Well, it's not the riot of the Belgian Fest, thankfully. I was #2 of three folks in "line" when the door opened at 11:05 am.
As advertised, 50 German drafts, 76 bottles on the menu. Notes on the blackboard: The following drafts did NOT make it in on time: Einbecker Schwarz, Weiheinstephaner Vitus and Korbian, making the presumptive draft list 47. Let's count:....................................................................... I'm counting 45 tap handles and one gravity-feed keg, and the spot where the Weiheinstephaner (I swear, that's a sobriety spelling test) duo is missing is conspicuous.
First beer for me to start: Grutbier in a bottle (see earlier post on why I love this one). I've noticed a price variation here; some retail outlets have this at $9 a bottle while it's here today at $6.
Bottle-sharing already with #3 In Line: Innstadt Dopplebock Extra 500ml flip-top, 7.2%: tasty interpretation, malty without being coyingly sweet like some.
Reissdorf Kolsch (gravity-feed/firkin, 4.8%)--bright as a polished bell, pale golden, nose of a heavier grain bill........ rich body..... this one's elusive. Great flavor compared to most pale lagers, and a rich mouthfeel without being too chewy or hoppy. Well-balanced, dry and almost woody finish.
First boot of beer ordered at noon, a litre boot of Spaten Oktoberfest......
Note: the sausages platter offers "Knockwurst, Bratwurst, Weisswurst, Bauernwurst, and Bierwurst", but they fell victim to the same fire at Binkert's, the sausage maker in Rosedale (the only German-style sausage maker in Maryland), as everyone else did, including the German Festival and Brewers' Art. The platter's still there, but not quite as impressive a line-up.
Weltenburg Hefeweizen Hell: 5.4%: hazy blond, weisse/wit nose, nice grassy and peppery dry hefe character.
Aktien Steingardener Dunkle Weisse (bottle): dark amber, bright, VERY sweet and rich, almost Bananas Foster with that underlying banana-clove atop a caramel malt palate.
Aktien Hefeweizen Anno 25 (bottle, 5.3%): pale golden, good head retention..... a rich, heavy, sweet body without being especially sweet in itself, a hint of citrus and wood tannin in finish.
Aktien Kaufbeurer Tänzelfestbier (bottle, 5.8%)--golden, terrific light malt nose....... a half-hour later, still trying to figure this one out. Zesty, citrus notes on the front of the sip, weizen flavor/body, powdery/yeasty, slightly spicy on the finish, but still too easy-drinking. This needs an ale yeast for complexity.
Okay, I didn't intend for this to become a one-brewery tasting, but with what's being shared amongst us, that's what it's turned into: Aktien Buronator Dopplebock (bottle, 7.5%): dark caramel color, bright, a hint of nut and fruit flavor amidst all the foamy sweet malt/bock character.