The beer that started it all off was Bridgeport's Stumptown Tart. A wheat beer brewed with cherries. This beer is part of Bridgeport's "Big Beers" series. 50% percent of the beer was aged in oak barrels and the other half was brewed with cherries. This created a big, crisp beer that sat at 8.3% abv. I was expecting an aggressive sourness and "big beer" quality, but it fell disappointingly short. It was highly carbonated and just slightly sour. It just tasted like a poorly done fruit beer. I was so excited for this beer because some friends and I toured Bridgeport's facility last weekend and we were able to see these bottles before they were released. Unfortunately, it was a painful experience having to get through the entire 22 oz bottle.
The next beer took the weekend to an entirely different level. The beer was 90 Minute IPA from Dogfish Head. This is an imperial IPA that sits at 9% abv. There was a strong hop bitterness, but it was there was a "nuttyness" to it that really grabbed me. As the name suggests this beer is a happy medium between Dogfish Head's 60 and 120 Minute IPAs.
The next beer changed my beer life forever. It was the West Coast IPA from Green Flash Brewing in San Diego! After only one sip the beer automatically vaulted onto my top 10 IPAs list! As said on the bottle, this beer is "extravagantly hopped". It is 7.3% abv and achieved 95 ibus (international bitterness units). This beer rang true to its name, definitely a west coast IPA. By the time I finished the 12 oz beer my tongue screaming obscenities while gasping for air. For sure, I will seek this beer out again and again!
I finished up with a beer I have been aging for almost 6 months. It was Doggie Claws Barleywine from Hair of the Dog Brewing Co., a bottle conditioned ale that weighed in at 11% abv! After chilling out for 6 months this beer lost all of its hop presence and was very sweet. Very decadent and difficult to finish after all of the beers during the weekend. Overall it was a very productive weekend of discovering new craft beer.