|Dan and Stew|
The guys and gals that run NERAX did another great job this year. The party started slowly on Friday, but by the time we had our fill and had to call it a night, the place was hopping. There were a lot of beers to try on Friday, and I went through the booklet they passed out while I was in line and made some marks next to ones I wanted to try. Sadly, a lot of those were gone, including BOTH Aeronaut offerings. I also noticed that on the American side, most of the casks came from the east coast--I saw one from California. They also had two casks from Germany this year. I found plenty to tickle the taste buds; here what I tried:
Dark Age - Celtic Experience, Caerphilly, Wales (ABV 4.2%)
This dark ale was listed as mild, which must be a UK description, but it seemed apt. Thin, medium brown with a very light, foamy head. Sour mash nose. Dry and bitter with a slight Belgian basement tang, long bitter finish with chocolate, pith, yeast and leather notes. The clean, bitter taste hangs in the mouth until the next sip. A great way to start the night.
Duncan's IPA - Inveralmond Brewery, Perth, Perthshire, Scotland (ABV 4.4%)
This is one I put two stars on while waiting in line, and they had it. Beautiful, clear sunny gold color with an airy, bubbly head, that lasted until the last sip. Fresh caramel malt on the nose, with light bread and vegetable notes. Clean, dry and bitter with a pleasant pithy aftertaste. Dense hops profile, but quietly done. Nice.
|Duncan's IPA quarter pint pour|
Monk's Christkindl - Klosterbrauerei Weissenohe, Weissenohe, Germany (ABV 6.5%)
Malty, fruity and sweet smelling. Hazelnut brown, medium bodied boch, slightly cloudy with just the faintest skuds of suds on the surface and a few bubbles at the edge of the glass. Fruit cake, cherries, mollasses, and B&M Brown Bread! really on the nose. The body cleared as it rested. Burnt sugar, spice, Amaro, and bitter roots; super complex in the mouth. There is a bitter, sharpness just beyond the complexity that keeps this delicious holiday beer from being too sweet, but I couldn't figure it out.
Midnight - Monty's Brewery, Powys, Wales (ABV 4.0%)
This black-brown stout is rich with a creamy but thin head. Clean and light mouth feel, watery and deep. Dry, sticky, soft, almost powdery finish. Light smoke and espresso at the end.
Sunlander - Stonehouse, Oswestry, Shropshire, England (ABV 3.7%)
Pale yellow, bright and clear with a feathery, pale yellow head. Grapefruit citrus on teh nose. Sharp citrus attack, clean, bright hops and summery finish. Additional sips brought a coppery metallic taste. You know that flavor when you take a sip from a drinking fountain in a place you've never been, and discover that no one's used it in six months. Yeah, that; but in a good way. DOn't get the wrong idea, this beer was great.
Then there's this Twitter pic that NERAX had posted on their Facebook page. Yeah, that's me in the foreground, with the backs those two guys I was with. Their faces appear in the pic at the top of this post.
Looking back, I see that with all of the local beers, I stuck with Europe this year. Lots of the American beers I had flagged were kicked. See you next year!
Sadly, there is no 2013 post. I was sick.
Click here for my NERAX 2012 post
Click here for my NERAX 2011 post
Click here for my NERAX 2010 post