Today I’m hosting a special guest reviewer. Adam recently won tickets LIBA was giving away to the Widmer Brother’s Explore Your Craft Tour. When he won I humbly asked if he could cover the event for LIBA. Adam has been interested in craft beer since he was in college in Vermont. Living in Denver later he developed a lover for beer. Now living in the Boston area, Adam continues his passion, recently launching his own blog. Enough yak-yak from me though. Adam, the blog is yours….
Thanks to Lost in the Beer Aisle, my girlfriend, Michelle, and I were lucky enough to attend the Boston stop of DRAFT and Widmer Brothers’ Explore Your Craft Tour on Saturday. The event was held right downtown at The Estate on Boylston. Usually a dance club, the venue transformed into the perfect setting to enjoy great beers, world class food, and good company.
Every nook and cranny of the place had something different to entertain you. In one area, local artist Erin Crowley was showing off her skills by painting the scene live and creating a one-of-a-kind piece of art that would later be auctioned off. In another, there was an enormous poster set up for guests to paint themselves, each contributing their own style to the larger work. Meanwhile, the mood was topped off by the music of the Jeff Conley Band who have a nice mellow, folky sound that was perfect for the event. Interestingly enough, they make their own instruments including a guitar made from what looked to be an old suitcase.
In addition to all that, there were also five or six different areas throughout the venue serving beer and food. Each was pouring a different group of Widmer Brothers beer including Pitch Black IPA, X-114 IPA, Nelson Imperial IPA, Hefeweizen, Summer Citra Blonde, Alt, Drifter Pale Ale, W’11 Russian Imperial Stout, Himbeere Gose, and Crunchy Dude. My favorite was the Black IPA. It was a perfect blend of roasted malts and biting hops, which isn’t surprising considering the Cascadian Dark (Black IPA) style was created in the Pacific Northwest. There were also two very unique beers, the Gose and Crunchy Dude. Gose is an old German style that’s brewed with salt and isn’t very popular today (I’ve only had maybe 2 of this kind before), so it was a rare treat. Widmer Bros’ version also uses raspberries and hibiscus flowers giving the beer a nicy fruity flavor that Michelle loved. Crunchy Dude is a pale ale that also uses some interesting ingredients including 25 pounds of granola! That’s not something I’d ever seen before, but it works and this was one tasty brew.
The beers were all excellent, as you can imagine, but the real star of the evening was how well they paired with the food prepared by local caterers Capers Catering. There were perfectly made mini lobster rolls (so perfect that I had five!), cucumber slices stuff with Thai beef, and spicy pulled pork sliders. Additionally, there was an amazing chocolate truffle dessert that was made using Widmer’s own Russian Imperial Stout. Not usually one for sweets, I was blown away. Definitely, my favorite part of the evening and the perfect end to one of the best beer events I’ve ever attended.