Bringing the beer fest to you
A Review of Beer Fest Beer (Collabeeration) by Bull City Burger and Brewery
Posted on 10/4/2013 by Chops
Collaboration beers can be some of the most exciting experiences in the craft beer world. The concept is to combine the strengths of different breweries to form a super-brewery in order to craft a one-off batch of specialty beer. You can think of them like super-groups of musicians (my personal favorite being A Perfect Circle). And like with music, you can actually pick out the individual contributions. You recognize a particular vocal style (hop sting), a drum rhythm (malt base), etc. In other words, these are really fun and engaging beers. I recently joined some members of the local press for the release of Beer Fest Beer, a local collaboration between NC brewers, media, and farmers.

This brew is described as ''a four-way beer collaboration between All About Beer Magazine, Fullsteam Brewery, Bull City Burger and Brewery and the great state of North Carolina. We used all NC grown and malted barley from River Bend Malt. We collected hops from many different sources around North Carolina - from the backyard to organic hop growers. We brewed a hoppy session ale in the British Mild style, but with a nice hop kick and of course we used all Durham free-range water. The toffee and light roasty quality of toasted malt jumps from the glass. The fresh hop bitterness finishes the beer with a light nip on the finish. At just 3.7% ABV this session ale goes down easy.''

In the glass, this beer has a deep dark caramel brown coloration. It comes with a creamy tan head that has really nice retention. On the nose, I found plenty of toasted bread crust, a healthy dose of earthy malts, a touch of toffee, and a faint grassy hop presence. Wow, that's a complex aroma for an English Mild. I could already tell that this was going to be a uniquely rewarding experience. I wasted no time diving in for that first taste.

After a few sips, the thing that kept popping into my mind was that Beer Fest Beer is infinitely drinkable. Despite its low ABV, this beer feels much thicker than it actually is with a light-to-medium body. All of the flavors are nicely balanced and any would-be aggression is properly restrained. I could seriously drink this beer all day long and never grow tired of it. All of the aromatic qualities also translate into primary flavor notes. Toasted bread crust, earthy malts, toffee, grassy hops, plus the addition of caramel and a light smokiness. The hops are very forward for the style, but in this case they add just enough punch to keep the other notes from running amok. The beer finishes light, smooth, and exits with an aftertaste of sweet malt and mild hop bitterness.

Overall, Beer Fest Beer is a delightful interpretation of a classic beer style. If I had to put it into a single sentence, just think of this beer as a hybrid between an English Mild, an Oktoberfest, and an earthy pale ale. The beer utilizes the strengths of each to create a savory concoction that I can easily recommend to all beer fans. Seasoned drinkers will greatly enjoy a complex version of an otherwise simple style. Novices will be greatly impressed by the one-two punch of big flavor and high accessibility.

Beer Fest Beer will be showcased this weekend at, you guessed it, the annual World Beer Festival in Durham, NC. BrewChief will certainly be there, so come on out and enjoy this delicious collaboration brew while it's still available. Cheers to BCBB, Fullsteam, All About Beer, and NC farmers for a delectable accomplishment.

You can read more about this collaboration at The Herald-Sun, which also featured BrewChief: Click Here

And of course, hope to see you at this year's World Beer Festival: Click Here

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Beer Fest Beer (Collabeeration) by Bull City Burger and Brewery
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