It was definitely much more crowded than last year. We arrived only a half hour after the event started, and it was already getting a bit uncomfortable.
There were already long lines for the food stalls -- set up by some of the regions better beer bars, such as Qbrick and eni-bru.
And then we made the rounds. Here are a few highlights:
Minoh Brown Ale
A special brew produced for this event. Pleasant chocolate aroma with some coffee. Muddy brown with a thin tan head. A mid-palate burst of some floral & fruity flavors. Great, smooth aftertaste. Maybe a bit off for the style, but a tasty beer.
Medium-strength hop kick in the nose. Very thick, cloudy, with a 3/4-inch head. Deep, dark flavors with a long bitter finish. Rather thick and sticky. Not the beer it once was, but it is certainly better has it has been, or "good for lately," in the words of a fellow drinker.
Honey and some lemon in the nose. Big (one-inch) head with strange little carbonation globules floating up, like tiny frogs’ eggs. Mild flavors of honey and lemon. Heavy body, in spite of the rice that is included.
Akashi Merikan Beer
One of the better and true-to style pils made in Japan. Clean aroma and grassy hops. Well-made.
Ichijoji Cinnamon Ale
Strong cinnamon aroma, candyish. Light orange-brown, no head. Slightly medicinal flavors, which flatten out in the final, leaving a coating of cinnamon on the tongue. Dryish and sticky, with light-medium body. Not really my thing at all, but I’ll allow a few extra points for the novelty aspect.
Later in the day, we moved off to a quiet area to sample a couple of special bottles that we had brought with us:
Hair of the Dog Matt
Founders Nemesis 2009
.... and finally, we headed off to finish the day at the area's newest craft beer bar: Craft Beer Works Kamikaze.