Sunday, July 10, 2011

The Cans Fest

At most beer festivals you’ll find the beer being poured out of kegs, firkins and the occasional bottle. At the first ever Cans Fest, from Jesse Cornett and The Guild Pub, there was none of that (almost none, but we’ll get to that a bit later).

Prior to the event, I went about my usual beer geek ways and poured over the final line-up of beers. I counted a total of 35 beers and to the best of my memory 11 of them were ones that I had never tasted or I didn’t recall seeing available for purchase at The Beermongers, Belmont Station and the like. My plan of attack, and subsequent “listing”, was to focus on the latter and if I had the time, energy or sobriety I would move on to some of the rest.

Overall, none of the beers blew me away. However that’s not to say that I didn’t enjoy the fest. It was great to try a bunch of new-to-me beers and it’s exciting to see more and more breweries embracing the canning of beer. My favorite beer, Trailhead from Two Beers out of Seattle, WA, was a style I had not seen before, India-style Session Ale. It combined a slight sweetness and maltiness with just enough hops to tickle my tastebuds.

Probably my favorite part of the fest though was something I didn’t even know about until I got there: a side-by-side keg vs can taste test. Put on by one of Portland’s own nano-breweries, Natian, they were offering their La Luz Summer Session Ale, poured by a new Twitter acquaintance, Emily. Mag and I made opposite guesses (as it turned out my guess was correct). There weren’t huge differences but certainly enough to back up thoughts I’d had in the past, either, “Gosh, this tastes better than I remember when I had it on tap,” or visa versa.

Like many first time festivals, there is probably a laundry list of things the organizers will improve upon or do differently next year. I’m happy to say though that from an attendee perspective, for the first time out of the gate, it was a good showing. I look forward to, and hope there will be, the Second Annual Cans Fest next year.

Finally, a thanks to Ryan and The Guild for finding me and awarding me one of the VIP tickets.

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