World Beer Festival (2013)
An Outing in Durham, North Carolina
Posted on 10/5/2013 by Chops
All About Beer's annual World Beer Festival in Durham, NC has come and gone. As always, good times were had, new friends were made, and plenty of delicious beers were sampled. Many of our favorite specialty brews were on tap like Bull City Burger and Brewery's Pigmeat Markham Smoked Rye Ale, and of course, a healthy dose of seasonal Pumpkin ales and Oktoberfest amber lagers.

BrewChief Founder Zack Wheeler made his way around the festival on the hunt for hidden gems. One that stood out was a fresh-hopped version of Natty Greene's Southern Pale Ale, which turned out to be a burst of hoppy Simcoe goodness. Also turning heads was Thomas Creek's deliciously disorienting Castaway Chocolate Orange IPA. It's one of those beers that look completely insane on paper, but somehow results in a tasty mishmash of beery bliss.

A few unexpected delights were also on hand this year. Several highly respected international powerhouses occupied tasting booths, including Germany's Weihenstephan (the world's oldest brewery) and Ayinger. Needless to say, these were some of the most popular (and crowded) booths at the festival.

Beer fans also enjoyed several new bells and whistles this year, including a fully stocked cask ale booth and special brewer presentations. One of the coolest features was a miniature version of a working commercial brewery created by Newlands Systems, Inc. For anyone who has toured many-a-brewery, it was really neat being able to experience a true bird's eye view of a working brewery.

Perhaps the top highlight of the festival was getting to attend a lecture seminar by Pat Fahey, the newest and youngest Master Cicerone (one of only seven in the world). Pat was kind enough to take beer fans through an exploration of what causes "off" flavors in beer. He happily answered questions and gave great insights into the complex world of beer.

So once again, many cheers to All About Beer magazine for putting together yet another engaging and successful beer festival. BrewChief greatly enjoyed the experience and is already looking forward to next year.

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Zack with Pat Fahey, the newest and youngest Master Cicerone
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