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Monday, May 11, 2009

FredFest 2009

This is where I would normally write up a review of FredFest. I will make a comment about a couple of the beers--especially that 1994 Saxer doppelbock--but actually, this event calls for a slightly different kind of treatment.

Although it has some of the appearance of a beer fest, FredFest is actually a birthday party. The space and "guest list" are both small enough that within a couple of laps, you've laid eyes on everyone in the place. Mostly people spend time talking and enjoying each other's company rather than focusing overmuch on the beer. For me, it was sort of a harmonic convergence of bloggers/beer writers and blog readers.

Let's see if I can do this justice: Bill, Dave, Lisa, Abe, Derek, John, Chris, Kerry, plus Josh (who suggested Doc Wort and I are one--and who remains in my doghouse) and Nate, regular commenters it was nice to finally put a face to. Of course, the event was for the ur-writer, a fact not lost on any of us. We managed, through Bill's organization, to get a picture with Fred. It should appear on various blogs, from which I plan to steal it as a treasured memento. (Unfortunately, we missed Angelo, Matt, and one Doc Wort, who did not make himself known if he was there.) Very cool to see you all, and all in one place--

Okay, that doppel. It held up very nicely--good thing Bob had kept it in a cooler all those years. The structure was intact, and it was still lively after all these years. A wee bit of oxidation, but fairly minimal. Some fruity notes emerged, and it was silky smooth. Everyone raved, but no one I talked to remembered the original particularly clearly. I do. Despite decoction and several weeks in the tank, it still came out like a Hell's Angel. A very big, burly beer--smooth and supple, but still big. In the current gigantism of brewing, 8% seems trifling, but this was no lightweight. It came out in the dead of winter, and I drank it to chase away the chill. So, while the aged beer was a beauty, I have to confess missing the force of the original. I had somehow hoped to visit the past--but of course things change.

The other beer of note, and one you may actually encounter, was Firestone Walker Abacus, which was deep, dark, and mysterious. I had it late, so my palate wasn't its freshest, but I'm still prepared to declare it damned impressive. (Actually, there were plenty of beers to note: Double Mountain Ingelmonster, Cascade Bain de Brugge, Fred on the Wood. I didn't take notes, though--I was at a party, and I was just enjoying things. Even a beer blogger gets a day off every now and again.)

Got a few pictures here, and if others write about it, I'll link to them.

10 comments:

Patrick said...

Jeff,

The Saxer was plenty good, but most people that I spoke with seemed to regard it more as a museum piece or circus freak than a truly great beer at this point - lots of "wow, it's amazing all things considered", not "it's amazing."

I did think the Abacus was probably the only one of the three 'reserve' beers that really made the drinker stand up and take notice - (damn you Old Boilermaker, 2nd FredFest, 2nd missed opportunity). Brewtality demonstrated a clear-eyed assessment, unfortunately, by the folks at Midnight Sun.

I really enjoyed the Bend Dark Lager, thought that was a great small beer in amongst the span of palate destroyers.

And I was fascinated by the FFTW-cask as compared to the FFTW carbonated. I would like to know which vintage that was. Much more hop-forward than the vintage I've been drinking lately.

dr wort said...

I'm still working on my Fredfest post....

Jeff. Time to put your thinking cap on. We tasted the Saxer almost at the same time.... and yes, it was a different beer than you wrote about awhile back. ;-} I would say that one could argue the beers authenticity, but that might be to revealing... :-O

Yes, I was there. Some of you even looked at me sideways and then wrote me off as a casual party goer.

Anonymous said...

Jeff,

I'm not fond of doghouses, especially considering I'm not the originator of the rumor....but then again...the TRUTH must be told.. ;-}

Josh said...

Jeff,

I'm not fond of doghouses, especially considering I'm not the originator of the rumor....but then again...the TRUTH must be told.. ;-}

Bill said...

Exactly right, Jeff. The camaraderie was wonderful.

I hope to have my post done later today.

Jeff Alworth said...

Some of you even looked at me sideways and then wrote me off as a casual party goer.You mean we failed to recognize, from your aura alone, that you were the world famous Doc Wort? What an injustice!

Why didn't you introduce yourself? We were all casual partygoers, man. That's what the gig was.

dr wort said...

I kind of explain my anonymity in my blog post which is finally done.

Word spreads like wild fire in Portland and there are too many people who just don't get the Dr Wort angle... I have received some threatening emails in the past from hate mongers and those who, "Just don't get it." I'm not ready to risk my safety because some people are hypersensitive and can't relate to my blog.

BTW, my aura would be similar to all the other party goers. ;-}

Anonymous said...

"Word spreads like wild fire in Portland and there are too many people who just don't get the Dr Wort angle... "

I didn't realize that being a condescending, anonymous internet douchebag was "an angle."

If you actually wrote something worth reading instead of simply copy/pasting BJCP guidelines and menus from pubs perhaps people would give a crap, but your blog is painful to read and full of worthless crap.

There, now you can add me to the list of hatemongers ;)

despardm said...

And it looks like you can add yourself to the list of anonymous internet douchebags. ;-)

dr wort said...

...I'm not sure this guy can read at all!!

I haven't quoted the BJCP for quite some time, maybe he's a slow reader...

;-}

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