Total number of beers at the fest: 63
Number appearing any given afternoon: 46
Average alcohol content: 7.9%
Average IBU: 48
Least alcoholic: Breakside Cranberry Biere de Table (3.3%)
Most Alcoholic: 2005 Samiclaus (14%) - pouring today only
It's rough to break the beers down by style, but let's try. Looking just at the regular beers, I'd say they look roughly like:
7.1% - Porter
7.1% - Old Ale
7.1% - Sour ales
9.5% - Barley Wines
9.5% - Belgian styles
14.3% - Winter Warmer
16.7% - Strong ales
16.7% - Stouts
You may ask: what's the difference between a winter warmer and an old ale? Or an old and a strong? Or a strong and a barley wine? Or -- enough. I suppose you could say it's 23.8% porters and stouts, 47.6% strong ales, plus some other stuff. But this is my blog and so I assert (capriciously) that there is a difference between barley wine, old ale, winter warmer, and strong ale.
It's always fun to try to suggest beers, but since I didn't go to the media tasting, I have no idea what most of these taste like nor can I predict anyone's particular preferences. And anyway, you'll follow your bliss. What interests me are these:
- Breakside Cranberry Biere de Table. It's a session saison with a bit of cranberry acid and spice for fun. Sounds a lot like the kind of beer I asked to brew with Ben for Mighty Mites, and that's pure Jeff-bait.
- Collaborator Hallucinator English Old Ale. Not the first time Hallucinator's made an appearance, and I recall past editions being mighty tasty.
- Double Mountain Chimney Stout. Brewed with rye and oats, the brewery promises a touch of sweetness up front and a long, dry finish. If so, I'll love it.
- Firestone Walker Bourbon Barrel Velvet Merkin. I can feel the buzz all the way in SE Portland. I will have to give it a try just so people don't badger me.
- Hopworks Kentucky Christmas. At least the third year they've made this, and I've loved past editions immoderately.
- Laurelwood Bonaparte's Retreat. Having just been to France and Belgium, this would be a must-try in any case, but it's made with roasted chestnuts, perhaps like the packet I bought in York, which is doubly enticing.
- Lompoc Cherry Christmas. A witches' cauldron of blended beer; I will overlook one of the ingredients ("a two-year old Gueze"--gueuze is made by blending different ages of lambic) because the others, blends of soured and/or barrel-aged beers, sound delicious.
- McTarnahan's Barrel-Aged Ink Blot. A Baltic porter aged on Jack Daniels barrels. Worth a token to see how it turned out.
- Ninkasi The Little One. A true parti-gyled small beer, made from the second runnings of Critical Hit barley wine. Though the nerd in me thinks they should have called it "Double Damage" Small Beer.
- Rusty Truck Belsnickle Strong Ale. Rusty Truck? Rusty Truck? What the hell is Rusty Truck? It's apparently from Salem. Who knew?
- Upright Provision. A mix of biere de garde and brett-soured English old ale. Sounds like a huge degree of difficulty, but if it works, it probably really, really works.