An Embarassment of Riches

Abandon all hope ye who enter here. 

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Yesterday was a spectacle, an event that can only be described as irresponsible. We should all have our livers checked. About 30 people gathered at Chez Fuj for the “Beef & Beer Fest” (the most understated name for an event ever, by the way). We feasted upon bull testicles, beef heart, Ruck wings, smoked meats, adobo, cheesesteak, and the list goes on. But nobody was there solely for the food. The food was fantastic, but the real event was the beer. When all was said and done, right around 100 bottles of some of the rarest and most sought after craft beer were opened.

Around 6:00pm, the party got underway and people began to open bottles. It seemed as though, because of the sheer amount of beer in front of us, people were hesitant, as though the opening of each bottle should be considered and a proper order decided. After a few hours, inhibitions began to shed away and bottles began to open at a frenetic pace.  More than once I found myself juggling two different glasses in an attempt to keep up.  That’s the problem, though, with a group this large. You have to realize that you’re going to miss beers and that you can’t be too worried about trying to drink everything.

And I wanted to try to drink them all, but I knew it would too daunting a task. Some major highlights of the night included Kate the Great, considered by many to have white whale status.  It was complex and tasty.  I wish I had a chance to drink it with a clean palate, but I’m certainly not going to complain! (Huge thanks to Denis for bringing it out of his cellar.)  There was a mini-vertical of Parabola (’11,’13, and ’14).  The 2013 was perfect, so I’ll definitely be putting about a year on any bottles I get in the future. I had my first taste of Cigar City’s Hunahpu’s Imperial Stout, which was absolutely delicious.  I also had the opportunity to mix Hunahpu and Bruery’s Chocolate Rain, which resulted in what I dubbed the Wilford Brimley special (because I’m pretty sure it gave me Diabetes immediately). There were some fantastic IPAs from VT, some crazy sours, a beer made with mushrooms (Smuttynose’s Satchmo).

We drank some Hurricane, some Mang-O-Rita, and some Piel’s Lager (one of which was poured into Fuj’s mouth–well, his mouth and face and chest–from about two feet up).  They were all pretty terrible, but in the best of ways.

I tried to take as many pictures as I could, but it proved to be more and more difficult as the light faded and as my intoxication grew. Here are some of the pictures of the beers opened earlier in the day.

This morning, fuzzy and slightly disconnected from reality, we shambled out into the yard and killed a few morning stragglers, including a wonderful pick-me-up glass of Hill Farmstead’s What Is Enlightenment from a half-full 2L growler. (Thanks again for letting me crash on your couch!)

As always, Fuj and Elise deserve major credit for organizing a ridiculous and thoroughly entertaining evening. It was an opportunity to eat great food and drink great beers with great people. Nobody puked (a fact that astounds me) and there were only a few touchy moments, nothing that wasn’t resolved amicably and in short order.

Below is the list of beers I had a chance to try.  I missed a dozen or so beers, but I’d say I did pretty well in the end.

(512) Brewing – (512) Whiskey Barrel Aged Double Pecan Porter
Almanac Beer – Golden Gate Gose
Anchorage Brewing – Between The Staves
Anchorage Brewing – Rondy Brew
Bud Light Man-go-rita (oh yea, baby)
Beachwood Brewing – Full Malted Jacket
BFM – Abbaye de Saint Bon-Chien (2012)
Big Sky Brewing – Ivan The Terrible (2010)
Boston Beer – Utopias (2011)
Brasserie Cantillon – Classic Gueuze (2012)
Brasserie Cantillon – Classic Gueuze (2013)
Brasserie Fantôme – Hiver
Brasserie Fantôme – La Dalmatienne
Brasserie Fantôme – Fantôme Saison
Brewery Ommegang – Three Philosophers (2003)
Brouwerij 3 Fonteinen – Oude Geuze (2012)
Captain Lawrence – Saison (undated, but old)
Captain Lawrence – Smoke From The Oak (Rum Barrel Imperial Version)
Captain Lawrence – Smoke From The Oak Batch 2
Cascade – The Vine (2012)
Cascade – Cuvée Du Jongleur (2007)
Church Brew Works – Cherry Quadzilla
Cigar City Brewing – Hunahpu’s Imperial Stout (2012)
Deep Ellum Brewing – Numb Comfort (2014)
East End Brewing – Toaster
Firestone Walker – Parabola (2011)
Firestone Walker – Parabola (2013)
Firestone Walker – Parabola (2014)
Firestone Walker – Velvet Merkin (2013)
Freetail Brewing – La Muerta
Freetail Brewing – Old Bat Rastard
Freetail Brewing – Yo Soy Un Berliner
Goose Island – Juliet (2012)
Hill Farmstead – Amarillo Single Hop Pale Ale
Hill Farmstead – Double Citra
Hill Farmstead – Earl
Hill Farmstead – Everett
Hill Farmstead – Florence
Hill Farmstead – What Is Enlightenment?
Hill Farmstead / Blaugies – Le Sarrasin
HURRICANE
Ithaca – Brute (Batch E!027)
Jester King – Cherry #2
Jester King – Funk Metal
Jolly Pumpkin – Bam Bière
Jolly Pumpkin – Bière de Mars
Kane Brewing – A Night To End All Dawns
Kane Brewing – Apiary (Brett)
Lawson’s Finest Liquids – Ava
Lawson’s Finest Liquids – Chinooker’d IPA
Lawson’s Finest Liquids – Triple Sunshine IPA
Lost Nation – Gose
New Belgium – La Folie (2007)
The North Brewery – God Complex
Pabst – Piels Draft (uh, wat?)
Pizza Boy – Hoptart 3.0 – Colombard
Pennichuck Brewing – Pompier
Perennial Artisan Ales – Barrel-Aged 17
Portsmouth Brewery – Kate The Great (2011)***
Prairie Artisan – Bible Belt
Prairie Artisan – Coffee Noir
Prairie Artisan – Puncheon
Russian River – Consecration (Batch 1)
Saint Arnold – Boiler Room Berliner Weisse
Saint Arnold – Bishop’s Barrel #6
Side Project – Brett Venture #2 w/ Lactobacillus
Smuttynose – Satchmo
Smuttynose – Fashionably Old Ale
Stone – 10.10.10 Vertical Epic Ale
Strangeways Brewing – O.T.I.S.(Oh This Is Sour)
Swamp Head – 10-10-10 (Bourbon Barrel Aged)
SweetWater Brewing – 16 So Fine Red Wheat Wine
The Bruery – Chocolate Rain (2013)
The Bruery – Shegöat
The Bruery – Sour in the Rye (Kumquats)
The Bruery – Tripel Tonnellerie
The Bruery – Tumescence
The Tap Brewing – Intergalactic Acid
Tree House Brewing – Cococonut Double Shot
Tree House Brewing – Double Shot
Tree House Brewing – That’s What She Said
Trillium Brewing – Mettle
Trinity Brewing – TPS Report
Westbrook – Rhubarb Remix
Williamsburg AleWerks – Cafe Royale