Recovery and Reflection: World Beer Fest Highlights, Part 1

Well, here we are again. I am recovered from Saturday's boozy experience and Sunday's football insanity to return to the blogosphere.

Columbia's version of the World Beer Festival was held on Saturday. I could never remember everything I had, and I have notes on many beers, but I just want to give some highlights from my drinking experiences.

First, I think NoDa Brewing's Jam Session IPA might be my favorite IPA right now, and is up there on my favorite beer list (or at least, favorite regularly-available beer list). It's loaded with grapefruit flavor and aroma that blends well with the hop bitterness. It has big bold flavors, but didn't really seem to be much of a palate wrecker to me.

Swamp Cabbage Brewing had their Anniversary Ale on hand. It had a nice malt sweetness with mild hop and fruit flavors. Very nice.

Prior to and at the festival, I tried out Catawba Brewing Company from Morganton, NC after just recently starting to see them around Columbia. I had the Farmer Ted's Cream Ale (which seems to be the base beer to appeal to the pale lager drinkers of the world) at a local bar and the White Zombie White Ale at the festival. They both had fairly similar characteristics--a lot of grain and generally mild flavors. This was expected in the Cream Ale, but I'd have liked a little more out of the White Zombie. Still, I'll give them another try if/when I see them around here.

One of the first beers I had was D9 Brewing Company's Black Ice Imperial Black Ale. Aged in various sorts of barrels, including Canadian whiskey barrels, this ale had lots of booze and boozy sweetness (it checks in at 10% ABV), along with some coffee notes and maybe a hint of chocolate, though that may have just blended in with the booze.

This seems like a good stopping point for today. Tomorrow, I'll comment on a few other beers I had, along with some interesting ciders, if you'll indulge me on some Pourly Reviewed Ciders. Cheers.