Fear and Loathing at Louisville Craft Beer Week

This week I’ll try and recount the past week of visiting great louisville beer destinations and the delicious treasures they had to behold.  First off, trying to enjoy craft beer week with a sickness attacking you is not fun, and all the cold medicine in the world still can’t make it completely tolerable.  That being said, I still had a blast and was able to see a lot of good beer all over town this week.

IMG_1766My journey begins at Against the Grain for the Smoke Out event that saw some old familiar faces, Bo & Luke, unexpectedly join the party.  While enjoying that barrel age goodness, calamity would ensue during the podcast with louisville’s craft beer trio Wurth, Lykins and King.  I made a drunken debut to the world of radio that night, one that I’m unsure of having any impact on the overall quality of the show.  Either way, those guys are a blast and it was fun.

Fueled from my encounter at AtG, I’m thinking at this point it would be a good idea to see how the dog fish head haven was going at Four Pegs.  Boy was I in for it.  No 60 or 90 minute through the randall due to technical difficulties, no problem.  They still had 120 on, what’s the harm that could come from drinking an 18% IPA that tastes like pure heaven and hell in the same glass.  Ordered with the sweetest intentions, the devil is in the details here with 120 minute.  About a quarter of the way through the glass I’m wondering, how could I have thought this was a good idea.  At this point my only defense was an exodus to the Post for a slice of the day and some water to close out the evening.

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The next night I made it to a fortnight of Oktoberfest at Boombozz and was greeted to a huge tap list of great Oktoberfest beers including my personal favorite from Left Hand.  Also got to try the new West Sixth offering and it was a very balanced and refreshing interpretation of the style.

After a night of moving a friend into her new place and another spent seeing a show at Headliners, it was time to hit the trail again.  I was really excited about Thursday knowing that there would be so many sour offerings on that day.  One big problem.  I wake up feeling like I just got out of a Sauna and puke my brains out.  All I could think of, theres no way I’m getting sick for Craft Beer Week.  There were too many delicious beers to try, I couldn’t not try those beers without going out with my boots on.  I did what any self respecting craft beer fan would do when there sick as shit… get some rest, take some Aspirin and go out for a night of cold induced frenzy.

Looking back on my decision to go out half delirious with sickness seems like a bout of poor decision making on my part.  Au contraire, every nauseating moment was met with one tap list after the other that would make any Sour beer fan swoon.  Nachbar and Four Pegs put on some great beers including a blueberry lambic from 3 Floyds/Mikkeller, my first salted plum wheat ale from Kiuchi in Japan and a pleasantly subtle tart cherry berliner from North Coast.  Unfortunately this is where I would have to end the night as ‘the sickness’ and craft beer were having an epic war with my body.  I would end my night curled up in my bed much like Trainspotting in that uncomfortable hot/cold position, watching Taxi Driver, looped on cold medicine.

IMG_1783Friday and Saturday would be met with more optimism as I felt a hell of a lot better.  Swayze Dayz at Against the Grain turned out great other than the need for a screening of Road House, c’mon guys, someone dropped the ball here.  Seriously though, the guys at AtG brought out some great breweries to all make their own version of Dalton’s Kriek.  My personal favorite was the bourbon barrel aged variant from 18th amendment in Gary, Indiana.  So tart and sour up front but somehow finishes velvety smooth with strong notes of caramel, vanilla and oak on the finish.  Very Impressive.  All the entries had strong merits and I left very satisfied having been to another great event.  Saturday, I went to witness the battle of the Denmark twins that own Evil Twin and Mikkeller at Four Pegs.  The gypsy brewers had some great beers on tap, including the Mission Gose from Evil Twin which is a great example of a favorite style of mine.  The next afternoon I would run into another Gose from Akasha on tap at Great Flood paired with some Sunday football action; this is how my week would come to its bittersweet end.

I survived, it was a great experience and my only regret is I wish I had seen more.  Here’s to next years Craft Beer Week!  Cheers…

 

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