Great taste 2013 retrospective thread

Discussion in 'Great Lakes' started by jegross2, Aug 11, 2013.

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  1. bismarksays

    bismarksays Initiate (0) Dec 7, 2008 Iowa

    Faves: ba Plead the Fifth by dark horse, double penetration by kuhnhen, Dan by lakefront, zombie killer by b. nektar
    Least: concord sofie. Line was a cluster fuck and the beer was a mess.
  2. Mplsmetro57

    Mplsmetro57 Initiate (0) Jan 30, 2013 Minnesota

    Stout brewed with ghost peppers. Tasty and well balanced.
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  3. sarcastro

    sarcastro Initiate (0) Sep 20, 2006 Michigan

    Same here. My friends poured them out.
  4. Mplsmetro57

    Mplsmetro57 Initiate (0) Jan 30, 2013 Minnesota

    Two of the highlights for me was the Imperial Creme Brulee Java Stout and the Double Rice IPA.
  5. misterid

    misterid Initiate (0) Apr 3, 2009 Wisconsin

    these 3 were outstanding. the Brett Dank i really liked a bunch.
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  6. mychalg9

    mychalg9 Initiate (0) Apr 8, 2010 Illinois

    Dont have my notes with me but I think the Blueberry Flanders was my favorite that I tried. We worked at a booth for most of the public session (1-6) so we didnt get to check out many of the timed tappings, but did spend a lot of time in the Real Ale tent from 11-1. I remember a coconut porter being pretty good, cant remember the brewery though.

    Being a GTOM Rookie this year, I was really impressed with the location and the organization. Will be attending in the future, for sure.
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  7. Chrixsus

    Chrixsus Initiate (0) Dec 13, 2011 Illinois

    Worst of Fest: South Shore (WI) Bourbon-Barrel Coffee Mint Stout...tasted like if Pepo-Bismol put out a mint was too dominant and cloying...wrapped itself around my tongue and tried to rip it out. Yuck!
    Mplsmetro57 and jegross2 like this.
  8. maximum12

    maximum12 Poo-Bah (4,832) Jan 21, 2008 Minnesota
    Society Trader

    If we're going to the dark side of Worst, there were a lot of fine efforts. Aside from a few standouts (Atlas, Against the Grain, Black Husky), I was disappointed in a lot of the new-to-me breweries this year.
  9. boilermakerryan

    boilermakerryan Initiate (0) Nov 8, 2011 Indiana

    For me the highlights were as follows:
    - Being first in line for MD and having continuous pours of P.S. while waiting
    - Getting a pour of Assassin from the random bottles they kept pulling out
    - Did I mention MD?
    - The unlimited pours of GI Baudoinia that no one seemed to notice was on tap
    - Karben4 brewing
    - Meeting and talking with some great BA's while waiting in line

    All around great time as usual, I am sure I can list more highlights hence why this fest is amazing.
  10. Anonymous1

    Anonymous1 Initiate (0) Mar 19, 2012 Illinois

    This, so much. No wait at all, I probably had 3-4 full pours. This one was better than almost all of the variants they brought also.
  11. Mplsmetro57

    Mplsmetro57 Initiate (0) Jan 30, 2013 Minnesota

    Not true. Gladly took pours while waiting in line for the next BCS to tap. Cucumbersome was a nice palette quencher too. The BCS Baudoinia @ Madison the night before was tasty too.
  12. lovethebelgians

    lovethebelgians Initiate (0) Apr 25, 2013 Illinois

    Couldn't agree more, the creme brulee did not taste how I remembered it the first time I tried it which was also at the gtomw. but DRIPA was awesome. Tried some stuff from bent river which I wouldnt think would be good, but their jalepeno beer was actually pretty tasty for a chile beer
  13. BeyondDescription

    BeyondDescription Disciple (306) Feb 9, 2009 Vermont

    New Glarus Apple Ale was one of my favorites.
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  14. chazmcbro

    chazmcbro Initiate (0) Sep 7, 2010 Wisconsin

    Trying all the "weird beers" was a lot of fun, I'll probably make a better effort to do more of that next year. Kuhnenn Hand Grenade, Solemn Oath's Dude Hold My Purse, Haymarket BB/Port BA DIPA were all winners.
  15. mychalg9

    mychalg9 Initiate (0) Apr 8, 2010 Illinois

    In retrospect, they need to make this a week long event so I can try everything. Actually, I still wouldnt be able to.
    steebo777 likes this.
  16. Chrixsus

    Chrixsus Initiate (0) Dec 13, 2011 Illinois

    Kinda' disappointed in Great Lakes for not bringing it this year. So many great brews...Nosferatu, Cleveland Brown Ale, Rye of the Tiger, Christmas Ale, Dopplerock, Lake Erie Monster, Conway's Irish Ale, Alchemy Hour... Variants of any of these would have been cool, too. Or some timed releases? Needed more than just BA Blackout Stout (which is excellent)...

    Only peeved 'cause I love them so much and they're in my Top 5 Breweries. This year was just blah by them.
  17. chadillac3

    chadillac3 Initiate (0) Dec 5, 2012 Iowa

    My favs: Town Hall Backyard Rustic, BA Plead the Fifth, Black Note (couldn't get any here in IA), and BA Blackout Stout. Morning Delight was delicious, but my expectations were too high for having waited 25 minutes.

    With I could have tried Assassin. :slight_frown:
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  18. Duff27

    Duff27 Initiate (0) Feb 10, 2010 Illinois

    Highlights for me were seeing all my BA friends that I only see at events. Lowlights were seeing other BAs that are uglier than I am.

    Anyone else see the (overly) drunk guy whose shorts fell down followed by the rest of him? Priceless!
  19. dirtylou

    dirtylou Poo-Bah (3,687) May 12, 2005 New York
    Society Trader

    Another solid weekend. Kept it pretty simple on Friday - a few pseudo Sue's with lunch at Brasserie V, a black note at maduro, and then alternated KBS and Doom casually at Merchant. I can't really comment on what happened after that.

    Nice day at the fest too, some thoughts...
    * Layout was strange. The 500 tent was SO far away and loaded with great breweries - I spent half the day there and likely neglected an entire tent or 2 that I found "boring"
    * The lines get more and more ridiculous every year. Didn't even consider visiting Goose Island, Founders or Three Floyds. Made attempts at Surly and Kuhnhenn but quit immediately.
    * Was really impressed by Revolutions releases - Fistal Cliff and Straightjacket, particularly
    * Toppling Goliath is worth the hype. Mornin Delight was way better than Assassin, though. I much preferred Zeelander to its Mosaic dry-hopped brother. I'm pretty damn sick of Mosaic hops already.
    * No line for Great Lakes BA Blackout - works for me.
    * Agree that the Town Hall Backyard Rustic was great, but where was the Masala?
    * Destihl sours were all good, but not as memorable as years past
  20. maximum12

    maximum12 Poo-Bah (4,832) Jan 21, 2008 Minnesota
    Society Trader

    What about BA friends who are uglier than you are? :grinning:
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  21. stouts4me

    stouts4me Initiate (0) Oct 9, 2011 Illinois

    #1 Mornin Delight, #2 BA Abraxis, #3 Goose Buffalo Trace BCS, #4 TH Russian Roulette, #5 Psuedo Sue.
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  22. Gonzoillini

    Gonzoillini Initiate (0) Oct 15, 2008 Illinois

    The real tent was incredible as always. Almost like a mini festival in and of itself. Enjoyed the Side Project (Cory King) Blueberry Flanders (and thought it was better this year than last year) and the Perennial Oude Bruin with Cherries a great deal, and the Headhunter dryhopped with Simcoe was my favorite hop forward beer of the day (even more so than the Toppling Goliath Zeelander w/ Mosaic). Probably spent the most time at this tent & Goose Island throughout the day.

    Really enjoyed spending a few minutes by the Tenth and Blake folks trying beers, and the Apricot Sour with kiwi fruit bubbles was a fantastic idea.

    Least favorite beers of the day go to Bell's Mad Scientist and Surly Seven (or however they spelled it).

    Many good memories of the day, but enjoying near unlimited Boring / Baudoinia while watching folks get down at the silent disco is near the top.

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  23. GonkDroid

    GonkDroid Initiate (0) Apr 30, 2011 Illinois

    Cumberland (KY) Dee's Coconut Porter! Finally, a beer that really tasted like coconut!
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  24. wsnich

    wsnich Initiate (0) Apr 26, 2010 Texas

    My favorite thing was asking people if anyone wanted some of my An Ale Pleasure (from Against the Grain). Wasn't half bad.
    I may have been really drunk, but I really liked Mid-Westvletran from Great Dane.
    Kuhnhenn Carnivale Series was great. Mai Tai was straight up Hawaiian Punch.
    Kill All the Golfers is my now my 2nd favorite mead.
    Was really disappointed by Napa BCS and thought Diablo BCBCS was worse than regular BCBCS.
    4 Hands Volume #1 was pretty great.
  25. EOTLBrewer

    EOTLBrewer Initiate (0) Dec 18, 2011 Illinois

    Highlights for me were:
    Blueberry Flanders
    Head Hunter w/ Simcoe
    Town Hall Backyard Rustic (anyone have any info on this? I have a hard time believing it was 100% raw strawberries added, there had to be syrup or something added) but amazing nonetheless
    Bo & Luke
    Bunch of others were great as well!
  26. mychalg9

    mychalg9 Initiate (0) Apr 8, 2010 Illinois

    Thanks for reminding me of that one. One of the few beers I got a second pour of.
  27. mjpolzin

    mjpolzin Champion (836) Mar 13, 2011 Wisconsin

    Yup, it was a chili beer. A stout but with a nice, hot spicy finish.
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  28. ndolover

    ndolover Initiate (0) Feb 11, 2006 Minnesota

    I agree, something was wrong with the Creme Brulee stout...way more astringent then earlier versions
  29. jegross2

    jegross2 Initiate (0) Jan 3, 2010 Illinois

    Mad Scientist was awful, but the beer goggles were hilarious.
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  30. bonemuse07

    bonemuse07 Initiate (0) Apr 15, 2007 Illinois

    The Thank You Berry Much from Kuhnhenn in the Real Ale tent was fantastic, and I enjoyed the Sazerac too. The happiest part of my day was going to Revolution to get Repo Man, not knowing what time it was, and being told that Straightjacket was on instead. Really enjoyed the Lakefront 25th anniversary (right?!), the NG strawberry rhubarb, and the Dark Horse BA Plead the 5th and Sasparilla Six Stout. Lowlights for me included being annoyed with the closest brewery to me (Two Brothers) and deciding to chew them out for not bringing ANYTHING that hasn't been sitting on shelves for three months. Thankfully, those pouring laughed at my complete takedown of the owners (the workers knew it wasn't directed at them) Finishing the day with a LOT of BCBS Buffalo Trace, in hindsight, made for a short evening.
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  31. Chrixsus

    Chrixsus Initiate (0) Dec 13, 2011 Illinois

    What did the fest-workers for Two Bros. have to say for the owners' shitty GTMW line-up?

    I was just as pissed about Great Lakes pulling the same lazy line-up. They have so many great brews: Nosferatu, Cleveland Brown Ale, Rye of the Tiger, Christmas Ale, Burning River, Doppelrock, Lake Erie Monster, Conway's Irish Ale, Pumpkin Ale, Alchemy Hour. Where were some of these? Variants of any of these would have been cool, too. They could have even whipped up some crazy BA Blackout variants that probably would have stolen Goose Island's BCBS thunder! I e-mailed them in regards to their apparent apathy to this beer fest of beer fests. Hopefully my "tough love" words switched on the light-bulb and gave them the boot in their ass that was needed so they bring it hardcore for next year's Taste. Here is Great Lakes brewer Luke Purcell's response:

    "Thanks for being a loyal fan, your feedback is appreciated. I agree that the Great Taste is one of the premier beer festivals in the country and am lucky enough to have been to it many times over my 17 years with the company. I am very sorry to hear that you feel that we didn’t care about what we brought to this or any other festival. We put a lot of time and thought into our beer line-ups at every event. In celebrating our 25th year this year, we though it appropriate to bring 2 beers that we brewed especially for our anniversary, the Silver and Gold IPL and the Imperial Smoked Porter. The Silver and Gold is our anniversary India Pale Lager, a unique IPA brewed with our house lager yeast, and the Imperial Smoked Porter is a collaboration with Deschutes Brewery who is also celebrating their 25th year. Both of these brews are one-time only offerings that we thought would be great for people to get a chance to try who haven’t had the opportunity. The Barrel-aged Blackout, while it is available every year, is a very small batch brew and we save it for the best festivals and tastings. We did timed releases of both the Deschutes collaboration and of the Barrel-aged Blackout which for some reason they didn’t put in the program. There was a long line for both of these at their respective tapping times and all seemed pleased to try them. We also offered a cask at the real ale tent, a grapefruit infused IPA, which was a very tasty twist on our Commodore Perry. As for the other offerings, The Wright Pils, our summer seasonal, seemed appropriate for the weather and was one of the first beers we were out of, and I feel that the Edmund Fitzgerald is still one of the best Porters around. We get people asking for their favorite Great Lakes brews all day and wanting to know why we didn’t bring them, from Dortmunder and Eliot Ness to a new beer that they just had in our pub last week. It is a great source of pride for us that people regularly ask for our everyday brews at this and other festivals even while they are tasting something new from us. It is a difficult balance to try and achieve the best line-up for everyone. Again, thank you so much for taking the time to express your concerns. I, along with our staff, take everyone’s opinion very seriously. Without loyal fans like yourself, we wouldn’t be celebrating 25 years! I have copied my co-workers who worked the fest with me on this email and can assure you that we will take your comments into consideration when putting together our line-up for next year’s Taste."
  32. mychalg9

    mychalg9 Initiate (0) Apr 8, 2010 Illinois

    I agree I was fairly underwhelmed with a few of the breweries there, too. However, I think we as BA's are in the minority when it comes to our tastes at these kinds of beer fests. Great Lakes' response was pretty good, IMO, and I feel like it justifies the beers they decided to bring pretty well. I worked the GTOM at the booth for Dragonmead Brewery this year and I was surprised at how many people asked why we didn't have a lager at our booth. I guess my point is it's hard to please everyone all the time, and we need to respect the decisions the breweries make regarding their beer selection.
    maximum12 likes this.
  33. Jeffrey2310

    Jeffrey2310 Initiate (0) Apr 4, 2013 Minnesota

    My very first taste of Dark Lord ever happened at the Great Taste. It was the 2011 batch. I thought it was wildly mediocre. Iv heard its very good and just a notch below Darkness. From what I tasted, not even close. Did anyone else get some of the 2011 Dark Lord at the fest? Was there maybe something wrong with it? It didn't taste bad i guess, just bland. I'm pretty sure that it was tapped early enough that my taste buds weren't destroyed yet because I really enjoyed that Baudonia towards the end of the fest.
  34. Bay01

    Bay01 Initiate (0) Nov 19, 2008 Illinois

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  35. chazmcbro

    chazmcbro Initiate (0) Sep 7, 2010 Wisconsin

    So instead of just moving on and finding crazy selections and variants elsewhere (there were a bunch of them, believe it or not), you decided to focus on the ones who didn't live up to your expectations and be one of those people who writes whiny complain-y letters. Sounds like you'd be a blast to hang out with there.
  36. Chrixsus

    Chrixsus Initiate (0) Dec 13, 2011 Illinois

    Hahaha! Yes, that's exactly what I did...:rolling_eyes:...(sigh). Love it how when someone makes any kind of constructive criticism/minor negative comment that probably won't effect anything other than stirring up good, intelligent (hopefully) convo that it's construed as a rage-hate-rant. But thanks for playing ASS-U-ME...better luck next time!

    Best of Fest: Zwanzigz (OH) Bourbon-Barrel Imperial Stout w/ Ghost Peppers
    2nd of Fest: Perennial (MO) Barry Rye (Rye Beer w/ Blackberries)
    3rd of Fest: Odd Side Ales (MI) Mayan Mocha Stout
    Best Real Ale: Upstream (NE) Dundee Scotch Ale w/ Caco Nibs & Siracha
    Real Ale Runners Up: Lakefront (WI) IBA w/ Sorachi Ace, Kuhnhenn (MI) DRIPA

    Runners Up:
    • Zwanzigz (OH) Chocolate Beer
    • Destihl (IL) Strawberry Blonde
    • Great Dane (WI) Tri-Pepper Pilsner
    • Dark Horse (MI) Long Polymer John Donut Ale
    • Dave's Brew Farm (WI) Choco Kaffe
    • Wild Onion (IL) Drago RIS
    • New Glarus (WI) Serendipity
    • Great River (IA) The Dark One (Black IPA)
    • O'so (WI) Brett Dank
    • New Holland (MI) Smaug's Breath (Dragon's Milk w/ Chiles)
    • One Barrel (WI) Bilbo Baggins (Black IPA)
    • Summit (MN) Saga IPA
    • Black Husky (WI) Sproose Juice
    • Blind Pig (IL) Samburro Chili Beer
    • Schlafly (MO) Pumpkin Ale
    • Stevens Point (WI) Chai Tea Porter & White Stout
    • Upstream (NE) Castaway Coconut Porter
    • Piece (IL) The Weight Pale Ale
    • Short's (MI) Strawberry Short's Cake
    • Minneapolis Town Hall (MN) Thunderstorm
    • Cumberland (KY) Dee's Coconut Porter.
  37. Jeffrey2310

    Jeffrey2310 Initiate (0) Apr 4, 2013 Minnesota

    Since no one else had had the 2011, I decided to open my 2013 DL. It's very, very good. I now assume DL doesn't age for sh*t. Glad I drank my bottle now. Delicious!!!
  38. gpawned

    gpawned Initiate (0) Jun 5, 2012 Illinois

    I am so upset that I didn't find out about this until just after we left.
  39. Soneast

    Soneast Champion (826) May 9, 2008 Wisconsin

    The problem with all the available Baudonia, is after standing in the GI line getting multiple pours of it, the rest of the day/night gets a bit hazy. :slight_smile: I barely remember what the Blackberry Rye BCS I was standing in line for tasted like. Fortunately that was right around closing time, so didn't miss out on much else.
  40. jegross2

    jegross2 Initiate (0) Jan 3, 2010 Illinois

    To the contrary.
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