Fill It or Spill It

Beer Event: International Great Beer Expo

In Beer Event on February 5, 2012 at 10:22 pm

My first beer event of the year.  Like all beer nerds, I love going to places where I can drink all sorts of beer.  I attended this event last year and it was fun, so why not attend again this year?

Like other responsible beer drinkers, I opted to rely on public transportation to and from the event because I wanted to sample beers as many as possible.  Upon arrival, I saw the longest and most poorly organized entrance line.  I had to ask a few people if they knew where the end of the line was, but nobody really knew.  Apparently, the line was so long and the space in front of the expo center so small, the line looped into itself.  Not really a big deal in the end, but I hope next year they get some people to direct or get those little rope things to delineate the line better.  We got inside pretty quickly once the doors opened.  To the credit of the staff, the ID and ticket checking was smooth and didn’t take long at all.

I wish I could sit here and give you a rating for all the beers I tried at the event, but I can’t.  I’m sure most people reading this have been to beerfests before and you know by the end the whole thing is a beer blur.  I do have a couple of memorable samples (in no particular order) :

Allagash Curieux

Boaks Two Blind Monks

Keegan’s Joe Mama Milk Stout

Tommyknocker Maple Nut Brown

Thomas Hooker Irish Red

Victory Mad King’s Weiss & Hopdevil

Weyerbacher Verboten

Ruckus Hoptimus Prime

Defiant Belgian Tripel

Chang Beer

East Coast Beer Co. Winter Rental

I remember liking most of them for the exception of Hoptimus Prime.  Hoptimus was like a kick in the mouth with a boot made of hops, but what else would you expect?  In fairness, I tried this big beer as I was getting ready to leave, so I think my taste buds were worn out and just not ready for such a big, hoppy beer.  The surprise beer was Chang Beer.  It was surprisingly flavorful and my wife was really into this one.  My only beer related complaint would be I wish that some of the breweries brought more hard to find beers.  I’m sure the breweries have to bring beers most people would enjoy, but I’d rather go to one of these and taste something I wouldn’t be able to otherwise try.

We attended one of the beer seminars “Cooking with Beer”.  It was cool because we got some free food and they had people constantly ready to refill my cup.  I walked in with some beer in my cup and the lady walking around said to me “don’t nurse that beer because I have more”.  It sounded like a challenge so I chugged what I had left (and what my wife had) and I said bring it on.  It was a Birra Moretti event and their beer was pretty good.  I liked the double bock they were pouring.

I have a couple of quick complaints.  I wish some of the breweries actually had people from the brewery pouring their beers.  When I went to the Allagash table they didn’t have any one actually from Allagash pouring.  They just had some older woman from the event “brew crew” pouring.  I give her credit because she was giving it her best, but it was just not skillful pouring.  Also, this is not a gripe about the specific event, but what’s with places charging so much for food?  I had to pay $8 for a cheeseburger, it was so expensive the lady giving me my burger couldn’t believe it cost 8 bucks and actually apologized.  Such is life, I suppose.

All in all it was a cool event.  My wife and I had a good time and plenty of good beer.  We also met some good people.  We had some older gentleman sitting next to us talking beer until his buddy walked up to him tapped his empty sample cup on the table and said “time for more”.  What I really liked was the lines for most of the beers were never that long, so I didn’t have to wait long for beer.  If you are in the area next year, I’d say check out the International Great Beer Expo in the Meadowlands.  You’ll probably see me in a very sharp-looking t-shirt!

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