If you're looking to taste multiple craft beers there is no better way to do it than at a festival. This past weekend, I had the pleasure of sampling and mingling with over 225 craft beer breweries at The Big Brew Beer Festival in Morristown, NJ. The event, which took place in the Morristown Armory, was a success: fantastic beer, friendly folks, tasty food, tequila samples and beer pong.
Surrounded by both diehard craft brew fanatics, couples out without the kids and novices a like. I sipped and sampled my way through the session 1 V.I.P. beer tasting. Two beers stood out in particular: The Unibroue 17 Grande Rèserve (2012 Vintage) - a beautifully crafted Dark-Belgian styled ale that knocked my socks off! Then there was Saucony Creek Brewing Co.’s Captain Pumpkin’s Maple Mistress Imperial Pumpkin Ale – a very tasty pumpkin ale with notes of cinnamon, maple and sweet potatoes – it was worth ever sip. After sampling my way through the rest of the V.I.P beer, it was time to enjoy Morris Tap & Grill’s fantastic Beer-Braised Pork Mac & Cheese, Romano-Crusted Chicken with Beer Braised Mushroom Risotto and my favorite, Beer-Braised Short Ribs. All of these little bites of savory yum were followed by dessert: Busted Barrel Dark Rum Caramel Mouse. It was simply delicious.
The beer festival was starting to fill up as I made my way around, enjoying the uniqueness and originality that makes craft beers special. I am always happy to drink a Chimay, Brooklyn Lager or Dog Fish brew but a few others stood out in particular: The Flounder Brewing Co., with it’s Saison du Flounder, not only tickled my taste buds but this family run brewery in Somerset County's beer was the winner of the peoples choice as well. I also enjoyed some cider beers from ACE with the pear- flavored- Perry being worth every sip. Kuka Beer was there with its Devil’s Treat –a sweet beer with just a touch of spice that left me wanting more. I finished my beer-sampling journey with some Ginger Beer from Crabbie’s and was pleasantly surprised with its spicy yet refreshing flavors.
No good beer festival is complete with out some pulled pork from Hot Rods, Real Pit BBQ. Oh, these were so yummy. I almost had two.