What's a FABTS?

The FABTS is a club of homebrewers, beer aficionados, and anyone with an appreciation for the quality and diversity of great beer! As such, we are dedicated to the responsible enjoyment of beer as a alcohol containing quality food product, made to be shared with other people and other foods. The club was founded in 1996 by Lyle C. Brown, National Beer Judge.

Sunday, August 26, 2007

3rd Annual Shockoe Craft Beer Festival

Angela and I went to the 3rd annual Shockoe Craft Beer Festival on Friday night. After a stressful week for both of us, going and having beers with hundreds of strangers seemed like something that would help our moods. It did!

We decided against driving back from the festival and got a room at the Marriott in Richmond. It’s located about 5 blocks away from the festival location – walking / stumbling distance. The beer fest was held in Kanawha Plaza in downtown Richmond. Admission to the event was $15 for one day/$25 for two. We opted for one day’s worth of fun. Along with the admission you received a 6 ounce plastic pilsner tasting glass as well as 5 tasting tickets. Additional tickets were $1 apiece. The location of the event was great for the size of the crowd on Friday night. It was fairly intimate and not long lines to wait for beer. I kept telling Angela that come Saturday, I assumed the place would be a madhouse.

I’ve been to numerous beer festivals in California when I lived out there and I’ve been to a couple of the Old Dominion festivals. So, I knew what to expect. Angela had never been to beer fest before and was surprised that it was outdoors. The beer selection didn’t disappoint. There were 25 -30 brewery tents each pouring 2 or more of their offerings. A lot of the brewers were also pouring kegs from other breweries as well. The best thing about going to beer fest with someone is that you can taste two separate beers at each tent. That way you get half as hammered as you would be if you tried to taste all of the different beers. Angela and I went through about $40 worth of drink tickets.

We started the day with Troegs Hopback Amber and Dreamweaver Wheat as we perused the park. The Hopback Amber was malty and has a flowery nose. The Dreamweaver Wheat was spicy with clove notes. It’s funny how each tent nearly had the same types of beers. Most had a Pale Ale and either a Wheat or IPA. So, For Pale Ales, by far my favorite was Bluegrass American Pale Ale by Bluegrass Brewing Company in Louisville, Kentucky. There were a ton of wheats and I thought the best one was Richmond’s own Legend Brewing’s Hefeweisen. It had an intense aroma of bananas, cloves, and pepper. The initial flavor is sharp and tart, yielding to a little malty sweetness in the middle. It was very refreshing on a hot afternoon.

For the IPAs it was a tie between my favorite regional brewer out here Delaware’s Dogfish Head 60 Minute IPA and the Double Simcoe IPA from Weyerbacher Brewing Co. in Pennsylvania. I was disappointed in Dogfish Head’s Festina Peche. This was supposed to be a peach-flavored Berliner-Weisse. To me the peach flavor was totally overcome by the tartness and sourness of the beer. Maybe it’s just not my style. The other notable beers from the day were Clipper City’s Uber Pils. Angela and I went back for this one 3 times.

There were a few food vendors there that had BBQ, brats, and Mediterranean fare. Angela and I had the BBQ from ExtraBilly’s Smokehouse and Brewery. It was very good. Haley Scion of Richmond was one of the sponsors and gave out the most schwag. We got tshirts, sweatshirts and coffee mugs. They also had free pizza. Angel specifically enjoyed one token received from Flying Dog Brewery. She thought she was picking up some matches and it turned out to hide a condom. The other good schwag was from Oskar Blues Brewery. Free coozies, stickers, and mug holder necklaces.

As the night wore on Angela and I settled down to listen to the live music. It was mostly Bluegrass which neither of us like. The first act was the Shockoe Bottom Boys, then Billy Ray Hatley and the Showdogs finishing with Jackass Flatts who were the most talented of the bunch.

We decided to walk back to the Marriott after the festival completed at 10pm. While the walk to the site was no problem, we didn’t realize that the walk back was all up hill. Sweat was pouring off our backs by the time we made it back to the room. We were never so appreciative of air conditioning. We had a great time and are looking forward to next year’s. Let’s plan now for a FABTS trip.

No comments:

Post a Comment