Hey all,

Oh boy, what a week…

As some of you might know…I won a Raffle at Ski Bar to go to the 1st Annual Craft Beer Festival at MCU Park (Brooklyn Cyclones). I technically didn’t win. I lost regardless of how many tickets I had (For every Brooklyn Pint, you get a raffle ticket…i must have had 12-15 tickets). Mike’s friend did win (3 tickets) but handed me the prize as he is only a mild drinker. Sadly, a festival would be great for people like him to increase their beer palette.

Long story short, I beat myself up the couple nights before the festival through drink. I had a lot to do this day and almost didn’t go but after everything, this was one of my highlights of the day. So once I entered, I was given a 3 oz mug and 20 tickets. Each ticket was for a taste of whatever there was to drink. Believe it or not, (20) 3oz beers is a lot. I was surprised how many tickets I had left. Click here for a list of beers.

I really didn’t know where to start. I actually right away knew whatever I did at the festival would eventually be on this blog, so I decided on an angle…how about fruity beers? I know, I know…but I had 20+ beers in the 48 hours previous and I really needed something different. Actually my last beer Friday night was a Magic Hat #9 which has a hint of Apricot. I barely touched that pint and left it sitting at the bar 3/4 full (sad). Redemption came in a beer called Ithaca’s Apricot Wheat. A very fresh, light beer and very easy drinking. It also hits you with A LOT of apricots. This beer makes Magic Hat #9 the Coors Light of fruity beers…I really enjoyed it. I followed this beer with 21st Amendment Watermelon Wheat, Unita’s Monkshine and Saranac Pomegranate. The watermelon was actually good and still very full of watermelon flavor as is the Apricot Wheat. The Monkshine reminded me of a pear cider which is popular nowadays. The Pomegranate (I actually had a taste Wednesday at House of Brews) is disappointing. Basically you sit there wondering…where is the pomegranate? If you name a beer something, it better taste like it! At HOB, we actually pondered if adding POM to the drink would make it taste any better.

Once I satisfied my fruity beer need, I started exploring. My favorites were Erie’s Railbender, Ithaca’s Flower Power and He’Brew Genesis. The Railbender, honestly to me, taste like a Mcsorley’s beer. It was the first thing that came into mind. Very smooth with a mild taste…nothing over powering. Just like Mcsorley’s, you can pound down one after another. Now I can be totally wrong, which is usual for me, but I may actually go to Mcsorley’s Saturday just to compare. Ithaca’s Flower Power was definitely my favorite for the day. Another light and crisp beer but the aroma was strong and hoppy. Amazingly, there was no hoppy or bitter after taste which is definitely odd considering it is an IPA. If you see this in your market’s fridge and heading to a summer BBQ, I’d definitely pick up a six pack. The He’Brew is a series of beers made by the Schmaltz Brewing Company. All I’m going to say about the Genesis ale is that its worth trying. I want to try out the other He’Brew beers and will probably dedicate a post to them.

Well, what sometimes happens to me after a few beers is I get very chatty. I also happened to bump into a group of friends and pretty much time flew by. Along with an “All you can eat” bracelet at the concessions, so I was making some runs, and the need to find out how fast I can throw a baseball while inebriated (apparently only 57 MPH…but awesome accuracy though…yeah, it’s odd), I really can’t recall flavors, taste and aroma’s of the other beers I had. But…that’s some of the fun for later tastings. “Oh yeah! I had this before!”.

One last thing…thanks to Ski Bar and owner Scott (7314 Fifth Avenue, 73rd & 74th Street, Bay Ridge, Brooklyn) for the ticket and fun times.
-Tony W.