HARD LIVER INSANITY
By Logan Perkins
It's been almost a year since I attended the Hard Liver Festival, and I'm not sure I've fully recovered yet. The events I'm about to describe are, to the best of my recollection, true. Various names have been changed to protect the guilty. What we did in Seattle a year ago is nothing to be proud of, and nothing any responsible human should engage in, but I'll the tale here just for the record...hehe!
Friday morning, March 16th, 2007, I catch a morning flight from Los Angeles to Seattle. There's a guy named Dr. Bill on the flight...he's not a real doctor but he knows something about beer so we catch a cab together into Seattle. I head straight for Brouwer's Cafe, host to the Hard Liver (barleywine) Fest. As a world beery places traveler I can tell you this place rocks. Beautiful design, tasty European inspired food and spectacular beer collection with lots of Belgians.
After a good while my host, VanMatt, takes me to his house for more abuse. A small crowd descends upon us and a party begins...it's Friday night...ayieee!!! Drie Fonteinen Sharbeekske Kriek, Cantillon FouFoune, LaConner IV, various Le Woody delights. Apparently there's an Absinthe called Logan that, shall we say, had my name on it...hehe. I help drain that puppy...the slow way with the fancy silver spoon a sugar cube and some fire...yeah baby!
Saturday, March 17th, 9am, Brouwer's Cafe. Theory has it that your taste buds are at their peak early in the morning...9am in this case. I'm here to judge barleywines...hehe!
Carefully registering the nuances of barleywines :)
There's Chicken Man Phil from Georgia, and lot's of luminaries in the beer world all helping to find and define the best big bad barleywine to crown for the year. It was a nice tasting in part because they would try not to give any two people at a table the same beer, so we can taste independently while clustered in this adventure.
|Woody:||Hey, Mr. Peterson, Jack Frost nipping at your nose?|
Yep, now let's get Joe Beer nipping at my liver, huh?
"I fear the man who drinks water and so remembers this morning what the rest of us said last night" –Benjamin Franklin
At 11am the doors to Brouwer's open for the general public. Brouwer's fills up nicely and there's lots of good beer, food and comraderie flowing. While we're tasting the lovely offerings downstairs, the final round of tasting takes place upstairs. The results come in: First place for 2007 was the 2004 Lagunitas Gnarleywine, followed by Great Divide Old Ruffian 05' and Hood Canal Breidablik 06. HoHo!! HeHe!! HaHa!!
"'Sometimes when I reflect back on all the beer I drink I feel ashamed - Then I
look into the glass and think about the workers in the brewery and all of their
hopes and dreams. If I didn’t drink this beer, they might be out of work and
their dreams would be shattered. Then I say to myself, ‘It is better that I
drink this beer and let their dreams come true than be selfish and worry about
- Jack Handy
As the day goes on someone wages a bet regarding a hair cut. There's this guy named Boney or something, and he's offered $100 to get his curly blond hair butchered off...Boney accepts. More pics on that subject below!!
Male Bonding Occurs :))
More craziness that night as most mortals meander home to recuperate over a lazy Sunday.
This should be THE END...but
But there's Sunday yet to come!!!!
Some of us didn't rest on Sunday...we headed to a private tasting. I was volunteered as official beer note taker. It was a brutal task I'll tell ya....
Sunday Morning...11 am, March 18th
We started with a Victory Hop Wallop, then Southern Tier Heavy Weizen-Imperial, followed by a Bam, Hoppy Frog Boris 9.4% from Akron, OH.
Next up: Russian River Depuration batch 001 w/ Brett, Lacto, Pedio, Sacchayamamma & 60lbs of muscat grapes added to each oak barrel...yummm, Captain Lawrence Nor'Easter Winter Warmer brewed w/elderberries and aged in bourbon barrels...batch #1, followed by Wilmington, Delaware's Iron Hill Barleywine coming in at 9.6%...
Next came: New Glarus Copper Kettle Weiss, Jolly Pumpkin La Roja 06', New Glarus Enigma Sour Brown Ale...spontaneous fermentation, whole cherries, unlined oak casks...yum yum huggy huggy hooo!!!
"Once, during Prohibition, I was forced to live for days on nothing but food and water." - W. C. Fields
Next up: Duck Rabbit Wee Heavy Scotch Style from Farmville, N.C., Founders Beeakfast Stout, Ramstein Eisbock, Bristol 23 Barleywine 06', Bells Batch 7000, Troegs Nugget Nectar Imperial Amber with Nugget, Warrior and Tomahawk hops - 7.5%...
...Capital Brewery Autumnal Fire, Goose Island Imperial IPA 06' at 9% with Tettnang, Simcoe & Cascade hops...tons of malt...rich and tingly hops yet sweet and lovely balance...owwweeee...next: Duck-Rabbit Baltic Porter at 9%, Big Sky Virgin Bourbon Barrel Belgian Strong Dark Ale at 10% with Chimay, Westy and DeKonnick yeast....ooooohhh....
Cantillon 1900 Bruscilla 06' Grand Cru, Oregon Trail Bourbon Barrel Porter, Victory 12 (12%), Left Hand Smoke Jumper 10.5% Smoked Imperial Porter, HOD 8+ year old Fred batch 30 in a magnum,
Cantilon 03' Kriek, Old Viscosity...I have this listed twice...huh, next comes St. Lambinus, then Central Waters Brewers Reserve Bourbon Barrel Stout which brings us to 30 beers so far...
3 Floyds Robert the Bruce, a 10% Moose Drool from a non-virgin cask from 2006 called MDX...their 10th Anniversary brew, Kasteel Kriek 95', 04' Bourbon Barrel Alesmith Old Numbskull, 95' Sierra Nevada Celebration, 04' Lagunitas Gnarleywine on tap (the winner of 2007 Hard Liver fest winner)
Someone remembers it's time to cut Boney's hair....ayieeee!!!
Talk about a close shave!
Yeehaa!!! What fun...back to beer...#37 on our list: Jolly Pumpkin Oro de Calabaza, Weyerbacher Heresy Imperial Stout, 06' Girardin Gueuze, Bells Hopslam, Santa Fe Chicken Killer Barleywine, Southern Tier Imperial Coffee Stout (12%), Urthel Hop It, Snowqualmie Falls Belgian Strong in a 3 liter, Oskar Blues Gordon btch #1, HOD Adam batch #22 from 1995...
The hard part about being a bartender is figuring out who is drunk and who is just stupid." Richard Braunstein
#47 beer of the afternoon: Cantillon Iris, Bells 2 Hearted, New Glarus Red, a magnum of Poseidon from Fish Brewing, Green Flash Barleywine, Hanssens Gueuze (7 yrs. old)...
Founders Kentucky Breakfast Stout at 10% relieves distress...full body and wonderful...
Bells Third Coast Old Ale, Dark Horse Double Crooked Tree IPA at 98 IBU, and a magnum of Adam from the Wood from 96...yohohodeeyawhoawhoalala...
Founders Dirty Bastard Schotch Ale, Weyerbacher Insanity, Schalafly Reserve 06' Imperial Stout aged in Bourbon barrels (10.5%).....
Southern Tier Un Earthly Imperial IPA at 153 IBUs...
The problem with some people is that when they are not drunk, they’re sober.”-William Butler Yeats.
#61 in our little tasting: New Glarus Raspberry Tart, then a 1.5 liter of 2002 Doggie Claws, Mendocino Brewing Shipwrecked from around 1996...
2002 +/- Swans Barleywine from Victoria, 2004 Alesmith Grand Cru, Hannsens Oud Kriek from 2002?....
Weyerbacher Simcoe Double IPA at 9%, 2001 Snoqualmie Falls Falls Ale by Snoqualmie Falls Brewing Company, Snoqualmie...
"You can't be a real country unless you have a beer and an airline. It helps if you have some kind of football team, or some nuclear weapons, but a the very least you need a beer."- Frank Zappa
“Twenty-four hours in a day, twenty-four beers in a case. Coincidence?” - Stephen Wright
continuing on...Southern Tier Big Red, Ramstien Winter Wheat, Tyranena Brewers Gone Wild...
Highland Brewing Tasgall Ale from AShville, N.C., HOD Doggie Claws (aged), Phillips Burley Wine from Victoria (11%), de Glazen Toren Saison Epheremere...
Oh yeah baby...we're on a roll with 2004 Cantillon FouFoune, one of my favorites...oh yeah baby!!
For #77 how bout some fresh Alesmith Speedway Stout to clense the palate...followed by Ft. Collins Dopplebock, 94' Midas Touch 750 from DFH, Pizza Port Mother of All Beers,
Cantillon Cuvee de Dave for Toronado blended real special with 3 straight Cantillons...
Bristol XXX Winter Warlock, 3 liter HOD Fred from 2001, Abbaye de Saint Franches Bon-Chiene 05 de Garde aged in numerous oak barrels...cabernet, merlot, barrel, sour funky wild fun!!!
2005 Founders Red Rye, 2006 Big Sky Olde Blue Hair Barleywine (10.6%), Pizza Port Abbaye De Garde, 2005/06 Full Sail Black Gold, Derek Stepauski's Homebrewed Imp Stout with 100% Warrior hops...
This guy is blending his own...or is that the dump bucket!!!
Oskar Blues Imperial Stout, Big Sky Stone Throwover?, De Dolle 20th Anniv., Lagunitas B3K, Ram Saison w/ Brett, a special Decadance...
J&R Brewing 2006 Double Dan Scotch Red Ale, Big Sky Imperial Ale (15.5%), Batch #1 of Le Woody, Ram Double, and for #100...
Beer #100 Russian River Supplication :))
#101 beer of the late afternoon: Unibrou Terrible, Cuvee de Tommee, HOD 1998 Golden Rose, Rogue (John's Dog) Anniversary Brewer Ale,
Lindemann's Pomme, Founders Double Dancer Triple IPA, Brooklyn Black Chocolate Stout, HOD Adam batch #37, 3 Floyds Dread Naught,
1984 Gouden Carolus, old Boon Gueuze Mariage Parfait, Vielles oud Beersel big bottle, Sweetwater Happy Ending Imp Stout, Ft. Collins Dopplebock,
Bottleworks 8th, Lindeman's Cuvee de Renee 94', t'Smitsje 2005 10th Anniversary, 04' Alesmith Old Numbskull, Hannsens Gueuze, 2006 BJ's Stout...
06' Alesmith Bourbon Barrel Speedway Stout, Oud Beersel Gueuze, de Dolle Stille Nacht Reserve 2000, 05' Stille Nacht Reserva...
We're up to beer #125: Russian River Beautification, Scaldis Prestige, Rodenbach Alexander,
Goose Island Bourbon County Stout, 2003 Old Wooley....yum yum, Batch #52 HOD Fred
Big Time Old Sol Wheatwine, Big Time Old Wooly Barleywine...
And we're coming to an end with 10 year old Schaffly Doppelbock
and finally...beer #133: Elysian Icharus Anniversary Belgian Abbey
Bye, Bye Seattle
So, that's the story of the 2007 Hard Liver Festival....ayieeee!!!!
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