Saturday, June 29, 2013

NAOBF 2013

NAOBF lucked out this year in terms of weather. After a soggy festival last year, this year's four-day event highlighting organic beer is turning out to be sun-drenched. Many of the beers pouring are lighter in flavor and alcohol, perfect for drinking outdoors on a beautiful summer day.

We arrived Friday afternoon, the second day of the festival, just before the gates opened at noon. While waiting we ran into a couple of friends who, after the gates opened, hightailed it to nab a table under a gigantic tree (something I would highly recommend). Between our shaded and relatively cool seating area and the beer tents was a pretty warm, muggy walk. For the most part the walk was worth it; I found few beers that I disliked among the 10-15 I tasted.

My favorites included two "light weights":
Hopworks Totally Radler, a 60/40 blend of their lager and lemonade. Clocking in at a mere 3.1% ABV and being skillfully blended so that it refrained from being too sweet and retained some beer flavor, this beer screamed, "I'm perfect for drinking today!"
Ft George Spruce Budd Ale, an ale made with, yes, spruce buds/tips. While there was a certain lager quality to the aroma and the spruce tips were more of a suggestion than an outright flavor, it was a very enjoyable beer. As with the radler, this, too was a sessionable beer at 5% ABV.

Then there were a couple "middle heavy weights":
Ambacht G++ Ale, an 8.5% ABV bourbon barrel aged beer. This was the only two-ticket beer I had and I was skeptical that it was going to be worth it. Thankfully my doubts were washed away with a very obvious bourbon barrel aroma and a pleasant cherry flavor that had a hint of sourness to it.
Reverend Nat's Overlook Heirloom Cider, a deceptively easy drinker for 8.7% ABV. There was a bit of barnyard to this cider and none of the cloying sweetness sometimes found in ciders. The only downside to this beer is that it was made specifically for NAOBF. I'm keeping my fingers crossed that they'll get enough good feedback to make it again in the future so that I can enjoy more of it.

Overall it was a great afternoon of beer and friends on a summer day. There are still two more days of the festival and it looks like the summer weather will hold out so get out and enjoy!


  1. Great to see you, thanks for coming out and supporting the fest!

    1. Always good to see you, too, Chris! Thanks for putting on such well run festivals.

  2. Lager and lemonade, cider, bourbon barrel aged-I'd love to try any of those. Now to find something close here...