T Minus 1 and Liftoff – Beer List By Style

Below you will find the complete beer list from our Inaugural Bluffton International & Craft Beer Fest.

We will start updating the list for the 2012 event around October 1st, 2012.

 

The Bluffton International & Craft Beer Festival will be held on Saturday, November 5th, 2011 from 2:00 – 6:00 pm at The Promenade in Historic Downtown Bluffton, South Carolina.

For this final post before the Inaugural 2011 Bluffton International & Craft Beer Festival, I wanted to share a beer list that sorts the beers by style.  Before I explain the different beer styles, I want to also say a few words about the alcohol percentages that appear next to all of the beers on the beer list.

Alcohol Strength of Beer

To encourage responsibility, we are listing the alcohol percentage strength of beers at the festival.  To better understand these percentages, let’s think first about a typical beer.  Bud, Miller, Coors, Yuengling, Corona, and Heineken all fall into a general category of beer that most people think of when they think of beer.  This style of beer is known as a lager or a pilsener, but we’ll get to that shortly in the style overview.  As an important reference point, all of these six mainstream beers have a an alcohol content percentage of 5.0% by volume (abbreviated as ABV).  Yuengling and Corona are actually slightly less at around 4.5% ABV.  Typical light beers have an alcohol content of around 4% ABV.  As a further point of reference, and common misconception, the common version of Guinness Stout (Draught) has an alcohol content of 4.2% ABV.

There is a common misconception about alcohol strength in beer that comes from laws about beer.  While wine and hard liquor have pretty much always used a measurement of alcohol by volume (ABV), different states and municipalities have often regulated beer based upon a measurement of alcohol by weight (ABW).

Some western states had laws that limited beer sold in convenience stores to 3.2% ABW, or roughly 4% ABV … in other words a typical light beer.

Other common regulations in different states limited supermarket sales to 4% ABW, or roughly 5% ABV, which is the strength of a typical mainstream American beer.  This led to a misconception that European lagers were usually stronger than American lagers … they are not.  The misconception came about because states were regulating beer strength using the ABW measurement, while people would see European beer bottles with labels showing the strength using the ABV measurement.

Until 2007,  South Carolina had a law that limited beer that could be sold to beer of 5% ABW or lower (6.25% ABV).  Because many craft breweries had some beers that were above this level of strength, they did not bother selling any of their beers in South Carolina.  If they couldn’t sell their complete line of products in the state, they simply chose to focus their marketing of product to other states.

In contrast to beer, wine has a much higher alcohol content, typically in the 12% to 15% ABV range.

We believe it is important for you to understand these percentages while at the beer festival, and we are making every available effort to publish this information.  The idea is not to encourage you to find the beer with the highest alcohol content.  The purpose is to help you to better control your alcohol intake.

Our serving sample size is 4 ounces.  The idea is to give people an opportunity to taste more different beers that they might not otherwise try.

The festival emphasis is on quality, not quantity.  Do not drink and drive.

Now let’s get on to the beer list grouped by style of beer…

Beer Style Overview

At its core, all beer is brewed from four basic ingredients:  malt (processed grains – usually barley, sometimes wheat or rye), yeast, water and hops.  Malt is what gives beer its sweetness.  The natural sugars produced by the grains in the malting process are processed by the yeast to induce a fermenting process that creates the alcohol.  The yeast can also impart a distinctive taste to the beer.  Finally, hops are added to add a bitterness to the beer.  Originally they were added as a preservative, but over time, the spicy/bitter characteristics of the hops have come to represent the unique taste of beer compared to other alcoholic beverages.

Many of the mainstream American lagers use adjuncts such as corn or rice in addition to the grains.  The adjuncts are used to lower the cost of producing the beer, and also tend to produce a beer that is lighter in body and taste.  While frowned about in the proud beer nation of Germany, many craft brewers add additional herbs and spices to create unique tastes.

It is amazing is how many different and unique styles of beer can be created from just these four basic ingredients.

American Craft Pale Lagers & Golden Pilseners

Pale Yellow Beer as it should be

The Pale Lager/Pilsener style of beer is what would be considered the most common style of beer in the United States, and around most of the world.  Pale golden in color, fizzy, and with a moderate amount of hops for bitterness/fresh taste.  Bud, Miller, Coors, Yuengling, Corona, and Heineken all fall into this general category of beer that most people think of when they think of beer.

  • Joe’s Premium Pils – Avery Brewing Company – Boulder, CO (4.7%)
  • Sankaty Light Lager – Cisco Brewers – Nantucket, MA  (3.8%)
  • Session Lager– Full Sail Brewing Company – Hood River, OR (5.1%)
  • Palmetto Aftershock – Palmetto Brewing Company – Charleston, SC (Carolina Common Lager)
  • Pig Pen Pilsner – Piggly Wiggly Pig Swig – Charleston, SC (4.5%)
  • Dockside Pilsner – Thomas Creek Brewery – Greenville, SC (4.5%)
  • Prima Pils – Victory Brewing Company – Dowington, PA  (5.3% German Pilsener)

European Pale Lagers & Golden Pilseners

Proudly brewed by Brewmaster Steve Urkel

The golden pilsener style of lager beer originated in Europe, and is named after Pilsen (Plzen), which is located in what is now the Czech Republic.   It was first brewed in 1842 by the brewery that would eventually be named Plzensky Prazdroj,  better known by its German name Pilsner Urquell (the original pilsener).  The beer style quickly gained popularity and copycats in Germany and across Europe.  Over time, many of these brewers developed their own unique twists on the original style.

  • Stella Artois – Stella Artois – Leuven (InBev), Belgium (5.5% Belgian Lager)
  • Pilsner Urquell – Plzensky Prazdroj, a. s. – Plzen, Czech Republic (4.4% Czech Pilsener)
  • Warsteiner Pils – Warsteiner Brauerei – Warstein, Germany (4.8% German Pilsener)
  • Claro! – Bavaria Brewery – Lieshout, The Netherlands (5.0% Dutch Lager)
  • Daura – Estrella Damm – Barcelona, Spain (5.4% Spanish Lager)
  • Estrella Damm Draft – Estrella Damm – Barcelona, Spain (5.4% Spanish Lager)

Amber Lagers (Oktoberfests, Amber/Red Lagers)

Cheers!

Oktoberfest beers are stronger, maltier lagers, with more of an orangish/copperish color.  Before modern refrigeration, these beers were most typically brewed in March (Marzen) and kept in cold storage over the summer months.

Dark Lagers (Black Lagers/Schwarzbiers)

Dark lagers (Schwarzbier in German) are very closely related to the pale lagers/golden pilsener.  Despite the dark color, they are relatively light without the roasted or smoky flavor that is common to  many other dark beer styles.  They are typically slightly sweeter and less bitter than the pale lagers.

  • Session Black– Full Sail Brewing Company – Hood River, OR (5.4% Schwarzbier/Black Lager)
  • Howl – Magic Hat – South Burlington, VT (4.6% Schwarzbier – Black Lager)
  • Warsteiner Dunkel – Warsteiner Brauerei – Warstein, Germany (4.9% Munich Dunkel Lager)
  • Guinness Black Lager – Guinness – Dublin, Ireland (4.5% Euro Dark Lager)

Strong Lagers (Bocks, Imperial Pilseners)

Revenge of the Lagerheads

Bock beers are stronger lagers, usually brewed with a higher malt content that imparts a richer sweeter taste.  Bock beers typically are lower in hops, and have extremely low bitterness.

By contrast Imperial Pilsners have both a higher malt content, and an increased concentration of  hops, with the bitterness of the hops slightly overpowering the malt.

American Blonde Ale

American Blonde Ales are golden ales, usually extremely refreshing, with a slightly fruity taste that comes from the use of ale yeast instead of lager yeast.  While not extremely common as a bottled beer, they are commonly brewed by brewpubs that use these ales to introduce lager drinkers to ales.

  • Red Brick Blonde – Red Brick Brewing Company – Atlanta, GA (5.7% American Blonde Ale)

American Pale Ale

Northern Comfort

Pale Ales are moderately hoppy ales with light bitterness.  Unlike pale lagers, the color of a pale ale is in the orange/copper range, with the pale being in comparison to brown ales.  English Style Pale Ales use English hops which tend to have a more floral taste and aroma.  American Pale Ales use American hops which tend to have a more citrus (astringent) taste.  Sierra Nevada Pale Ale was the original American Pale Ale.

  • Restoration – Abita Brewery – Abita Springs, LA (5.0%)
  • Old Yankee Ale – Cottrell Brewing- Pawcatuk, CT (5.0% American Pale Ale)
  • Sweetgrass APA– Grand Teton Brewing Company – Victor, ID (6.0% American Pale Ale)
  • Patriot Pale Ale – RJ Rockers Brewing Co. – Spartanburg, SC (6.0% American Pale Ale)
  • 420 Extra Pale Ale – Sweetwater Brewing Company – Atlanta, GA (5.4% American Pale Ale)

English Style Pale Ale

Bombs Away!

Pale Ales are moderately hoppy ales with light bitterness.  Unlike pale lagers, the color of a pale ale is in the orange/copper range, with the pale being in comparison to brown ales.  English Style Pale Ales use English hops which tend to have a more floral taste and aroma.  In addition to the floral taste there is a fruity taste, but not citrus.

Belgian Style Pale Ale

Click to view the add that tries to explain this one

Belgian Style Pale Ales are similar to English Style Pale Ales, but use a yeast that is more characteristic of other Belgian beers.  Belgian yeast strains such as Brettanomyces (“Brett”) are used to produce a yeasty flavor characteristics that beer lovers instantly identify as Belgian.

  • Ommegang BPA Belgian Pale Ale – Brewery Ommegang (Duvel USA)- Cooperstown, NY (6.2% Belgian Pale Ale)
  • Palm – Brouwerij Palm – Steenhuffe, Belgium (5.4% Belgian Pale Ale)

American IPA

The first IPA is the toughest

IPA, or India Pale Ale, was a style originally developed in England.  Beer being shipped to English colonists in India was given an extra dosage of hops to act primarily as a preservative. The additional hops, of course, resulted in a more flavorful, bitter beer.  American IPAs tend to be far more aggressive and assertive than English IPAs.

  • Avery India Pale Ale – Avery Brewing Company – Boulder, CO (6.5% American IPA)
  • Two Hearted Ale – Bell’s Brewery – Galesburg, MI (7.0% American IPA)
  • Mystic Bridge IPA – Cottrell Brewing- Pawcatuk, CT (6.0% American IPA)
  • Full Sail India Pale Ale – Full Sail Brewing Company – Hood River, OR (6.0% American IPA)
  • Harpoon India Pale Ale – Harpoon Brewery – Boston, MA (5.9% American IPA)
  • Celebration Ale – Sierra Nevada Brewing Company – Chico, CA (6.8% American IPA)
  • Torpedo Extra IPA – Sierra Nevada Brewing Company – Chico, CA (7.2% American IPA)
  • Stone IPA – Stone Brewing Company – Escondido, CA (6.9% American IPA)
  • Sweetwater IPA – Sweetwater Brewing Company – Atlanta, GA (6.7% American IPA)
  • Class Five IPA – Thomas Creek Brewery – Greenville, SC (5.5% American IPA)
  • Hopdevil – Victory Brewing Company – Dowington, PA (6.7% American IPA)
  • Westbrook IPA– Westbrook Brewing Company – Mount Pleasant, SC (6.8% American IPA)

English Style IPA

IPA, or India Pale Ale, was a style originally developed in England.  Beer being shipped to English colonists in India was given an extra dosage of hops to act primarily as a preservative. The additional hops, of course, resulted in a more flavorful, bitter beer.  American IPAs tend to be far more aggressive and assertive than English IPAs.

Belgian Style IPA

Hop me!

Belgian Style IPAs are a recent style development, combining the IPA taste with Belgian yeasts.  American brewed Belgian Style IPAs tend to be lighter bodied and have more of the citrus hop taste.  Hopus, from Belgium, as a maltier body, with the hops having a more pronounced European flavor … more floral than citrus … and delicious.

  • Hopus – Brasserie Lefèbvre SA – Rebecq-Quenast, Belgium (8.3% Belgian IPA)

American Imperial IPA

Double the pleasure

In the beer world, the “Imperial” prefix has come to represent stronger and more assertive versions of a particular style of beer.   The American Imperial IPA style, sometimes referred to as Double IPA, is a stronger and hoppier IPA.  Get your bitter beer face ready!

Note:  Hop heads should also try the Victory Yakima Glory.  We’ve categorized it as an American Dark Ale, but it is an extremely hoppy beer that some could argue is a dark imperial IPA.

  • Steelhead Double IPA – Mad River Brewing Company – Blue Lake, CA (8.6% American Imperial IPA)

American Amber/Red Ale

Pig Swig, not Pig Swill!

Amber and Red Ales have a lot in common with English Pale Ales.  They are full bodied, malty, and less aggressively hopped than pale ales.  Sweeter and less bitter.

  • Bell’s Amber Ale – Bell’s Brewery – Galesburg, MI (5.8%American Amber/Red Ale)
  • Avalanche Ale – Breckenridge Brewery, Breckenridge, CO (5.4% American Amber/Red Ale)
  • Full Sail Amber– Full Sail Brewing Company – Hood River, OR (5.5% American Amber/Red Ale)
  • Jamaica Red Ale – Mad River Brewing Company – Blue Lake, CA (6.5% American Amber/Red Ale)
  • Palmetto Amber – Palmetto Brewing Company – Charleston, SC (American Amber/Red Ale)
  • Pig Swig Pig Tail Ale – Piggly Wiggly Pig Swig – Charleston, SC (5.5% American Amber/Red Ale)
  • Pyramid Juggernaut Red Ale – Pyramid Brewery – Seattle, WA (5.6% American Amber/Red Ale)
  • Laughing Skull – Red Brick Brewing Company – Atlanta, GA (5.4% American Amber/Red Ale)

American Dark Ale

A Quest for Glory!

American Brown Ales tend to be full bodied and moderately hopped with more attention to the malty taste of the beer.  Note:  We’ve included Victory Yakima Glory in this category, but it is more aggressively hopped and will likely appeal more to IPA fans.

  • Ellie’s Brown Ale – Avery Brewing Company – Boulder, CO (5.5% American Brown Ale)
  • Brooklyn Brown – Brooklyn Brewery – Brooklyn, NY (5.6% American Brown Ale)
  • Bitch Creek ESB– Grand Teton Brewing Company – Victor, ID (6.0% American Brown Ale)
  • Yakima Glory – Victory Brewing Company – Dowington, PA (8.7% American Black Ale)

English Style Brown Ale

Wickedly good

English Style Brown Ales tend to be full bodied and lightly hopped.  Far more attention is focused on the malty taste of the beer, with only a light hop bitterness.

  • Turbo Dog – Abita Brewery – Abita Springs, LA (5.6% English Brown Ale)
  • Bell’s Best Brown Ale -Bell’s Brewery – Galesburg, MI (5.8% English Brown Ale)
  • Nut Brown – New South Brewing Company – Myrtle Beach, SC (5.4% English Brown Ale)
  • Newcastle Werewolf – Newcastle – Tadcaster, North Yorkshire, UK (English Brown Ale)
  • Hobgoblin – Wychwood Brewery Company Ltd – Witney, Oxon, UK (5.0% English Brown Ale)

American Strong Ales & Winter Warmer

Look at me, I'm giving out wings!

Winter warmers are stronger dark beers that are brewed to be enjoyed on cool fall and winter evenings.  They are often spiced with flavors associated with the holidays such as nutmeg and cinnamon.

We’ve included Bell Ringer in this category, because although it is lighter in color and has no extra spices, it has a strong malty taste that is ideally suited to a cool fall or winter evening.  Well done RJ Rockers!

  • Bell Ringer – RJ Rockers Brewing Co. – Spartanburg, SC (8.5% American Strong Ale)
  • Harpoon Winter Warmer – Harpoon Brewery – Boston, MA (5.9% Winter Warmer)
  • Winter Hook – Redhook Brewery – Seattle, WA (5.9% Winter Warmer)
  • Sweetwater Festive Ale – Sweetwater Brewing Company – Atlanta, GA (8.6% Winter Warmer)

Porters & Stouts

So many legs, so little time!

Porters and stouts have a deeper malt flavor that comes from a darker roasting of the malt.  American Porters tend to be more hopped than the original English porters.  Stouts tend to have a darker, more burnt roasting of the malt.  Normal stouts are very lightly hopped.  Imperial Stouts are stronger and can be aggressively hopped.

Belgian Style Witbier (Wheat Beer)

You might want to see a doctor about this

Wit is Dutch/Flemish for white, and refers to a refreshing style of wheat beer that is popular in Belgium.  Cloudy, with a pale yellowish color, this Belgian style of wheat beer is traditionally spiced with orange peel and coriander.  Many brewers experiment with alternate spices to produce a unique taste.  Witbiers are refreshing, and usually have quite lively carbonation.

Hoegaarden is the archetypal Witbier from Belgium, being considered the original Witbier.  Even thought Hoegaarden was only first brewed in 1966, at that time, all previous witbiers had ceased production, and Hoegaarden led a rebirth of that particular style of beer.  Blanche de Bruxelles is another excellent example of the style from Belgium,  having more of a lemony taste than orange.  Avery White Rascal has somewhat mixed reviews on Beer Advocate, but it is one of my favorites in the style.  Personally, I’m looking forward to Westbrook White Thai from Charleston, which takes a different approach on the spices, opting for lemongrass, ginger and Sorachi Ace hops.  It’s interesting to see so many Witbiers on the list … I have yet to try the others.

  • White Rascal  – Avery Brewing Company – Boulder, CO (5.6% Witbier)
  • Grey Lady – Cisco Brewers – Nantucket, MA (4.8% Witbier)
  • UFO White (4.8% Witbier)
  • White Ale – New South Brewing Company – Myrtle Beach, SC (4.6% Witbier)
  • Westbrook White Thai– Westbrook Brewing Company – Mount Pleasant, SC (5.0% Witbier)
  • Blanche de Bruxelles – Brasserie Lefèbvre SA – Rebecq-Quenast, Belgium (4.5% Witbier)
  • Hoegaarden – Brouwerij van Hoegaarden (InBev), Hoegaarden, Belgium (4.9% Witbier)
  • Steenbrugge Wit – Brouwerij Palm (Steenbrugge) – Steenhuffe, Belgiuml (5.0% Witbier)
  • Inedit – Estrella Damm – Barcelona, Spain (4.8% Witbier)

Belgian Strong Golden Ale

Wanted: Shoulders to go with this head

As the golden pilsener lager took over Europe, people became more reluctant to drink a beer that they couldn’t see through.  Ale brewers in Belgium responded to this challenge by creating strong golden ales. Golden but extremely pale in color, from appearance these beers can be easily mistaken for a mainstream lager.  (Except that if properly poured, many of these beers have one of the most intense foamy heads that you will ever see on a beer.)  These beers tend to be deceptively strong, with a distinctive yeasty taste with a light hint of fruit balanced against just the right amount of hops.

  • Leffe Blonde – Abbaye de Leffe S.A. (InBev) – Dinant, Belgium (6.6% Belgian Strong Golden Ale)
  • Affligem Blond – Affligem – Opwijk, Belgium (6.7% Belgian Strong Golden Ale)
  • Delirium Tremens – Brouwerij Huyghe – Melle, Belgium (8.5% Belgian Strong Golden Ale)
  • Omer Belgian Blond – Brouwerij Bockor – Bellegem, Belgium (8.0% Belgian Strong Golden Ale)
  • Duvel – Brouwerij Duvel Moortgat – Breendonk-Puurs, Belgium (8.5% Belgian Strong Golden Ale)
  • Saxo – Brasserie Caracole – Falmignoul, Belgium (8.0% Belgian Strong Golden Ale)

Belgian Style Tripel

Perfection in a Glass

When I think about Belgian beer, the first thing that comes to mind is the Westmalle Tripel.  Victory’s Golden Monkey is an excellent American interpretation of the Belgian Tripel style of beer that originated with Westmalle Tripel.   Tripels range in color from golden to light amber.  They are relatively strong in alcohol, with a typical range of 8% to 10% ABV.  Tripels are usually bottle conditioned with a yeast sediment.  They tend to have a unique balance of sweetness and bitterness.  Westmalle, in particular has a deceptively smooth and light feel to it, despite having an alcohol content of 9.5% ABV.

If you’re not familiar with Westmalle Tripel, I’d strongly encourage you to try it.  We also have Maresdous Tripel (also known as Maredsous 10) available.  Maredsous is from the brewers of Duvel.  It is a bit stronger than the Westmalle at 10% ABV, and is more amber in color.  Maredsous Tripel has a more pronounced, and very welcome, bitterness and a bit more of an alcohol taste in the finish.

Another Belgian Tripel we are pouring is Tripel Karmeliet.  Tripel Karmeliet is a bit lighter in alcohol at 8.5%, more golden in color similar to the Westmalle, and tends to be a bit sweeter and maltier in its taste.

  • Golden Monkey – Victory Brewing Company – Dowington, PA (9.5% Tripel)
  • Tripel Karmeliet – Brouwerij Bosteels – Buggenhout, Belgium (8.5% Tripel)
  • Maredsous Triple – Brouwerij Duvel Moortgat – Breendonk-Puurs, Belgium (10.0% Tripel)
  • Westmalle Triple – Brouwerij Westmalle (Trappist) – Malle, Belgium (9.5% Tripel)

Belgian Style Dubbel

Dubbels are a Belgian Brown Ale style, usually richer and fruitier than English Style Brown Ales.  The bottle conditioning and yeasty taste also results in a more “earthy” taste.  Despite being brewed in America, Ommegang is one of the best examples of this style in the world.

  • Ommegang Abbey Ale – Brewery Ommegang (Duvel USA) – Cooperstown, NY (8.5% Dubbel)
  • Steenbrugge Dubbel – Brouwerij Palm (Steenbrugge) – Steenhuffe, Belgiuml (6.5% Dubbel)

Belgian Strong Dark Ale

Do you see the pink elephant too?

Do you see the pink elephant too?

When is a dark Belgian ale a Dubbel, and when is it just a strong dark ale?  Dubbels are usually in the 6% to 7% ABV range.  Ommegang is a bit strong for the style, even if its taste is spot on.  The strong dark ales tend to have a more pronounced smoky, roasted taste, and often have additional spices added to complement the roasted malt.

  • Delirium Nocturnum – Brouwerij Huyghe – Melle, Belgium (8.5% Belgian Strong Dark Ale)
  • Nostradamus – Brasserie Caracole – Falmignoul, Belgium (9.5% Belgian Strong Dark Ale)
  • St. Feuillien Cuvée De Noël – Brasserie St. Feuillien – Le Rœulx, Belgium (9.0% Belgian Strong Dark Ale)

Belgian Style Quadrupel

This one goes to 11

Just as the Tripel style got its name as somewhat of a marketing gimmick to indicate that it was stronger than a Dubbel, the Quadrupel style’s name is to signify that it is stonger than a Tripel.  While there is some debate over what the stylistic qualities of a Quadrupel are, they are generally dark, malty, sweet, and have extremely high alcohol content (10% to 12% ABV).

  • St. Bernardus Abt 12 – Brouwerij St. Bernardus – Watou, Belgium (10.0% Quadrupel)
  • La Trappe Quadrupel – Bierbrouwerij De Koningshoeven B.V. (Trappist) – Tilburg, The Netherlands (10.0% Quadrupel)

Farmhouse Ales (Saison, Biere de Garde)

... an answered prayer

Traditionally brewed in the fall and winter months, then cellared until the following summer, farmhouse ales represent a style of beer brewed in rural Belgium and northeastern France.  Saison is the Belgian style, and Biere de Garde is the French style.  Both styles are very yeasty and herbal, with Saisons tending to have a bit more hop bitterness.  That said, if you think the French only make wine, you owe it to yourself to try 3 Months, which is a world class beer.

German Style Hefeweizen (Wheat Beer)

Meal in a Glass

A cloudy, brighter yellow (compared to Belgian Witbier) wheat beer, brewed with a German yeast that imparts hints of banana, clove, and sometimes bubble gum.  Heavier in body compared to the Witbier.  Germany’s greatest contribution to the world of beer styles.  Dunkelweizens are darker, stronger hefeweizens.

Other Wheat Beers

Buckwheat Before Dark

There are some wheat beers that we just didn’t feel comfortable lumping into a particular style.  Breckenridge’s Agave Wheat is almost a light Witbier spiced with agave.  Pyramid’s Haywire Hefeweizen is somewhere between a Witbier and a Hefeweizen.  Buckwheat After Dark … we’re just going to have to wait and see about this one.  I’m giving RJ Rockers the benefit of the doubt that it is going to be delicious because they did such an excellent job with Bell Ringer, another beer we had difficulty categorizing.

  • Agave Wheat – Breckenridge Brewery, Breckenridge, CO (4.2% Herbed/Spiced Beer)
  • Pyramid Haywire Hefeweizen – Pyramid Brewery – Seattle, WA (5.2% American Pale Wheat Ale)
  • Buckwheat After Dark – RJ Rockers Brewing Co. – Spartanburg, SC  (5.6% American Dark Wheat Ale / Dunkelweizen)

Sour Beers

The Original Old Tart

If you made it this far, you’re in for a treat.  Taste any of these beers and marvel that they are still brewed with the same four basic ingredients as other beers, because they don’t taste like you’d expect a beer to taste.

Flanders Red Ales are unique, full bodied sour ales from Belgium.   A combination of aged hops, a distinctive yeast, and oak barrel aging results in a delicious sour ale.   First time tasters are often amazed to find out that there is no fruit or other flavoring to produce the sour taste.   To represent this unique Belgian style, we will have Rodenbach and Duchesse de Bourgogne.

Unlike conventional ales and lagers, which are fermented by carefully cultivated strains of brewer’s yeasts, Lambic beer is produced by spontaneous fermentation.  It is exposed to the wild yeasts and bacteria that are said to be native to the Senne valley of Belgium. It is this unusual process which gives the beer its distinctive flavour: dry, vinous, and cidery, usually with a sour aftertaste.  Like with the Flanders Red Ales, aged hops also contribute to the sour taste.  Lambic ale is usually used as the basis for Belgian fruit beers.

Gueuze is a blending of multiple vintages of lambic.  An older and younger lambic are blended and undergo a secondary fermentation process to produce a drier, more sour, and highly carbonated (Champagne like) beer.  Traditional Gueuze is extremely sour and often has a sour apple type of taste.  While some consider the taste to be an acquired one, even those who do not like the taste are amazed that this beer is brewed with only the four standard beer ingredients:  water, malt, yeast and hops.  You owe it to yourself to try the Oud Beersel Oud Gueuze.

  • Bell’s Oarsman Ale – Bell’s Brewery – Galesburg, MI (4.0% Berliner Weissbier)
  • Oud Beersel Geuze – Brouwerij Oud Beersel – Beersel, Belgium (6.0% Gueuze)
  • Rodenbach – Brouwerij Rodenbach – Roeselare, Belgium (5.2% Flanders Red Ale)
  • Duchesse de Bourgogne – Brouwerij Verhaeghe – West Flanders, Belgium (6.2% Flanders Red Ale)

Fruit Beers

It’s next to impossible to describe these four fruit beers with just a few sentences.  These are beers brewed with fruit additives.

  • Purple Haze – Abita Brewery – Abita Springs, LA (4.2% Fruit Beer – Raspberry)
  • #9 – Magic Hat – South Burlington, VT (5.1% Fruit Beer – Mystery Fruit)
  • Sweetwater Blue – Sweetwater Brewing Company – Atlanta, GA (4.9% Fruit Beer – Blueberry)
  • Floris Apple – Brouwerij Huyghe – Melle, Belgium (3.5% Lambic – Fruit)

Ciders

And finally, these ciders aren’t beers at all.  But we wanted to offer something that could serve as a refreshing palette cleanser, and cider is an excellent companion to beer.

  • Crispin Original – Crispin – Minneapolis, MN – (5.0% Hard Cider – Apple)
  • Crispin Pear – Crispin – Minneapolis, MN (5.0% Hard Cider – Pear)
  • Harpoon Cider – Harpoon Brewery – Boston, MA (4.1% Hard Cider – Apple)

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November 5, 2016

"The Best Little Beer Fest in the USA" returns Saturday, November 5, 2016 from 1:00 – 5:00 pm to, the Bluffton Oyster Factory Park in Historic Downtown Bluffton, South Carolina..

 

This 6th edition of the annual festival will feature over 100 of the world's best ales, stouts, lagers and pilsners, along with a Food Court with a wide variety of mouthwatering foods from Bluffton area restaurants and live music.

 

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