The quick and dirty first:
As far as I can tell, everything shown on the earlier list for casks at the Real Ale Fest showed up save for The Raven. (Brewer Steve Demczuk practically admitted at the Md. Oktoberfest a week earlier--and yeah, I have to post on that, don't I?--that he was simply running out of firkins, and might have to pass it up.)
Best beer of the day? Oh, PLEASE don't make me pick. It was a ludicrous embarrassment of riches, not a bad or even non-excellent beer to be had in the line-up. Of course, no doubt there was something that someone may not care for--say, if you're not a fan of extra-hoppy beers, or cider, or black/roasty beers--but so what? There was a mild, or an ESB, something to please just about anyone that cared about real ale.
Better yet, unlike previous years where runs on particularly rare or popular beers depleted supply quite early, almost every beer, even those in small pins, lasted almost to the end of the festival, when growler fills were available for $5 each--a bargain for every beer there. (Though, admittedly, only one growlerful at best remained of some beers.)
There are rumors floating about, however, that the festival may have to find a new home for 2009. More on that if and when it all transpires.
New to Market: D9, Upland, Westbrook
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