This post marks the end of TheFerm.org's celebration of the 2010 American Craft Beer Week. However, I prefer to look at this day from a positive perspective. It's the last day of non-stop blogging. I will now return to filing my thoughts every other week or so. It's also a good time to start looking forward to other craft beer events.

The Brewers Association maintains an extensive event calendar on their website, CraftBeer.com. I encourage anyone who has not ventured out to one of these to give a local event a chance, especially events that bring together at least regional brewers (something outside of what you are used to locally). The craft beer scene right now in the US is neither uncomfortably unrefined nor annoyingly sophistic. You will be pleasantly surprised.

Below are upcoming national events promoted to further the culture and community of craft beer and craft brewers.

SAVOR: An American Craft Beer & Food Experience
I went to SAVOR last year and had an unbelievable time. Check out my recap.

From the Brewers Association:
SAVOR is the main beer and food pairing event in the US! With 65 of the nation's top independent craft brewers participating, this is where beer enthusiasts and foodies can interact directly with some of the greatest brewers and brewery owners in the world.

Date: June 5, 2010 - SOLD OUT
Where: Washington D.C. National Building Museum
Website: www.SavorCraftBeer.com

National Homebrewers Conference and National Homebrew Competition
This event is still a bucket list event for me.

From the Brewers Association:
Join hundreds of homebrewers at the national conference for amateur brewers. Education and fun combine for a great experience!

Date: June 17-19, 2010
Where: Minneapolis, Minnessota
Website: AHAconference.org and HomebrewersAssociation.org competition section

Great American Beer Festival (GABF)
The Brewer's Association could run a contest to name this event and no entry would be more succinct and perfect than the combination of the words "Great", "American", "Beer", and "Festival". I've been to GABF a few times, but would go every year if I didn't think that I would be risking developing a police record, having any more children, or jeopardizing future liver function. If this festival can be done "small", then I haven't figured it out yet.

From the Brewers Association:
Three days, over 450 breweries and more than 2,000 beers to enjoy. 2010 will be the 29th year of the festival with nearly 50,000 people expected to attend. Purchase your tickets early, as the festival has sold out the past three years!

Ticket Information
Tickets go on sale to Brewers Association and American Homebrewers Association members on Tuesday, June 22 at 12pm MDT.

Tickets go on sale to the general public on Monday, June 28 at 12pm MDT.

Date: September 16-18, 2010
Where: Colorado Convention Center, Denver, CO
Website: www.GreatAmericanBeerFestival.com

In my mind, American Craft Beer Week may be one of the best of these celebrations. The emphasis of the celebration is craft brewers and craft beer culture. In contrast to each of the events above, we can all celebrate this event locally. Breweries, brewpubs, homebrew clubs, and bars around the country join together to participate. I imagine as this event matures, it will truly turn into something that is fitting of the title "The Mother of all Beer Weeks".

Day 7
May 23, 2010

Grand Teton XX Bitch Creek (Victor, Idaho)
20th Anniversary Cellar Reserve
Vintage 2008

Website/Bottle Information:
"To commemorate that twenty-year history, Grand Tetons brewers have chosen four of their year-round beers, three current, one historical, to strengthen and enhance. XX Bitch Creek Double ESB is the final release in their 2008 XX series.

Bitch Creek ESB was first brewed in 2003, and perfectly balances big malt sweetness and robust hop flavor for a full-bodied mahogany ale. It has quickly become our best-selling beer, as well as our most-critically acclaimed, having won medals-including two golds— at four out of the past five Great American Beer Festivals.

XX Bitch Creek Double ESB is all that and more. We took the Bitch Creek recipe and doubled everything: double the malt, double the hops, twice the flavor. This is a huge beer at 7.5% alcohol by volume, which should be paired with only the most flavorful of foods. Try it with the best steaks, game meats and hearty stews, or with a nice cave-aged Gouda."

Serving: 1 Pint, 9.4 fl.oz. (750 mL) Bottle
Style: Double Extra Special Bitter (ESB)
ABV: 7.5%

He Said:
During the intense research phase preceding my writing of this post, I tried to learn as much as I could about Bitch Creek. It turns out, there is no Wikipedia page for Bitch Creek. I think we can all agree, if something doesn't have a Wikipedia page, it ain't all that. Riverfacts.com provided some pretty sound information though. Apparently Bitch Creek is a good place to hike. The summer high temperatures reach about 80˚F, however the winter highs are typically in the 20s. Whitewater rafting and kayaking is known to be more difficult than other areas. Some might say the water can be kind of a b!*#%. I don't know this stuff first hand, it was just part of my research.

One thing I do know is Grand Teton XX Bitch Creek is a very enjoyable beer. Juxtaposing the enjoyment was the effort to get this beer open. In the time it took me to get the wax dipped flip top free, I could have solved a Rubik's cube or a NYT crossword puzzle. Once open, the beer poured opaque and black. I got nervous that "She Said" would give me a hard time about picking this dark of a beer for Day 7 of ACBW. The beer has a small and light head and left some nice light brown lacing on the glass. On the nose of this beer are hoppy notes and dark, rich, toasted malts. The taste is wonderful. It goes from hops to chocolate to hops at the finish. It is nice that my palette isn't left with the stickiness of burnt malts or ruined from hop astringency every sip.

This beer is a lady. A bold lady. A bold lady... creek.

She Said:
Smell: Dark and devious. Yummy! The nose is sweet and malty as a matter of fact. I love that it is roasty without smelling burnt.

Appearance: Did I say dark and devious yet? The appearance matches the nose. Let's see if this beer can go for the trifecta.

Taste: Oh yeah, we have a winner. The dark and devious trifecta, the hat trick, the triple crown, a grand slam… I'm just saying. Bitch Creek is really freaking good. It promises dark and devious and it delivers. The beer has a very nice, rich, chocolaty flavor. This is a great after dinner drink, even though I had dinner four hours ago and it consisted of Chuck-E-Cheese pizza. What a great beer to end the 2010 American Craft Beer Week. I'm glad I saved my five hop rating.I love this double ESB. 5 hops out of 5.

3 comments
  1. Trace June 11, 2010 at 4:41 PM  

    Sounds like it was a lot of fun! Mind if I re-post this on the Guinness facebook page?
    www.facebook.com/GuinnessUS

  2. SirRon June 11, 2010 at 9:48 PM  

    Sure. As long as I'm not needed for any appearances. My schedule is packed, yo.

  3. Marne August 16, 2010 at 3:15 PM  

    Something to consider- the 3rd Annual Albuquerque Hopfest. AT $30 per ticket, won't break the bank! Lots of great breweries. www.albuquerquehopfest.com