The second annual Winterfest
was held on a sunny but brisk Saturday much to the delight of the 350 ticketholders.
Both food and beer were served in great quantities and consumed by one
We began our day by stopping at Earth Bread and Brewery just down the road a piece from GL. We talked to Tom and Peggy for a while and took some pics of the progress on the brewpub.
Arriving at GL, we talked to several of the brewers who were just finished unloading. Chris LaPierre of Iron Hill-West Chester, Ric Hoffman and Eric of Stewart's, Curt Decker and Gordon Grubb of Nodding Head, and Casey Hughes and John Fiorilli of Flying Fish. The host, Chris Leonard, came out and told us we could go in early but beer wouldn't be served until 12.
At this same event last year, I overimbibed and I aimed not to do that this year. The best laid plans....I was fine until Tom and Peggy showed up and we decided to stay for the after-party. Maybe next year......
The lineup of breweries was fantastic: Stewart's, Sly Fox, Nodding Head, Troegs, Flying Fish, Stoudt's, Dogfish Head, Manayunk, Appalachian, Bube's, McKenzie's, Victory, Triumph and Iron Hill.
Lots of big beers to be had. Barleywines, doppelbocks, winter warmers...needless to say, a daunting task. The usuals were there also...Uncle Jack Curtin, Don Russell, and Dale Van Wieren. Conspicuously absent was Woody Chandler and Bryan Kolesar( who was probably drinking barleywines at the Toronado in San Francisco).
The food was top notch as usual: sausages of all types, meatballs, mac & cheese, pork, beef, fried risotto, crab balls, hummus, cheese, crackers, desserts, etc. One needed all of that to sop up the alcohol being poured.
The best for me was Stewart's mini vertical of '05 and '06 Bourbon barrel-aged barleywines. Flying Fish brought their Imperial Porter sans coffee which was tasty. Dogfish brought a load too: Fort, Chateau Jiahu, & Raison d'Extra. Manayunk was pouring a Winter Warmer and a barleywine. Iron Hill presented a golden barleywine with an outstanding American hop presence. Victory had Old Horizontal. General Lafayette was serving their Chocolate Thunder Porter and a cask-conditioned Winterfest beer. Triumph served a special, Soire de __________, a Belgian-style quad which was quite good.