Tuesday, March 10, 2015

The Barcelona Beer Fest 2015 is upon us

It started in 2012 in the humble beginnings of the St. Agusti cloister in the Born district in Barcelona, moved (with disasterous effect) to the Arenas shopping center for a year and looks to have settled down at the Museu Maritim of Barcelona. Each year the Barcelona Beer Festival has grown, and now is becoming one of the premier events for beer lovers in the city. Maybe I should say for beer lovers visiting the city. Last year I missed it due to work obligations, but this year maybe luck will shine brighter on me.

Here's the key info:

  • March 13 -15, 2015
  • 330 beers
  • 60 taps
  • Food will be available as will courses on beer and food pairings
  • 7 euros entrance fee (includes a beer glass, program guide and 2 tokens, which won't get you very far)
  • Meet the Brewer - chance to meet some of the top brewers for the show and ask them anything you can think of (beer related, one would presume). 
  • Beers from around the world. Of course, this being the Barcelona Beer Fest and the Barcelona Beer Blog I'm going to go ahead and recommend that you stick with the local beers if you are just visiting our lovely city. There's more than enough for you to keep yourself amused for at least 1 of the three days with just the local stuff. On the other hand, if you live here year round than by all means, dive into the more-difficult-to-find samples. 
  • Museu Maritim of Barcelona is at the Drassanes Metro stop, right at the end of Las Ramblas.
It's likely to be a zoo, so if you're serious about the beer I would say get there early and plan out your beer route for the day. Too much dilly-dallying could mean a much longer line. 

Wednesday, February 25, 2015

FORT Oatmeal Porter

Black with a small but long lasting head. Sweet roasted malt/oatmeal nose. Hint of hoppy bitterness. First impression was hoppier than expected for the style, lingering wet hops flavor but enjoyable. Didn’t notice the sweetness I expected from the aroma, basically I think because it was overpowered by the hops (sidenote, I fear that we are heading down a slippery slope with hops, where a decent ale is somewhat less decent because of our insistence on overusing hops). The oatmeal mellowed the beer though and in the end I thought it was an above average porter.  Would definitely drink another one, although at 6.1% (pretty much normal for the style) it's got more of a kick and is really less of a session ale and more of a post dinner kind of beer. 

Mandril Pale Ale - Beer review

In keeping with my desire to play catch up with my craft beer reviews (and in honor of the upcoming BFF), I'm going to be reviewing a few of the local beers I have had in the last few weeks. So let's start with Mandril pale ale, a bottle-fermented unfiltered ale.

At 5.4%, it presents a balanced easy nose and a pale gold color. It was served a tad too cold (a relatively common problem). Noticed the floral and spicy hops more than the malt, as to be expected with the style (Pale Ale all too often these days is an abbreviation for mild IPA), but the bitterness is persistent through the finish, which is dry and lightly hopped. It’s a very drinkable pale ale, correct and the hops was counterbalanced very nicely by the chocolate brownie I ordered with it. That said, it was a bit expensive for what it is, which is correct but nothing spectacular. I'd be glad to drink this at a slightly lower price though.