Saturday, May 12, 2012

Session One of the IX Beer Fest

Last night, "R" and I attended Session 1 of the International Beer Fest at the IX Center. Session 2 begins today at 1:00, and Session 3 opens at 7PM tonight. Since it was my second year going, I knew what to expect and felt that I actually enjoyed it more this time (even though very little had changed).

What a difference a year can make though! Last year, I was barely a beer drinker and stuck to all of the lighter options, seeking out wheat beers and fruity blends. Thanks to events like the IX Beer Fest and Beer Week in October, my palate has changed a lot over the past year. Last night, I focused on stouts and porters.

My two favorite beers of the night? Fat Heads Brewery Bean Me Up, an intense coffee-flavored stout.
My other favorite? Willoughby Brewing Company's Peanut Butter Cup Coffee Porter.
I went back for seconds of both, wanting to end my night with each. The fact that my two favorites happen to both be from Ohio made me happy. I swear I wasn't biased. We know our beer. The IX Beer Fest features an entire section, just for Ohio breweries.
Two of the most unusual beers that we sampled were the Mexicali Smoke from Fat Heads Brewery, with intense smokiness and subtle heat. Also, we had a Tangerine Wheat from Lost Coast. It was the punchiess cirtrus beer I've ever personally had. Perfect for a hot day on a patio.

Other features that I like about this event? Area food trucks park in the back left corner, so you can grab some tasty grub to line your belly for all that beer. We enjoyed grab-and-go items from strEat Mobile Bistro and Jibaro. With my media passes, we had access to the VIP Brewers Lounge. The Lounge had plenty of soft leather couches, small rounds, and high tops for relaxing, special taps taking place at two expansive bars, and a small buffet of complimentary food. It was a great escape from the main floor.

But my favorite part of the event, other than the beer, is the people watching.
You never quite know what you're going to find wandering the floor.
We had a great time, and it's not too late for you to enjoy the 2012 International Beer Fest. Thank you to the IX Center for providing me with two passes to give away to a reader (enjoy, Julie!), and for two media passes so that we could enjoy the event as well. We certainly did!


Ben said...

Thanks for the write-up, and I'm looking forward to going tonight! I've tried (and loved) the peanut butter cup coffee porter, and I'll definitely try to hit up the other favorites you mentioned.

Mallory said...

The pb coffee porter is so good...Harry Buffalo (at least the downtown) has it on tap and it is definitely one of my favorite. The beer fest was a blast...wish they did more than once a year! Too many beers to try in one night!