Microfestivus 2011. Oh Yes, Today. Prepare With The Beer Road’s Own Top 10 List!

Craft beer festivals.  What may seem like just a whole bunch of beer all in one place to a non beer person, holds so much more potential to those of us who are curious about craft beer.  Today, there are more and more of us around.  Nationwide, there’s a buzz (no pun intended) around craft beer that seems to be growing exponentially.  You’ve seen it.  Certainly even here in Roanoke.  Beer lists at restaurants are now more diverse than ever.  Check the tap handles the next time you’re somewhere out and about in Roanoke at a bar or restaurant – is that, is that, a dragon on one?  I think there’s a miniature Monticello on another.  What’s up with that?

If you truly are one of the beer curious folks out there, and are asking questions like that, or others such as.. “..what the heck is a Dubbel? …does it actually have wheat in it? …it’s really called Arrogant Bastard? Really?” festivals can be the perfect place for answers.  Or at least give you some leads.  Many times, folks will be on hand to answer those questions directly for you, but in case they’re not, you can always start with letting your taste buds do the investigating.  Never forget to try something, or many things, that are different than what you’ve had before.  Satisfy your curiosities.  Curious about Belgian styles?  Finally ready for a hoppy IPA?  Festivals are practically the perfect one stop, one price for so many beers, so many styles events that to do otherwise is a missed chance indeed.  After all, there’s a whole bunch of really good beer in one place.

Today in Roanoke, our own festival, Microfestivus, is taking place in just a few short hours.  Without attempting to go through the entire list of the over one hundred beers that will be available, I thought I’d at least attempt at Top 10 List, Letterman style, of beers and other items to at least check out and be aware of.  If you’re going, and are truly curious about craft beer, stretch those taste buds, try something different.  You just might find the next beer that will absolutely blow your mind, and the question then becomes…. “Wow…I had no idea beer could taste quite like this!?”

Cheers, and enjoy!

10.  There will be plenty of regional and local breweries present.  One in particular is bringing a couple of special releases – Starr Hill, in Charlottesville, is reportedly bringing a historically based ale called Monticello Reserve, based upon a Thomas Jefferson (many of our founding fathers were avid home brewers) recipe.  The other is a new seasonal release, a Pumpkin Porter called Boxcar.  Sounds delicious.

9.  New breweries to an event is always exciting.  This year, Uinta Brewing, from Utah, is listed on the participating brewery list on the Microfestivus website.  A quick check on some beer review sites show their beers highly rated.

8.  Of course, when regional and area breweries are present at festivals, it’s always a nice thing to see.  Two breweries who have not made it before to Microfestivus – Blue Lab Brewing from Lexington, and Devils Backbone from Roseland, will be on hand.  Show some Virginia craft beer love and get by both of them!

7.  Legend Brewing, from Richmond, is debuting a new beer, a Belgian style called a Quadrupel (or Quad, for short).  They are complex, malty experiences, and are quite strong.  Delicious, and not for the faint of heart.

6.  Ok, I couldn’t not include this one.  After a short hiatus from Microfestivus, beloved t shirt vendor Scott from St. Obnoxious will be on hand once again, with his perfect beer related shirts on sale.

5.  Outer Banks favorite Weeping Radish will again be in attendance – what a great story they have going on down in North Carolina.  Stop by their website for their “farm to table” philosophy on beer and good homegrown food.

4.  Roanoke based Roanoke Railhouse brewery will be debuting their new IPA.

3.  Heavy Seas Brewing, from Maryland, will be bringing a version of their Loose Cannon IPA with reportedly will be locally sourced hops.  Always interesting to hear of breweries using locally grown ingredients, and there seems to be more and more news of breweries growing their own, or using ones from local sources lately…and that leads us to…

…the next two interesting notes, which revolve around “cask” ales.  Simply put, cask beer, or as some call it, “real” beer, is beer that was transferred into a cask holding vessel after the initial brewing process was just about finished, to mature there, and to undergo a secondary fermentation within the cask from the yeast still present in the beer.  They are unfiltered, unpasteurized, and most of all, are not served using artificial means, like Co2, to push the beer out to your glass.  The idea is to preserve the beer as much as possible from outside interference from, well, just about anything… and two breweries will reportedly be bringing casks to today’s Microfestivus!  For those truly curious about beer, this presents a completely different angle on beer and beer production…

2.  That Heavy Seas Loose Cannon with locally sourced hops?  It will be in cask form.  Definitely worth checking out.

1.  And last but not least…what would a big event like Microfestivus be without a rumor or two… rumor has it that Legend (Richmond) will also be bringing a cask as well of a so far unmentioned beer….

That’s it… to everyone that’s going, have a blast, enjoy, and remember… taste something different!

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~ by thebeerroad on August 13, 2011.

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