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2014 Winter Beerfest Breakdown

It’s not too late to get down to Cincy Winter Beerfest! Here are some of the highlights from my visit last night.

  • The Quaff Bros. Quaffinator, brewed with Blank Slate, is REALLY damn good. It’s a doppelbock made with 8-9 different chili peppers and then barrel aged.  The result is an extremely smooth beer with a very balanced pepper flavor. I’m not a fan overly spicy beers and this one just delivers loads of smooth pepper goodness.  They plan to release it in bottles soon. Also got some of the Grand Crow and it was delicious.
  • There is a new growler shop with a small taproom opening in the not too distant future in East Walnut Hills near DeSales Corner. They expect to have approximately 40 taps and will employ the awesome Pegas filling system to ensure the growlers stay fresh.  More details coming on this one. Growlers are going to be a big thing in 2014.
  • The Rivertown “Waste of AAUs” red IPA was AWESOME. This is probably the best beer I’ve had from them. Lots of late addition hops to give it a balanced flavor and great aroma.
  • MadTree had a massive display, including a can tree, and about a dozen taps.  I missed out on the Barrel Aged coffee Gnarly Brown – it apparently went very fast while I was foolishly eating upstairs. Luckily there was year old barrel aged Axis Mundi available.
  • Listermann/Triple Digit had a big show as well and, like the BA Gnarly, their Cinnamon Chickow! disappeared before I had a chance to get some. Moral of the story, plan your first few beers strategically.
  • Rhinegeist brought their van, complete with taps poking out he side of it – super cool.
  • Blank Slate was pouring their new Long Way Home imperial black IPA with aged cocoa nibs.  Another home run that we’ve all come to expect from Blank Slate. Fun fact: the hop profile was basically made up of all the left over hops once they secured their new hop contracts.  Between the boil and fermentation, it has three pounds of hops per barrel.
  • Fifty West finished their collaboration brew with Fat Heads.  It’s going to be a hop heads dream with a ton of varieties including Mosaic, Citra, and more. The beer will be done soon but they are holding the release until 4/20/2014 in honor of the faux holiday.
  • Don’t forget to drink water between beers and don’t forget about the secret beer!

Mike Stuart

Craft beer enthusiast and hombrew dabbler. Part-time writer, sometimes funny.

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