On to the festival. Now, let me preface what you are about to read with the following: If you've never been to a beer festival of this magnitude, then you can't imagine the amount of beer that is available. We're talking five tents with thirty breweries each, plus an entire tent dedicated to nothing by cask ales! Let me also point out that each brewery doesn't just show up with two or three of their flagship beers. Every single brewery brings its "A Game!" Most breweries bring six beers plus numerous special or rare beers that are poured at specific times throughout the day. For example, Three Floyds poured Cognac barrel-aged Dark Lord. You couldn't even get near to their tent all day. Unless you wanted to stand in line for over half an hour to get three ounces of said beer, you were out of luck. Honestly, it's not a bad idea to display some patience waiting for beers (as well as restraint from sampling too many beers). Unfortunately, I typically display neither at a beer festival. I will say that Brewslut and I were, um, more well-behaved this time around. Ultimately, it is quite an overwhelming festival to take in, even for seasoned beer aficionados such as ourselves. So due to the reality of the situation, the forthcoming events will not be recounted in chronological order, but rather in the order that I can, well, remember it happening!
We tried several times to hunt down "Coffee" from Ale Asylum, to whom we were delivering a case of Troegs Perpetual IPA direct from John Trogner. Apparently, Coffee taught John a lot about brewing during John's formative years. It must have paid off, because all of the folks at Ale Asylum are huge fans of Troegs. I even heard that one of its flagship beers - Ambergeddon - is somewhat of a Nugget Nectar clone. So I suppose that's a fitting tribute, eh?
|Taking a break with Pleeps.|
|Enjoying some Tyranena with the "dirty old man!"|
We made a quick stop at Minneapolis Town Hall's tent for a sample of their fantastic Mango Mama, a mango version of their excellent Masala Mama IPA. We had the opportunity to share a growler of this a while back (thanks Deuane!), so it was a pleasure to revisit this after a few years.
|Pleeps rode around in my pocket all day!|
|A "das boot" you don't want to drink out of!|
While it doesn't seem like we sampled very much beer, these were simply some of the highlights of the day. With that said, attending a five-hour beer festival as epic as Great Taste of the Midwest is over before you know it. It really does go by in a flash and the whole day turns from a vivid memory into a smudgy blur. The only thing there is to do after a day like this is retire to the hotel and take a nap, then wake up after four hours, realize you are still intoxicated and go back to bed... which is precisely what we did!
|Cheers to Great Taste!|