Last weekend Nick and I attended “The Festival” put on by Shelton Brothers and Twelve Percent Imports, two major players in importing Scandanavian, Belgian and New Zealand Beers. Shelton Brothers also represents some domestic brands like Jolly Pumpkin, West County Ciders and Dieu de Ciel (Canada is almost domestic right?)
We definitely tried to cram too much into one day, but it was an amazing experience, we met so many cool brewers and tried beers we might never get to drink again.
So let’s start with the best of the best, shall we?
Cantillon. It’s mythical and magical beer for all sour beer drinkers. Cantillon’s brewery is in the middle of Brussels; they still open the roof to get the yeast to float in during fermentation. Due to rising demand Cantillon has become very hard to get in Georgia, so we were thrilled to reacquaint ourselves with this old friend. In the bottle they had Fou Foune, Zwanzi 2010, Gueze, Kriek, and Vigneronne. On draft they had the same unblended lambic aged in 4 different barrels, a real treat because you could see how different beers turn out based on the barrels alone.
Mikkel was late due to a cancelled flight, but showed up before the end of the 1st session. He spent most of the time trying other people’s beers, but seemed nice (he agreed to sign our limited edition posters we bought)
Evil Twin, the Bikini Sour was to die for, they also had Yin and Yang, and we got to meet Jeppe (Evil Twin himself) He was super nice and laid back.
By the way, they are identical twins in case you didn’t know, we got them mixed up quite a few times!
Other highlights: Yeastie Boys Rex Attitude (an all smoked malt beer, that tasted like latex and scotch) Yeastie Boys Tea Leaf IPA, delicate hope allow the tea flavor to come through in this beautiful IPA. West County Cider makes all kinds of ciders from the very dry Baldwin to the Macintosh sweet, I enjoyed them all, but preferred the slighty pink and quite dry Baldwin. Premium from Stillwater, deliciously crazy, apparently the PBR recipe with brett added, nicely sour. Bourbon Barrel Aged Rigor Mortis from Dieu de Ciel was perfect, coconutty, rich, toffee. Likewise a dark saison from Dieu de Ciel that was aged in pinot noir barrels was vinous, sour and highly drinkable. Nogne’s Collaboration with Terrapin (a rye porter of course!) was amazing, quite hoppy, chewy rye, simply delightful!
During the break we ate at Armsby Abbey, which was packed and pouring tons of amazing beers in honor of the fest. We drank Cantillon on draft and Pretty Thing’s American Darling.
As someone who doesn’t go to a lot of beer festivals because of the crowds and the lack of beer I’ve never tried, I highly recommend The Festival, though pricey and far away from Atlanta, it is totally worth it for true beer aficionados.