Kudos to Chris, Russ, & the Rest of the Gang at the General Lafayette in Lafayette Hill, PA for pulling off a successful first attempt at a major regional beer festival. This was subtitled Strong Beer & Great Food. I had my skepticism that a place laid out in the way that G.L. is could host an event with 15+ breweries and plenty of food to go around. Small rooms connected by small passageways make for an intimate restaurant, inn, and brewpub, but a festival?
Absolutely yes, appears to be the answer. Ticket sales were capped at a smart level which allowed for no restroom lines, virtually no waiting for beer or food, and the ability to move freely from one room to another. Even the parking was adequate for all of the festival-goers.
So, what scored big points? Here's a quick recap of some fun observation, followed by a listing of who brought which brews.
Man in costume: Woody Chandler in a button down corporate shirt and shaved face. Ok, the first is true and the second...nah.
Brewers, Writers, and other Cognoscenti: I lost count.
Top 3 Beers of the Day (not ranked): Stewart's McBride's; Brooklyn Local 1; Appalachian Broad Street
Best Lineup Presentation: Brooklyn Brewery
Best Way to the End the Show: Stewart's McBride (66%) & Nodding Head Wee Heavy (33%)
Food options and placement: Well-done!
Reigning under-recognized brewery in the lagging (but catching up) northern Philly suburbs: General Lafayette
Victory - Golden Monkey & Hop Devil
Weyerbacher - Blithering Idiot & Double Simcoe IPA & Quad
Sly Fox - Ichor & Odyssey
Stewart's - McBride's Strong Ale & Conundrum Saison-Inspired Quad
Nodding Head - Wee Heavy & Rudy's Kung Fu Grip
McKenzie Brew House - Cherry Stout & Imperial Red Ale
Yards - Chateau Kenso & Thomas Jefferson Ale
Iron Hill - Hopzilla & Russian Imperial Stout
Brooklyn - Smoked Weizenbock & Local 1 & Black Chocolate Stout ('05) & Monster ('05)
Appalachian - Broad Street Barleywine
Legacy - Fantasy & Euphoria
Manayunk - Barleywine & Tripel Lindy
Rock Bottom - Barleywine & Subzero IPA
Tröegs - Mad Elf & Troegenator & Nugget Nectar
General Lafayette - Chocolate Thunder Porter & High Alt-itude
Flying Fish - Classic Dubbel & Bourbon Barrel Dubbel
p.s. A good time had by all??? No doubt! Can't wait for the next event at the General!