This post is a bit late, but at the end of March, I went to a beer festival, at the Union Station in Chicago. The festival was a bit expensive, but I was able to get very discounted tickets ($10!) for being a poor physical sciences division student (we can use part of our student fees to subsidize tickets to a variety of events).
In my opinion, I don’t think it was worth the full price since the lines were too long (and the bathrooms were very far away :)) to get your money’s worth. I was there more for tasting than drinking, so I mostly got half samples to be able to taste new beers and also enjoy some favorites.
At the beginning, I tried to write down the beers, but then it got too crowded and it was very difficult to write everything down, so I just took “business cards”, which most of the time were in fact coasters or tattoos 🙂
Among of the discoveries, was Cuvee van de Keizer from Gouden Carolus. It was very flavorful, refreshing and not too sweet. It was a bit fruity and could taste caramel and honey. I am definitely going to try to buy some!
When I needed a break from the beer, I went and tried a few ciders. I found the Fox Barrel pear cider very refreshing. I was intrigued by their blackberry pear cider, but they didn’t have it at the festival. Unfortunately, when I did find it later it felt a bit sweet and not refreshing enough. I’ve tried quite a few ciders and I think overall, Woodchuck makes the best ones. I did have a very nice pear cider in Sweden a few years ago, but I haven’t been able to find it in US (it doesn’t help that I don’t quite remember the name).
Another nice bear was the 5 Rabbit Midwinter ale, a flavorful Belgian style ale with notes of honey, but not too sweet. I’ve had a few other beers from 5 Rabbit, and they’re definitely becoming one of my favorite breweries.
The Strange Pelican looked really cute so I tried their dunkel weizen beer. They’re not just cute, they also make great beer 🙂 This was a nice wheat beer and bit fruity and effervescent.
The Ommegang beers were great as usual. I also enjoyed the La Chouffe and I am curious to try their Mc Chouffe (unfiltered dark beer…yum).
While, I think I am still more of a wine than a beer person, I am really enjoying trying all these beers. Maybe it’s just me, but I feel like over the past few years there has been a boom in craft breweries and there are a lot more flavorful beers out there!
While I am typing this post, the weather outside my windows is crazy!!! Giant hail is hitting my windows and I can hear the wind. I had to stop my TV because it kept beeping with the sever thunderstorm alerts! Oh, well…it was still worth enjoying 80s weather for a few hours and my shoes got a nice bath 🙂 I am glad tonight I managed to leave work earlier. The hail at 7pm was smaller and less terrifying 😉