There were a handful of non-German breweries present at the tiny festival, although non-German beers were fairly well represented by the likes of BierZwerg and Bierkompass. I didn’t linger around them as I can buy anything “foreign” they have any time.
Having sampled a fair few German beers, I toddled down to Braustelle as I wanted to find out what Revelation Cat was all about, but while reading their blackboard of offerings I was politely harassed by an older gentleman who was hocking Lambics from Boon and 3 Fonteinen (I think!). His chatter (he was actually American with Irish roots, as they all have, from famine times) made me cave in and in return I got an extra large serving of Boon Oude Lambik, a two-year-old pure lambic, served from a small plastic barrel. With an aroma suggesting dusty lemons, it really wasn’t as sour as I expected. Lime-like, with an earthy, composty feel pervading throughout. It really did feel like tasting old hops: the spirit was there, but rounded and dulled by time. It didn’t really do it for me, however, as I much prefer the sharpness of the likes of Cantillon Geueze.
Managing to sidestep to Revelation Cat, who were offering four single hop Lambix, I chose the Simcoe Lambix at random. Hazy, orange-hued, it has a powerful citric aroma, squeezing out lemons and grapefruit, laced with an almost anise spiciness. It has a gentle sourness, again suggesting fresh lemon, and with a crushed geranium leafiness in the background. Very refreshing, and dry as a bone, it left little in the finish however.
Before being abducted by a group of guys from Bonn I'd fallen in with, who were determined to go back to the main festival location, I squeezed in a Cat in a Barrel (a Mikkeller-Revelation Cat collaboration?), an 18% tiger aged in rum barrels. Really warming, with a big American hop hit on a thick, creamy-caramel base. Remarkably spicy, with pepper and ginger lingering. Really a lovely drinking experience. The Bonn chaps weren’t so impressed, but at least they tried it! I probably could have done with a little sit down, like TheBeerNut, but time was marching on.
Back at base, I was bought another Piratengold, which was probably good to reset the taste buds, and was then forced into getting some Biervision Monstein Wättergouge, despite Laurent Mousson’s warnings. This was a simple, malt-driven beer, grainy, with slightly fruity notes, but overall pretty regular. Their Huusbier tasted pretty much like Kölsch to me. Read into that what you will, but maybe my taste buds were dead to subtlety at this stage.
A CAMRA chap had advised me to try the IPAs from the Belgian Picobrouwerij Alvinne. For some reason I decided to buy a bottle of their Calvados-Barrel-Aged Melchior, and while negotiating was able to sample their black beer Alvinne Morpheus Dark. They explained that this was their own special yeast strain, incorporating wild beasties of some sort. I can see it shared some characteristics with Lambic, being sourish, and incredibly dry. Decent enough and a bit moreish, I thought. I struggled to control my face when trying the IPA though, but from the guy’s reaction I’m not sure I did it so well. Harshly bitter, with little in the way of body or malty goodness to support it, I felt it was way out of balance, and not something you could drink in normal quantities. At that point I stopped negotiating and took my bottle, which I really hope is not like the IPA.
Out back, under a tent, was a small stand from Mikkeller. I felt a bit guilty about leaving them till last, but at this stage of the evening the vouchers didn’t seem to count, and while chatting with the very friendly Thor, or at least that what it sounded like, I got thrown samples of Beer Geek Breakfast and Beer Geek Brunch Weasel. Lovely, lovely beers. That’s all I remember, and sure what else would anyone need to remember? Oh, I did say that the Weasel reminded me a lot of the De Molen Kopi Loewak, but was told that the gypsy brewers had done it first. Serves me right. I also just realised I forgot to ask for the 1000 IBU jobby, but was having far too much fun talking shit.
The festival was officially closed by now, and I’d missed my intended train, so when I was invited down to Braustelle to join the organiser and the guys from Mikkeller and Siegburger, I sadly had to decline. I’d probably still be there now, or on a bench in the park if I hadn’t…