"Sometimes when I reflect back on all the beer I drink I feel ashamed - Then I look into the glass and think about the workers in the brewery and all of their hopes and dreams. If I didn't drink this beer, they might be out of work and their dreams would be shattered. Then I say to myself, 'It is better that I drink this beer and let their dreams come true than be selfish and worry about my liver.'" - Deep Thought, Jack Handy
A visit to the World Beer Festival, “Brewtopia” isn’t a time to think about your liver. In fact the only thing that should concern you is endurance and the long lines for the restroom. But once you walk through the big double doors at the Jacob Javits Center and see the hundreds of tables neatly lined up waiting for you to sample some of the world’s greatest beers, all your troubles seem to fall by the wayside.
Many of the beers we sampled were new discoveries for us. Yes, there were the classics like Brooklyn Brewery, Chimay and Magic Hat, but we chose to pass on those tables to save room for the beers that were not yet on our radar. After extensive sipping and in a few instances gulping, we found some new favorites:
Brother Thelonious Beer
This beer made by the North Coast Brewing Company had so much flavor and complexity, we still remembered that distinct nutty, caramel flavor a week later. You won’t throw back 3 or 4 of these; this is a beer to sip and savor.
Young’s Double Chocolate Stout
This deep brown stout crosses the line from beer to dessert. On the nose are faint aromas of chocolate and mocha. On the palate it’s rich, creamy and decadent. Not surprising considering it’s brewed with Cadbury chocolate (so the rumor goes).
Abita Purple Haze
The second we brought the glass to our nose, there was an immediate sense of recognition. It was a smell from our childhood that brought back memories of Sunday mornings watching the Gummy Bears in our P.J.’s. And then it hit us; this beer smells exactly like Berry Kix Cereal. It had a light toasty flavor that was refreshing and nostalgic with a hint of berries and wheat. The berry aroma comes from raspberry puree that is added after filtration, it’s subtle and balanced.
Flying Dog Tire Bite Golden Ale
After trying our fair share of stouts, this lighter beer was a refreshing change of pace. Aromas of hops and wheat are subtle but add a nice layer of complexity to the nose and palate. Basically, for a light beer it had a lot going on.
Other noteworthy beers:
Smuttynose Wheat Wine Ale
Butte Krete Pilsner
Kelso Nut Brown of Brooklyn
Check out Dual Specialty Store (91 First Ave @ 6th St) to purchase many of the aforementioned beers.
If you didn’t make it to Brewtopia this year, unfortunately you missed a good time (did we mention that there was beer pong and flip cup?). But why wait until next year to enjoy a great variety of hand-crafted beers? We’ll be re-creating it every Sunday night in our apartment; all we need is a good flip cup table and perhaps a new liver.