Extreme Beer, 2006

February 13th, 2006 4:53 PM

On Saturday Ben, Kat and I went to Beer Advocate’s 3rd Annual Extreme Beer Fest. I think I agree with Ben that this year’s festival wasn’t nearly as creative as last year’s. There was a lot of similarity in the offerings, and the beer overall didn’t seem so much “extreme” as simply “strong”.

Anyway, there were some disappointments, but I enjoyed a lot of the beers I tried. Here’s the list:

Avery Brewing Co.The Reverend
Boston Beer Co.Samuel Adams Utopias
Dogfish Head Craft BreweryBurton Baton
Milly’s TavernImperial Death March Stout
Milly’s TavernCherry Spice
Pizza PortHop 15 2XIPA
Stone Brewing Co.Oak Aged Arrogant Bastard
Stone Coast Brewing Co.Jalapeño Sunsplash Golden Ale

The Jalapeño Sunsplash wasn’t nearly as good as the Cinq de Mayo that was available last year.

I was astonished to see Utopias available at the festival and not restricted to the VIP session. It was a beast. At 25%, it’s the strongest beer I’ve ever had (and the strongest in the world if Boston Beer Co. is to be believed). It was quite good, despite my usual aversion to beers this strong which commonly taste more like liquor than beer.

The Hop 15 2XIPA was amazing, easily competing with Dogfish Head’s 120 Minute IPA which was, up until this, my favorite IPA for its overall overwhelming hop character. Here’s how its described by the brewer:

Pizza Port brewing remains synonymous with well-hopped beers. This version from Solana Beach was made with 15 different hop additions added to the kettle every 15 minutes. Perhaps it should be called “225 Minute IPA”? 10.5%

Finally, the Oak Aged Arrogant Bastard was a really nice variation on an otherwise excellent beer.