Wednesday, January 8, 2014

Happy Anniversary Flat 12 Bierwerks!

We had the opportunity to go celebrate this weekend with the team at Flat 12 as they celebrated their third anniversary. Between the company, the uncensored tour through the actual brewery, and a truly impressive beer list, we couldn't help but have a great time.

It all started at 10:45 when the Big Guy and I parked the car right in front of their door for the 11 o'clock festivities. Yup, we were basically first in line for everything.

Not that we totally planned it this way, but it gave us a chance to pick up some swag and fill a growler (or two) and then put everything in the car so that our hands were free to shake, high-five, and of course- hold beer.

There was so much beer, so many unique varieties, so many different things that I'd never had before. It was a list that rivals some festivals we've attended. If you look to the left, you can see a picture of the beer list we were given when we arrived. It was huge, and yes we took notes. There was a map on the other side of the areas where different beers were stationed, and even where the live music would be. It had everything!

We tried as many as we wanted to, and as many as I could handle safely since I was driving, and had a few stand outs.  Among the notable brews of the day were:
  • Haggard Jo, Jo Brahma a brown ale/milk stout hybrid with coffee aged in bourbon barrels
  • Majestic Emu, the Walkabout Pale Ale aged in Imperial Magpie barrels from New Day Meadery (we brought some home in a growler)
  • Briar Patch Pinko 23, Russian Imperial Stout aged in 23 year Pappy Van Winkle barrels with raspberries and blackberries
We also brought home a four-pack of the Winter Cycle Double IPA, which is a wintery version of their Half Cycle IPA with juniper and 6 different types of hops.

The Big Guy: The thing people have to understand about Flat 12 is that when they throw a party, they THROW A FREAKING PARTY! This anniversary party had more beer options than a lot of the smaller suburban festivals that are springing up. There were more than 50 different beers, mostly variations on their already excellent brews.

My favorites were almost all variations on their existing beers. Each one of these is amazing, all different amounts of 5 rated beers.

My favorite beers of the festival were:
  • Haggard Jo, Jo Brahma a brown ale/milk stout hybrid with coffee aged in bourbon barrels
  • Briar Patch Pinko 23, Russian Imperial Stout aged in 23 year Pappy Van Winkle barrels with raspberries and blackberries
  • Dark and Stormy Milk Stout, Lacto-Matic with ginger and black rum soaked oak chips
The beers were epic, but the really impressive part of the party is how all out Flat 12 goes out for their fans. They had live music. They had food trucks everywhere. The brewers were out in force shaking hands and talking to the people. They guys that work there were kind enough to give us a full tour of the brewing area and their barrel aging program. It was one of the best parties I've been to in a long time. Thanks for doing it right Flat 12.

Professor Beer:  Flat 12's 3rd Anniversary Celebration was a great time, with a truly impressive beer list.  Fortunately, they were offering 3 oz. pours of the beers, as there would have been no way to try most of the over 50 beers drinking full pints.  In addition to the beer, Flat 12 was offering complementary Smoking Goose appetizers.

Some of my favorite beers of the party were:
  • Briar Patch Pinko 23 - I'm not surprised this made The Little Lady's and The Big Guy's lists as well.
  • Wine Barrel Farmageddon - There were several excellent barrel-aged versions of Flat 12's Farmageddon Black Rye Farmhouse Ale.
  • Haggard Jo - Another one you will notice above.
I'd also like to give an honorable mention to a couple sours that barely missed the list:
  • MUDDER Funker - Blend of two sour stouts aged in bourbon barrels.
  • Jailbait Brown - Sour brown ale with tart cherries.
El Duque: Flat 12's creativity is never really lacking, but it was definitely on show.  To quote Flat 12's sexiest employee, Erik Fox, "I work here and I haven't seen half these beers!"  I was blown away with how many there were it was like a mini festival.  In addition to everyone's favorite of the Briar Patch Pinko, Majestic Emu and Haggard Jo, my favorites were also:

  • Nitro 2013 Rye Barrel Big Black Dog 68 - American Style Rye Stout aged in Rye Whiskey Barrels.  So smooth and perfect for the cold weather.
  • Farmaryemageddon - Black Rye French Farmhouse Ale aged in Corsair Ryemegeddon Barrels.  Such a perfect balance of booze and intense flavors.
  • Kiwi Saison- wonderfully crisp with the sour kiwi to complement the farmhouse funk.
Honorable mention: Strawberry Moustache Ride Red - There were so many BIG BEERS there that these little notes of balanced sweet and ale really stood out and gave contrast to a great selection of close to 60 beers.

The BrewniBomber: I'd have to say this is one of the best events I've been to and it's going to take a lot for someone else to top this in 2014. As everyone has said already the beer list was amazing, but I'd have to say my favorite parts were getting to talk to people in the indy beer scene and going on an impromptu "special" tour of the brewery... I got to see (but not touch) Josh's barrels! Plus I finally got a Flat 12 snifter!!

My favorite beers of the day?
  • Haggard Jo
  • Farmaryemageddon (took a growler home of this)
  • Triple Smoke Barrel Aged 12 Penny. A scottish session ale aged in Corsair Artisan Distillery Triple Smoke whisky barrels. 

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