Yesterday was the WBF in Durham. I've gone the last three years and enjoyed it, and I plan to continue attending in the future. (I'll get back to posting about writing or books or whatever sometime soon. Promise?)
As is traditional, I'm compiling a list of the beers I tried and what I thought of them, if I remember. The problem with beer sampling is that it's still kinda alcoholic. ;) This year, the program book helpfully included an alphabetical list of breweries and had listed the beers the brewers brought, with little boxes where you could mark down what you thought of them (1-5).
* denotes breweries in the Southeast; ** denotes breweries within NC
*Abita: Abbey Ale. I marked this one a 4, which means I liked it. It was like a dubbel or tripel, kind of heavy but still smooth and drinkable. I asked the guy working at the booth about the Satsuma Wit, and he said they're adding it to their permanent lineup as a summer seasonal, because it went over very well. This pleases me. (The Satsuma Wit is a Belgian white with satsuma orange added in the process. It's delightful and refreshing; perfect for a July afternoon.)
**Asheville Brewing: Ninja Porter. I tried this one toward the end of the evening, and I didn't like it. I marked down '1' in the box, but I can't recall why I didn't like it.
*Atlanta Brewing: Double chocolate oatmeal porter. 4. I have a poor track record with oatmeal porters; I don't know what it is about them. But this one, damn. It was sweet but not cloying, and had enough chocolate to balance out whatever it is I don't like about oatmeal porters.
Atwater Block Brewery: Vanilla java porter. 5. Sweet jumping Jesus on a pogo stick, this was divine. The vanilla made it, I think.
Belgoo Beer: Magus. 5. This is a white beer, and I really liked it.
**Big Boss: Harvest Time pumpkin ale: 4; Monkey Business Belgian farmhouse ale: 5. This was toward the end of the evening, so my tasting was a bit ... subdued? The pumpkin was good, and I could taste the spices. Ben said he liked it better than the Shipyard, so I may have to track some down before Halloween. The Monkey Business was really good - I think it reminded me of a golden ale, but I'm not sure on that, unfortunately.
Bosteels Brewery: Triple Karmiliet. 5. I believe this was a tripel. It was also toward the end, so my memory is a bit fuzzy. It was a nice clear golden color, though.
Sam Adams: Imperial Stout. 5. Another entry in the Imperial line, this is bold and strong, as you'd expect from an imperial stout. Unlike others I've tried, this one doesn't have the alcohol aftertaste, so if you prefer your imperial stouts smooth, go for this one. (They also had the imperial white, which I enjoy. It's not what you'd expect from a white - it's almost thick, and very strongly flavored.)
*Charleston Brewing: Half Moon Hefeweizen. 4. I could have given this a 5, I think. It was a very nice, very refreshing hefeweizen, though iirc it was filtered.
Deschutes Brewery: Black Butte Porter. 2. There's something about porters that makes me either love them or hate them, and I wish I knew what it was.
**Duck-Rabbit Craft Brewery: Baltic porter. 4. This was a porter that reminded me of a Belgian tripel, or possibly the New Holland Dragon's Milk. It was strange, but it worked.
**Foothills Brewing: stout. 2. I think this had a sour-hoppy taste to it that made me dislike it.
Fordham Brewing: Oak barrel stout. 4. I don't remember this one much, though it was relatively early on. But I noted that I liked it.
Gordon Biersch: Hefeweizen. 4+. The sign on this one said the hefeweizen had notes of bubblegum and banana, so I had to try it. It definitely tasted like bananas. Ben said he could taste the bubblegum. If you're into that sort of thing, it's pretty awesome.
Great Lakes Brewing: Christmas Ale. 3. I think this was fairly inoffensive, but I wasn't moved to enjoy it.
Kona Brewery: Pipeline porter. 3. Again with the porter problem.
Lao Brewery: Laotian beer. Didn't like it at all.
Leinenkugel's: Honey Weiss: 4; Berry Weiss: 4. Both delightful, refreshing wheat beers. The berry is raspberry, and it's a lot more fruity than, for example, Abita's Purple Haze.
**Liberty Steakhouse & Brewery: Blackberry wheat. 3. Generally inoffensive, but not particularly remarkable.
**Lone Rider: Shotgun Betty. 5. This is a hefeweizen, and I really enjoyed it. It was almost crossed with a white beer, iirc.
Malheur: Malheur 12. 4. This is a quadrupel, which I'm generally inclined to appreciate.
*Moon River Brewing: Wild Wacky Wit. 5. I think this one reminded me a lot of Hoegaarden, which is never a bad thing.
**Mother Earth Brewing: Weeping Willow Wit. 3-. I was kind of surprised to find a pagan-themed organic brewery out of Kinston, NC, but I didn't like their beer. I want to like organic beer, but there's just something off about them.
**Natty Greene's: Wildflower witbier. 4.
North Coast Brewing: Pranqster. 4. Belgian style golden ale.
*RJ Rockers: Son of a Peach wheat beer. 5. Holy crap, this was peachy and wheaty and I could probably drink it all day.
Singha: Did not like.
Tibet Lhasa Brewery: Also did not like.
**Top of the Hill: Old Well White. 3. Completely inoffensive, but not remarkable. I'd probably order it next time I go there for dinner, if they have it.
**Triangle Brewery: Belgian-style abbey dubbel. 4. I also wanted to try the Belgian golden and the Belgian white, but I didn't.
I wanted to try *Thomas Creek's Stillwater vanilla cream ale, but they were out.