Although the complete beer list for The Festival has not yet been released, there is an ever-growing list of confirmed beers and rarities that will be pouring throughout the weekend.
While this short list is enough to make any beer enthusiast swoon, it is only a portion of the more than 200 beers scheduled to be poured. Below is a list of 10 to keep an eye out for.
1. De Ranke XXX Bitter: Brewed especially for this fest, this “hoppy golden ale” is under 6 percent ABV (alcohol by volume), making it a great beer to warm up with.
2. A treat for those into Geuze (blended lambic beer) is that there will be some very old bottles of Drie Fonteinen Oude Geuze, from 1998, 1999 and 2001. There will be only “a few cases,” and one vintage will be poured at each session.
3. Cantillon Brewery is arguably the best known of the Belgian brewers whose beer is imported into the U.S. Its beer is hard to find on a normal day. At The Festival, a new Cantillon beer will make its debut: a high-density lambic named, aptly, Lambic d’Haute Densite. Described by event organizers as something akin to a lambic/barleywine cross, it may be hard to forget.
4. Cantillon Zwanze is a beer that many may not have been lucky enough to try when it was released on Dec. 1 at Novare Res Bier Cafe. This dry and fruity beer is infused with rhubarb, and was brewed to re-create the first edition of Zwanze, brewed in 2008.
5. Mikkeller Beer Geek Brunch is brewed with Civet coffee beans that are unique in that they can be brewed into coffee only after passing through the digestive system of a small weasel-like mammal in Southeast Asia. Try it for the story, stay for the taste.
6. You may not have heard of New Zealand-based 8 Wired, but its Bumaye, a 16 percent ABV Imperial Stout aged in Pinot Noir barrels, may turn your head.
7. Crooked Stave Artisan Beer Project brews up meticulous beers brewed with Brettanomyces strains of yeast that give beer characteristic sourness. While only one of its beers — Hop Savant — has been leaked, don’t be surprised if it brings something from its “Wild Wild Brett” series.
8. Be sure to stop by and see what De Struise Brouwers is pouring, which may even include the famed Black Albert, its very famous Imperial Stout.
9. A collaboration between Brasserie De Blaugies (Belgium) and Hill Farmstead (U.S.) resulted in La Vermontoise. Made only once and released in an extremely limited quantity, this peppery saison will very likely be poured at De Blaugies’ station.
10. Once listed as the “Best Beer in the World,” monk-brewed Westvleteren XII hit the mainstream media in the last few years, and the fervor for the beer has risen considerably. Is it worth the hype? Here’s your chance to find out.
Carla Companion writes the Beer Babe blog at www.pressherald.com/blogs/beerbabe. She will blog live from The Festival this weekend.