I attended OBF on Thursday afternoon. In my five hours at the fest, I managed to taste 16 three ounce samples. Since I only sampled ~18% of the beers, I don't think it's appropriate for me to publish a list of beers to try and avoid. Instead, I'll share some of my random thoughts and observations about OBF '14:
- Slightly overcast days (as long as it's not raining) are ideal for beer festivals. It was cloudy for portions of the afternoon, and the lack of excess heat and sun worked for me.
- Beer geeks like to take notes. I was surprised by the number of people that were carefully recording their thoughts as they tasted their beer.
- I love drinking beer out of glass (rather than the plastic mugs of yore)! I missed OBF last year (the first year glass was allowed) due to the Beer Bloggers Conference. So this was my first time drinking beer at OBF with a glass. It really enhanced the experience! Not only does plastic obscure the beauty of the beer, it smells.
- SOUR BEER RISES! I think three Berliner Weisse beers were served this year. This tart style was virtually unknown to most beer drinkers a few years ago. In addition, several beers used sour mash techniques, and a few were made with Brett (short for Brettanomyces, a wild yeast that is the mortal enemy of the wine makers). These developments make me happy!
- More water = more beer. I carried a re-fillable water bottle with me and drank about 6 oz. after each sample. Good hydration also means no hangover. Win-win.
- Lines were virtually non-existent until 5pm. Once lines are about 10 people deep, I'm outta there!
- OK, if you MUST know, my favorite taste of the day was Oakshire's 7. This Baltic Porter was aged in barrels with tart cherries. Simply amazing! This was served in the Speciality Tent and is likely long gone. If you ever come across it again. Don't miss it!
- Overall, I enjoyed all of the beers I tasted. I usually dump a few. But not this year.
- There were so many others I wanted to sample. Unfortunately, my time and liver are finite.
Until next year...
What were your favorites tastes? Any unique OBF observations?