Monday, April 29, 2013

Bloomington Craft Beer Festival

The 3rd annual Bloomington Craft Beer Festival was held on April 13th, and this year, they had a week of lead-up events (which, unfortunately, none of the Barons were able to attend).  The festival was held at the Woolery Mill in Bloomington, and over 50 breweries were in attendance.  There was an abundance of great beer at the festival, but one that stood out to me was Cutters Brewing Company's General Brown.  ZwanzigZ's Ghost Pepper Stout and Upland's Teddy Bear Kisses are also excellent, though this was not my first time trying them.  The very first booth we stopped at was Samuel Adams, where I tried their Cherry Chocolate Bock.  I wasn't expecting much, but it was surprisingly good.

I would say that the Bloomington Craft Beer Festival was an excellent day of craft beer drinking an fun.  I think my only complaint would be the small amount of restroom facilities; at certain times, the lines were ridiculously long.  This event is definitely on my radar for next year.

The mill seen from the parking lot

The crowd waiting to be let in

One side of the festival

The Big Guy: You couldn't have asked for a nicer spring day to enjoy some craft beer in southern IN. The venue was awesome, and there were a ton of breweries that showed up. My favorite for the day was the Stalin's Darkside by Evil Czech. The beer was boozy, sweet big and bold. Other great showings were done by ZwanzigZ (Ghost Pepper Imperial Stout and their The Ticket Chocolate beer). Flat 12 put out some cool stuff with experimental hops involved, but since I am not the biggest hop head it didn't really get me going. Sun King had some fun seasonals that they released every hour, which made them totally worth checking back with throughout the event. It was a great showing by Indiana's craft brewing community.

The only thing I was disappointed with was, the VIP gift. We got a frisbee, or at least I think that's what the gift was. Don't get me wrong, it was awesome to be allowed in an hour early. This would have been worth the added ticket cost alone, but they said you would get a VIP gift. They really shouldn't have bothered with a gift if it wasn't going to be memorable. Beer good, Swag bad.

The VIPs surge towards the beer, knowing they only have one hour to drink before everyone else

Hop infuser was better than I expected, nice sweet and citrusy
The Little Lady: This was a really nice event. The location was totally unique, and added a lot to the feel of the event. There were several breweries there that were new to me, and that's really what I tried to taste while we were there. I wanted to have that new experience and really check out things that I can't get everyday at home. Zwanzigz, Evil Czech, and Country Boy Brewing did not disappoint! We've actually talked a little bit about taking some road trips to their locations to really try out all they have to offer. If you didn't have the chance to try Zwanzig's blueberry and chocolate mixed together you owe it to yourself to try. Amazing- and not just because I'm a girl. The Big Guy and Professor Beer were impressed too.
I was so glad we opted to do the VIP. It got us in an hour before general admission, which meant we could walk around and sample a bit easier. If you're like me and you don't love huge crowds, it's well worth the extra cost. I've already started looking for the 2014 date so we can mark this one on the calendar! 

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