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Recap of the River City Brewers Festival

March 28, 2011 By: mike Category: Events, Memphis

River City Brewers Festival - mug

It was a cold and rainy day, but the beer still flowed freely at the River City Brewers Festival Saturday.

The event, which featured an afternoon session as well as a night session, drew hundreds to Handy Park in Downtown Memphis.

I poured Land Shark Lager and Shock Top Belgian White as a festival volunteer during the daytime session.

The beers at the festival — there were more than 75 available — were mostly brews you could find on Memphis retail store shelves, but the variety was good. Some of my favorite beers of the day were Yazoo Brewing Company’s Hop Project, Sierra Nevada’s Torpedo, New Belgium’s Mighty Arrow and Schlafly’s Oatmeal Stout.

River City Brewers Festival - rainFestival-goers huddle at the stage to keep dry.

River City Brewers Festival - blue seatsGhost River Brewing was among the breweries at the festival.

River City Brewers Festival - Yazoo tentThe Yazoo Brewing Company tent.

River City Brewers Festival - Yazoo tentA keg of Yazoo’s smoked-beer, Sue, was tapped at 2 p.m.

River City Brewers Festival - Shock TopThe tap handle for Shock Top Belgian White.

River City Brewers Festival - Schlafly tentThe Schlafly beer tent featured Dry-Hopped APA, Oatmeal Stout and Summer Lager.

River City Brewers Festival - YuenglingThe Yuengling beer tent.

River City Brewers Festival - New BelgiumThe New Belgium tent had Mighty Arrow, 1554 and Fat Tire.

River City Brewers Festival - Land Shark bottlesBottles of Land Shark Lager from the Margaritaville Brewing Company.

River City Brewers Festival - Land SharkThe tap handle for Landshark Lager, complete with teeth marks.

River City Brewers Festival - Education sessionBeer experts talk about brewing beer.

River City Brewers Festival - Mulch BrothersThe Mulch Brothers performed during Session A.

River City Brewers Festival - Bluff City Brewers tentThe Bluff City Brewers & Connoisseurs tent.

River City Brewers Festival - Bluff City BrewersA bag of rocks serves as a paperweight at the Bluff City Brewers & Connoisseurs tent.

River City Brewers Festival - Lazy Magnolia, with crawfishLazy Magnolia’s South Pecan, with a crawfish.

FuzzyBrew Review: Odell IPA

August 31, 2010 By: grant Category: Craft beer, FuzzyBrew Review, Travelin'

Odell IPA

Brewery: Odell Brewing

Location: Fort Collins, CO

Style: American IPA

ABV: 7%

IBU: 60

Fuzzy Rating: 5 of 5

Yeah I know. Of the four FuzzyBrew reviews so far, three have been IPAs. And look at that tag list down there to the left. IPA in great big letters. We appreciate many brews, but damn, we love a good IPA. I mean, if there’s one thing we’re good at (and it’s probably just the one thing), it’s appreciating a fine India Pale Ale.

Five out of five? “Amateur,” you think to yourself, “he’s only sucker for a good hop bomb.” Well, yeah I guess. I’m no Cicerone, but this one is fantastic. No effing joke. I was recently in Colorado on vacation, where I learned that you don’t just wander down Denver’s 16th Street Mall at 10 am on a weekday in search of skunky suds. You formulate a plan and get a leg up on the day:

  1. Bring a friend. Good brew should be shared. Tell him we’ll just have one.
  2. Put food in stomach. Jimmie Johns I salute you.
  3. Get to ye ole Irish Pub early. It opens at 11 am.
  4. Convince friend he should drink at least three before his four-hour tour of Red Rocks in the hot desert sun.
  5. Wake wife up from nap and go to another bar, where she can order lunch. You’ll order something other than Odell IPA, regret it and switch back.
  6. Enjoy that buzz, bro.

It’s got some serious hops, both in taste and aroma, but has exactly the right amount of bitterness to make you want to order a second well before your first is finished. Odell doesn’t say what they’ve got in there exactly, but there’s a thread on HomeBrewTalk that takes a stab at it.

The only negative thing I can say is that, as far as I know, I can’t get it here in Memphis, unlike brews made by its neighbor New Belgium. Which reminds me: While I was ranting and raving to some buddies about this beer, someone told me some of the folks at New Belgium actually got started at Odell. True or not, it makes sense, since I’ve yet to meet a New Belgium I actually dislike. I really, really wish Mighty Arrow wasn’t just a seasonal.

So, somebody puh-leaze ship me some of this goodness, and I’ll return the favor, with a growler of something from Boscos or Ghost River. E-mail me and I’ll send you my address.