drank complete pour.
21. Redstone Meadery: Black Folie %8.0__ Black raspberry mead blended with NB La Folie. Notes: BEST IN SHOW (imo) amazing, Drank complete pour. Absolutely amazing Flavor.
22. Rockyard: Rock Weisser %4.0__ Berliner Weisse. Notes: Best Berliner Wiesse I had at the event, sessionable crisp clean finish.
23. Sierra Nevada: Anything Gose %4.7__ Golden ale brewed with kosher salt, lemon peel and coriander. Notes: Nice and salty, good contrast to the other beers at the event.
24. Lost Abbey: Framboise de Amarosa %7.0__ Barrel aged raspberry sour. Notes: well balanced raspberry candy flavor.
25. Lost Abbey: Red Poppy %5.5__ Oak Aged Brown Ale with Cherries. Notes: Excellent, Drank complete pour, wonderful full bodied sour.
26. Upland: Sour Reserve Blend #2 %5.0__ Blend of 3 lambics, Gueuze style. Notes: I got the last pour of the day which was a chunky yeasty mess, tasted like beef broth, not a good representation, no comment.
27. Upslope: Sour Belgian w/Cherries %8.0__ Subtle grapefruit flavors, spontaneous fermentation. Notes: wonderfull light pink color, young, slightly sweet delicious. Drank complete pour.
28. Cascade: Blueberry %7.3__ Bottled. oak aged sour blond with fresh blueberries. Notes: Blueberries!!!! Got better as it warmed up. Drank complete pour.
29. Cascade: Sang Noir %9.2__ Bottled. Oak aged sour red with bing and pie cherries. Notes: Great. Nice and complex but not overpowering.
30. Cascade: Sang Royal %9.3__ Bottled. Barrel aged red with Cab and Sauvognon Grapes. Notes: Superb Red, nice grape and current flavor.
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