What? No 60 Minute? (It’s Ok.) Seek Out New Beers At Microfestivus.

Microfestivus 2011One day left until Roanoke’s Microfestivus.  What beers are you planning on seeking out?

Regardless if you tend to scan a beer festival’s beer list the night before the festival – over a beer, of course – or only at the moment you’re handed the festival map at the gates, I’m betting that you are mainly scanning for beers you have never had.  With the selection that most festivals give, the opportunity to try something new, and hopefully, find a new favorite beer or style, makes for the most memorable of festivals.  You’re looking for beers about which you’ve heard a good thing or two, ones that just sound interesting enough to try, or ones that fall into a favorite style, but again, have yet to try.  After all, this is one of the most endearing attributes of craft beer – the variety of flavors, aromas, styles – and any beer festival offers the best chance to explore.  Sure, you might mix an old standby in for good measure, but overall, you’re seeking a new beer that you’ll be telling everyone else about hours after the festival winds down, if not days, or longer.

Taking a look at the list for this year’s Microfestivus, it at least feels as if there are more beers than possibly ever before which are at the least new to the event, if not to the area overall.  Working off of some of the latest beer list information at hand, I’ve listed a few of these below.  Take a look, consider seeking at least one or two of these out, and remember, a few favorite might be around the corner.  Cheers!

The Richmond Invasion:  There have been a number of tap takeover events around Roanoke since Richmond’s Hardywood Park Craft Brewery began distributing here roughly two weeks ago, but if you haven’t had a chance to reach any of them, the well respected brewery should have its flagship Belgian Blonde Style Ale Singel, the fruit added wheat Virginia Blackberry, its Czech style Bohemian Pilsner, as well as possibly their lower abv session style IPA “Float”.  All of the latter beers have made appearances around town so far, but if Float makes it to the festival, it should be the first appearance in Roanoke.  Also, Richmond’s Isley Brewing will be represented by at least their Oatmeal Porter “The Bribe”, a solidly rated beer.   A couple beers from Lickinghole Creek, a farm brewery just outside Richmond, should also be available, including their Three Chopt Tripel.

Firkins:  Small cask beers kept at relatively cool temps (not cold) based upon (mostly) natural carbonation, firkins always gather plenty of attention at festivals.  There should be at least two at Microfestivus, including one from Hardywood Park and another from Baltimore’s Heavy Seas.  Hardywood’s is apparently a hop forward wheat ale, possibly their recently released Centennial Wheat.  The Heavy Seas beer is their highly rated Dark Belgian Holy Sheet, and considering that cask conditioning often gives its beer a silk like smooth body, this already rich beer should be a treat come Saturday.

A classic summer quencher:  Ok, so this category only has one beer in it, but if Three Brothers continues on their run of solid to very delicious beers, their Pilsner “Pilsnerd” is one to seek out early.

“What??  No 60 Minute?”:  That’s right folks.  If the festival list is right, when you head on over to the Dogfish tent, you’ll do it for either a taste of something that yes, you may have had before, their peach infused Berliner Weiss Festina Peche – or even better, “Namaste”, the brewery’s Witbier, made with dried orange, coriander and lemongrass.  No, really, you should try this.

Pucker Up:  For those of you who have tasted Atramentous, Three Brothers’ (Harrisonburg) Sour Belgian Style Stout aged in barrels that previously held their Resolute Imperial Russian Stout, you know why you should head over to their tent.  If not, and especially if you are still on the edge of the pool of sour style beers, consider finally dipping your toes in by trying this one.  There is a theory that complex beers can be too difficult to enjoy, that you spend all your time thinking instead of enjoying, but Atramentous bridges that gap.  The first time I had this beer, it was among friends, and though everyone agreed on some of the aromas and flavors, each one of us also found something a bit different as well:  rich, chocolaty, woody, slight bourbon, raisin like, something a bit like cigar wrappers, and on and on, with of course a prodding tartness.  Still not sure?  Again, if you’re curious, this is well done and worth the try.

There are many more than this to add to the mental list, even an English IPA from St. Louis’ Schlafly that rates very highly.  But a list is available for download from the event’s website, and the festival is just a day away.  Time to start planning – but however the day ends up, I hope you have found a new favorite beer or style.  Cheers.




~ by thebeerroad on August 8, 2014.

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