Saturday, September 25, 2010

an abundance of brews at mccoole's fall beer fest

With a 43-beer checklist in hand, my friend, brother and I set out for McCoole's Fall Beer Fest in Quakertown, Pennsylvania. Packed with pumpkin pleasures I have yet to taste, aside seasonals including Oktoberfests aplenty, I was confident that I could tackle such a list in our four-hour session--no sweat.

Well, let's just say, I need to stop being so cocky. 43 samples doesn't sound like a hard task by any means, but after about half, many of the similar-conceptualized beers began to appear the same in taste. But that being said, I did pinpoint a bunch of favorites, and this was (of course) before my body was flooded with beer drinking silliness, as in, I swear I remember the exact characteristics of each swig.
As a fan of pumpkin beers done at their best, i.e. not overly spiced, right blend of flavors, I found that Uinta's Punk'n was bold in color and flavor, spouting an actual pumpkin taste, not a masked excuse for fall's favored forerunner. However, this Punk'n is incredibly crisp and thin, so if you're desiring a medium bodied beverage, this is not for you.
Other notables included: River Horse's Hipp-o-Lantern (another enjoyable pumpkin ale), Old Dominion Oktoberfest and Rogue's Double Chocolate Stout (like eating chocolate cake, no joke). For the full list of the beers offered during last weekend's beer fest, click here.
TorchBearer Sauces were also cozy at this fall's beerfest, and one of their sauce-creating crafters was smiling proud as he pointed out his cartoonish mugshot on his Zombie Apocalypse sauce (one of the hottest spiced sauces out there). While I honestly hadn't experience this mouth-scorcher, I did devour a couple mouthfuls of their black bean salsa, and MAN was it incredibly fresh! (TorchBearer sells at all PA-based Whole Foods and select Giant supermarkets.)
The enthusiastic male who invented "Puttle" was on site egging all beer fanatics to give his golfing game a go. Although I can't say I have a profound skill of golfing, I was able to nail the middle pin (main point of the game) in several swoops.
And, after four hours of hopping from one sample to the next, we couldn't deny that after all the slurps, Victory Village was by far teetering on the top of our lists.

For more information about McCoole's Beer Festivals, click here. There's two a year, so you get double the chance at not missing the next one!