|Hibiscus Sour by Fair State|
|Kathleen serving her brew for Sidhe|
I got the VIP ticket to start drinking at hour early, but there were so few of us that I was unclear if anyone was pouring when it started. I've met the folks at Sidhe before, so started there by talking to Kathleen and Rosemary. Their fall beer was Non-Kin Apple Cream, which had a bright apple taste and the beer was very refreshing—a potential big seller for them.
A harvest fest, most brewers had a fresh hop or dry hopped offering. While not the popular winner, my best fresh hop of the fest was Lucid's Foto Fresh. Clean and bright, it was everything you'd want in a fresh hop beer. Unfortunately, not all of the fresh hop beers were as good, though some of it was presentation. Surly Wet was just poured out of a can, leaving it flat and not the spectacular beer that I've been drinking at home for the last week. Others were pouring out of growlers, which were also a bit flat after a few pours. For me the best beer of the day was Lactobac 2, a hibiscus sour from Fair State Cooperative. Fruity and floral with a singular sour base, this beautiful beer was a treat, serving to confirm my positive recent visit to Fair State.
|Curried Mushroom Fries from|
The Moral Omnivore food truck
And I was supposed to get a free T-shirt on the way out, but I forgot after a day of samples and walked out the wrong way. Oh well. Overall, I had a very pleasant day at the festival tasting in solitude. From overheard discussions, many of the patrons were learning beer and more than a few basic questions were answered by those pouring. At first, I felt like I was in the wrong place and that I had too easily fallen for the pitch of fresh hop beers on KARE 11. While not exactly Great American Beer Festival, the Harvest Beer Festival cheered a lot of locals on a bright fall day with some very good beer, including me.