Atlanta Winter Beer Carnival in Midtown Atlanta. I just wanted to stop by to let you all know that it was a great time. I loved the idea of a festival that wasn't just a beer tasting but offered other entertainment opportunities including roaming performers, carnival games and a fun house.
I thought the beer selection was interesting. There were certainly several craft brews from all over the country but also a lot of more mass produced beers than I typically see at a festival. There were several breweries I was unfamiliar with and was able to experience some new beers. We tried Point Brewery out of Wisconsin. I enjoyed their 2012 Black Ale and Matt liked their Pale Ale. We also tried Strangford Lough's two offerings, the St. Patrick's and the Legbiter. I thought it was a micro brew out of Ohio based on the signs (that appears to be the distributor, however) but I have learned that they are a real Irish beer from Ireland. I was also able to try Wild Heaven beers. Because they are higher alcohol beers I had been careful not to try it when out in a social situation. Since we road MARTA to the Carnival I felt safe giving this one a try in a small dose. Their Ode to Mercy, an imperial brown, was probably my favorite beer of the day. It was complex with a sweet malty taste with a hint of a smokey tobacco flavor.
Just like other beer festivals we have been to in Atlanta, for some reason Bell's Brewery out of Kalamazoo Michigan (where Matt and I went to college) seems to be a favorite of this southern city. At the Decatur Beer Festival, I stood in a very long line to get a sample. Their booth had the longest line at this beer festival as well. We began to stand in line but then realized that we had some Bell's at home so decided to continue on. It would have been worth it, though.
We did very much enjoy the non-beer entertainment as well. The fun house was our favorite - what a great idea to have a fun house at a beer festival! Matt also enjoyed the snow tubing!
Also at the festival were volunteers from Safe Ride. This worthy organization is a great service to anyone who enjoys beer in a social setting. If you find yourself out and unable to get back home, give them a call.
In other beer news, Dogfish Head brewery was recently the subject of a misdirected tweet by an employee of the Red Cross. Check out the story here. I assert that people who enjoy beer are a community and we can put our love of this art form to a very good use when we feel like it.