Beerfest 2012 was, once again, an educational and super fun evening of beer tasting. I must complement the organisers and sponsors, as it seemed as though the normally cavernous BMO Centre was transformed into a friendly, personal tour of the world, one brewery at a time.
Lately, Paul has been doing some research into gluten-free beer, so our focus started out with trying to find a favourite amongst the sorghum based suds. But for starters, we really appreciated the presence of the Canadian Celiac Association at Beerfest. At their display we picked up some pamphlets just to educate ourselves more about celiac disease, a condition that affects thousands of people. As for the gluten-free offerings, Estrella “Daura” (Spain) was pretty good, but the one we agreed on is “Bard’s”, whose claim to fame is that they are “the original sorghum malt beer”. I think the reason it has the most flavour is because they use 100 per cent malted sorghum. I am now happy to know that people with celiac disease have a quite a few more options if they want to enjoy a beer this summer.
On the niche market note, a couple of gorgeous model types poured us a sample of “Uptown Girl”, a light beer obviously targeted squarely at the under 30 female crowd. I couldn’t help but wonder, “what if any old fat guys want to drink it?” Never mind.
I preferred Yanjing (China) for a light beer, but I wasn’t in the mood for mincing around so instead, I went straight for the barley sandwiches. I absolutely loved New York’s Schmaltz Brewing Company’s “Jewbelation Fifteen” 15th Anniversary Ale. Labelled “He-Brew, The Chosen Beer” True to the year it is commemorating, of course it had to be 15 per cent alcohol, but what flavour and how smooth it was. Wow. Paul told me it was more like a barley wine, so I believed him, having never tried barley wine in my life. No food pairings needed with this one, but I should have brought a toothpick anyway.
There were just so many outstanding beers and great food at this festival, it is one not to be missed if you just want to get out and experience what a wonderful beer world is out there. And, the best news is, everything offered at Beerfest is available in Alberta!