Over the weekend I went to Beer Hoptacular, which was a ton of fun. I got sufficiently sauced while at the same time got to delve into a whole bunch of craft beers I’ve never heard of. There’s a good chance I’d go back next year. However, it was a journalistic failure on my part. Not only did I completely forget to bring my camera, but I also drunkenly lost my booklet of sloppily written notes about all of the beers I drank, somewhere on the Blue Line after the event. Since I got tipsy and can’t really remember every little detail of what happened or what beers I drank, that booklet was the last shred of memory I had on the specifics of things.
So while I can’t rank all the beers I drank like I planned to, I do at least (kinda) remember the best beer and the worst beer.
Brewery Ommegang (out of Cooperstown, NY) had the best beer with their Art of Darkness brew. Oh god, this was delicious. It was rich and malty, and had a ton of carbonation like champagne. It went down super smooth and had an awesome taste. Added bonus: it’s 8.9% alcohol. So it will mess you up, too. Mmmmmmmm, gonna get me some more of this, even if I have to order it over the internet.
I don’t remember the name of the beer, but it was made by Destihl (out of Champaign, IL). They had some other good beers on tap, but there was one that was ultra bitter, and tasted like I was doing a shot of vinegar. The fact that someone created this, tasted a batch, then *continued* to make it is pretty mind-boggling. Maybe they just created it with targeting the most niche market possible in mind “I want to satisfy the rare demographic of beer connoisseurs who also like to drink their own diarrhea.” IT WAS GROSS.
Well, Beer Hoptacular was a fun experience. You can spend $45 getting drunk in much worse ways (which I have many times). The giant tent that is the Riverfront Theater was an interesting venue choice. It gets super loud and super hot in there, but luckily there was a lot of outside space to wander around right next to the Chicago River, so it was easy to escape the madness. I got there an hour late (more journalistic prowess on display) and I was still able to get nice and toasty off the beer samples before the event ended. It seemed like there were a lot of lines for all the booths, but in reality, there were just a lot of people standing around talking where the lines should be. It never took me more than a minute or two to get a beer sample. It was a nice system, and a good drinking environment. I didn’t get to try any of the food at the event, but I did have some unrelated shawarma afterwards. I would recommend going to Beer Hoptacular 2013 if you missed this one.