Who loves cold beer tasting on a warm afternoon? This girl! I made the ultimate sacrifice for my readers and tried over 30 beers at the Great Vegas Festival of Beer last weekend just so I could tell you all about them. Poor me, right? This was my first beer festival and it was so much fun. We spent a few hours walking around in the sunshine tasting beer and chatting with new friends. I can’t think of a better way to spend adult time on a Saturday afternoon.
There was nothing scientific about my taste testing, just pure opinion. I enjoy a lot of beer varieties, but I really do not like porters or brown ales, so you will see those missing from the list. I am a big fan of IPAs, so I’m pretty picky about those (though you wouldn’t know it, this list is long). I’m always looking for a new “fun” flavor to surprise me and I definitely did! If it made the list, I liked it enough to tell you about it. Except for the flavored beers that I feel like I need to warn you about in case you’re feeling experimental one of these days. I appreciate beer crafters creativity, but there is a very small niche that some of them reach with the flavors they choose.
Top three take-away tips from my first beer festival:
- Drink a lot of water between beer (and hope for a cleanish porta-potty).
- Make and wear a tasty pretzel necklace (or at least bring some with you). I don’t know about you- but I like snacks when I drink beer but it’s easy to forget to eat.
- Don’t get the same brew as your friend at each tent. Both should get something different so you can taste each other’s. Then go back if you want more.
Take this list with you the next time you decide to cruise the beer aisle for something new to try. I bet if you “pinned” it on Pinterest, “liked” it on Facebook, or “tweeted” it on Twitter, you could find it easier when you need it. Hint hint.
Indian Pale Ales (IPA)
Black Diamond Brewing, White Witch (this was Joe’s all time favorite of the festival)
Indian Wells, Amnesia IPA
Mendocino Brewing Co., White Hawk IPA (My favorite IPA at the festival)
Goose Island, IPA (Joe’s favorite at home)
Santa Fe, Happy Camper IPA (love the name, tasted good too- a true IPA!)
Firestone Walker, Union Jack
Firestone Walker, Easy Jack (Summer Session IPA)
Coronado, Islander IPA
Lagunitas Brewing Co., IPA
Oskar Blues, Dale’s Pale Ale
Goose Island, 312 Pale Ale (I like a lot)
Rogue, Juniper Pale Ale (YUMMO- my favorite pale ale here)
Tenaya Creek, Local 702
Oskar Blues, Momma’s Little Yella Pils
Fireman’s Brew, Blonde
Tenaya Creek, Pilsner
St. Killian Importing, Crabbies Original ginger beer 4.8%*
St Killian Importing, Crabbie’s Spiced Orange ginger beer 4.8%*
*Oh my! These were amazing. Refreshing, different, and so tasty! If you like ginger flavored anything, seek these out!
Indian Wells, Orange Blossom Amber (if you like watered-down Tang, you will love this. Bleh.)
Shocktop, Pretzel Wheat (Kudos for capturing the taste of beer soaked pretzels, but I still don’t want to drink it)
Shocktop, Honey Bourbon Wheat (Stick to the original stuff guys!)
Mixed Ice Chest
New Belgium, Snapshot (American Pale Wheat Ale)
Fort Collin’s, Major Tom’s (Witbier)
Coronado, Mermaid’s Red (Red Ale)
Ballast, Calico (Amber)
Kona, Longboard (Lager)
Mission Brewery, Amber Ale (Not at the festival, but worth mentioning because I am drinking one now and it tastes amazing)