Back in September I wrote a post on the five breweries I though were “must visit” at the Kennett Brew Fest. Well, Kennett is back, with a Winterfest this time, a stripped down, lean, mean version of its classic event. Forty breweries, most of which are bringing two beers that would be appropriate on a cold February afternoon (the event is outside) and a crowd that was limited to 800 people.
Because of the reduced scale of this event, it didn’t seem right to select a handful of breweries I’m looking forward to visiting, no in this case I think it’s easy enough to zoom right in on the beer. So here is my list of five beers I’m looking forward to tasting, and just for the hell of it, one brewery whose table I’ll definitely be spending some time at.
HILL FARMSTEAD, HARLAN IPA – If you read my preview on last year’s Kennett Beer Fest, you know that I was really eager to taste the beers of this brewery since so few of them get distributed any further than the gift shop attached to their Vermont brewery. And after getting a chance to try their Vera Mae (a saison made with spelt and wild flower honey) and Ephraim (imperial pale ale) I can say I am totally looking forward to trying their Harlan, a Columbus dry hopped take or their IPA, Edward. Sadly it appears to be the only beer they’re bringing, or the second one would be on this list as well.
FOUNDERS, BREAKFAST STOUT – I’m not going to lie, I’ve had Breakfast Stout before, but the beer just haunts me. I don’t know why. Maybe it’s the name play that assures me that, yes Ed, it is ok to crack open a beer at 9am. Or maybe it’s the 50lbs of chocolate chips and 100lbs of broken big chocolate bars that go into every batch that gives this beer a chocolaty background that would satisfy any cacao junky. Or maybe it’s the coffee. Ok, it’s probably not the coffee. But whatever the reason, I’ll have to taste it again.
STARR HILL, PSYCHO KILTER – Beer confession time!! You can keep your IPAs and Stouts, give me a porter or a Scotch Ale any day. Ok, I want some of your IPAs and stouts too, but I do love a good Scotch Ale. And since we’ve been waiting patiently for Starr Hill to come into Delaware, I think this would be a good time to stop by their table and check out this 9.3%ABV glass of malty goodness. I’ll probably visit the table more than once.
FEGLEY’S, RUDE ELF – To my memory, I’ve never had Rude Elf even though I’m very aware of it. Fegley’s and Troeg’s got in to it a little some years back when Troeg’s was trying to get a legal hold on the word “Elf” even though Fegley’s had already been producing Rude Elf for some time. The whole thing got elfing crazy for a bit, and to be honest, I don’t know any of the details, I just know that both breweries continue to produce under the two names, so someone must have come to their elfing senses. So I guess I’ll make sure I get to Fegley’s booth and see what all the elfing fuss is about.
PORT CITY, TWO! STRONG SMOKED PORTER. When Port City Brewing turned one year old, they brewed an Imperial Belgian Stout. Well now they’re two, and they’ve whipped up a strong (10%) smoked porter to mark the occasion. I’ve heard some nice things about this Alexandria Virgina brewery. I’m really looking forward to toasting their birthday with a glass of this beer.
And the brewery goes to :
KENNETT BREWING COMPANY – I know nothing about these guys. They have a Facebook page and appear to be gearing up to open a brewery somewhere in Kennett Square. I’ll definitely be stopping by their table to see what’s up! They’ll be pouring beers with names like Scottish 140 Schilling (have you been paying attention) and 1934 Kid XXX Pale Ale, so I’m totally interested in tasting what these guys are brewing.
And that’s a quick run down of what I’m looking for. Of course, there will be plenty of other beers around to try as well. It looks like it’s going to be another great beer fest in Kennett.