After attending the first year of the Portland Fruit Beer Festival last year I was very excited for year two. So excited that I took advantage of the opportunity to get in an hour before general admission and purchased VIP tickets. And like usual I came prepared with a cheat sheet that had me starting off with tarts/sours and working up to the stouts and black saison.
Delicious Tart Beers
Bend Brewing Ching Ching - Even though I'm quite sure I've had this beer before, it was first on my list. I wanted to start the fest off on the right foot and this award winning beer was just the way to do it.
10 Barrel Raspberry Sour - This was not only one of the prettier beers of the festival but was tasty and drinkable, like liquid sour raspberry candy without the sweetness.
Delicious Non-Tart Beers
Burnside Red Light District - An imperial stout made with chocolate and strawberries, I went into it unsure that the product would be successful but Burnside came through. The chocolate-strawberry aroma was followed by a smooth, medium bodied beer.
Gigantic Hot Town, Summer in the City - New kid on the block, Gigantic, had already won me over with the base beer, an Imperial Black Saison, and continued the winning streak combining just the right amount of heat from the fruit of the pepper plant in this beer.
Delicious Rare Beers
Even though I only had a few of the rare beers, the ones I tried were very good and worth the extra ticket.
Short Snout Blueberry Hibiscus Wheat - Their second commercially available beer (the first, Rye-teous Dude debuted at Friday's Rye Beer Fest), wouldn't win any beauty contests but it is most definitely delicious. The light blueberry aroma was followed by a delicately balanced combination of blueberry and hibiscus. It would not only be a great warm weather drinker but would be a great way to introduce someone to fruit beers.
Widmer 2009 Port Barrel-Aged Cherry Doppelbock - At the other end of the fruit spectrum, a heavier beer that appropriately blended true cherry flavor with the wood from the barrels it was aged in.
Did you go to the fest? If so, what were stand out beers for you? If not, I beg of you to mark your calendar for the second weekend of June 2013 as "busy" right now. Congrats to Ezra and all involved in the planning and execution of the festival - another great job!