Add A Comment September 21st, 2012

Columbus Microbrew Festival

Posted by Mike

MicroBrew Fest is an annual beer fest at North Market featuring breweries from Central Ohio and few other breweries in the state. $20 got you a souvenir pint glass (which I later left at Mac’s Cafe) and 10 tasting tickets. Having never been to MicroBrew Fest in the past I wasn’t quite sure what to expect.  We went in the afternoon on Saturday and after waiting in line for the bathroom, waiting in line for the ATM, and then waiting for tickets I was ready to drink some beer.

I didn’t try every beer, nor can I remember every beer I had, but a few of them did stick out. Mt. Carmel Brewing Company’s Harvest Ale was one of my favorites. I’m typically not a huge fan of ESB’s but this beer was rock solid. It started out with a wonderful balance of sweet malty caramel and light hop aroma and the flavor was much of the same. It actually didn’t taste much like an ESB at all, which is probably why I liked it. I later got a full pint of this.

Buckeye Lake Brewery had a few great beers. Admittedly I wasn’t too familiar with this brewery, but was pleasantly surprised. I sampled a bit of their IPA from my wife’s glass and it was really good — a nice blend of pine, orange peel and other citrus notes; hoppy but well balanced. I myself went with the brown porter, which had a little coffee up front and a few chocolate notes throughout.

I really tried to only go for beers I’d never had before, but I couldn’t pass up Columbus Brewing Company’s hop hammer that is Bohdi. It’s such a great IPA. They also had a one-year-old Black Ale/Strong Black Ale which was pretty incredible. Even being a year old, it still had plenty of hop aroma left. The beer’s alcohol (north of 9%) is masked by a sweet caramel flavor. I would have probably called it an Imperial Black IPA. In fact I did suggest it to someone at the CBC tent and was quickly corrected.

It’s worth noting that your 10 tasting tickets won’t get you 10 samples of beer. Five-ounce samples of each beer ranged from 1 to 4 tickets (most were 2 tickets). You could get full pints for 3 to 8 tickets too. Once you had a glass and a wristband, you could purchase additional tickets for 50 cents each. Or if you stood around long enough the chances of someone walking by and giving you a few tickets were pretty high.

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