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Fluid: Winter Ale, Pumpkin Stout, and Oak-Aged Beer

November 21, 2010

Beer Fest: n. 1. An event in a convention center arena that has been filled with booths serving small cups of beer. 2. For most of the city, a drunken shit show.

I’ve been to my share of Beer Fests- I am no longer a rookie to these affairs. I don’t wear a pretzel necklace, I don’t bother trying to use the bathroom at the event, I eat a big lunch the day of. And at this point in my life, I actually go to the Boston Beer Summit to taste the beer, not just drink it as fast as I possibly can. At last night’s event, I came away with three new favorites.

1. Geary’s Winter Ale: Brewed in Portland Maine, Geary’s Winter Ale tastes like maple syrup. You can smell the sweetness before you drink it, and it finishes with just a bit of maple. An excellent darker beer for the winter season.

2. Cape Ann Pumpkin Stout: I don’t normally get too excited about Pumpkin flavored beers, but this one, made with real pumpkin, cinnamon, and allspice, mixed really nicely with the chocolate notes of the stout. Plus, it’s brewed in Gloucester, one of my favorite places.

3. Innis & Gunn: My favorite of the night, when I hit this booth I was ready to camp out for the next three hours. Innis & Gunn is aged in oak barrels that have previously been home to bourbon or rum. I was skeptical that this process would benefit beer, but it was truly fantastic. Rich caramel flavors with a subtle vanilla sweetness and an incredibly smooth finish, this beer was the anti-hop. If you are looking for a place to buy it, here are some local distributors (I asked): Formaggio Kitchen (Cambridge), Atlas Liquors (Medford), Whole Foods Market (Dedham). Run, don’t walk.

One Comment leave one →
  1. Christian permalink
    June 6, 2011 10:38 pm

    I was searching the web trying to determine why my Geary’s Winter Ale tasted so terrible…like maple syrup…when I came across this post. I live in Portland and in previous years, the beer has not been so sweet. In my opinion the 2010 batch is undrinkable…I’ve even tried it for breakfast! But that is why beer is so great…so many different things to so many different people. Cheers.

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