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Posted June 25, 2014 by and in blog
 
 

Smokehouse Brewing’s 11th Annual Mini Real Ale Fest

The Mini Real Ale Fest at Smokehouse Brewing (formerly Barley's)

The Mini Real Ale Fest at Smokehouse Brewing (formerly Barley’s)

This year marked the 11th Mini Real Ale Fest at Smokehouse Brewing (formerly Barley’s Smokehouse). The festival is all about firkin cask versions of Ohio beers–no C02 for you draft lovers!

From their site:

Every Friday, we serve Real Ale out of a firkin sitting on our bar. Except for one glorious Saturday. This year, that Saturday is June 7. We gather together to celebrate Real Ale for three precious hours. This year’s session starts at noon and ends at 3:00 PM.

Here are our highlights and thoughts from the festival that we enjoyed:

 
Zest for Breasts Logo

Zest for Breasts

Zest For Breasts by Fat Heads

A nice American Wheat style with a bit of, well… zest. Despite not being fans of wheat beers in general, we really enjoyed this citrusy beauty. More than one person there commented on the surprising flavor of this seductive beer.

Seventh Son's Humulus Nimbus Pale Ale with Honey and Brett Logo

Seventh Son’s Humulus Nimbus Pale Ale with Honey and Brett

Humulus Nimus Super Pale Ale by Seventh Son

One of our favorite beers from Seventh Son, this firkin version made for a surprising twist on a beloved favorite. We almost skipped it – until we saw the additions to the beer that meant “we can’t pass it up.”

We’re glad we didn’t.

Gnarly Brown by Madtree Brewing Company Logo

Gnarly Brown by Madtree Brewing Company

Gnarly Brown by Madtree Brewing 

This being Ry’s first beer from Madtree was a very excellent first impression. For Keif, it was definitely an improvement from Sol Drifter he had in Cincinnati. Brown Ales tend to either be SPOT ON or fall short.

This brown ale was creamy and just right, as a brown ale should be.

Steel Dawn Bourbon Barrel Imperial Stout with cocoa, vanilla and toasted coconut logo

Steel Dawn Bourbon Barrel Imperial Stout with cocoa, vanilla and toasted coconut.

Steel Dawn by Columbus Brewing Company

Ry says: This bourbon barrel imperial stout was just the right amount of imperial with not too much bourbon. A lot of times the bourbon barrel beers tend to be heavy on the bourbon flavor taking away from the beer itself. This firkin’d beauty was none of that and all Goldilocks .. just right.

Keif says: Maybe we got bottom of the barrel, but I have a different impression of this beer. A lot of people there spoke highly of it (lots of “you gotta try this!”) but I was horribly disappointed. I’m not a fan of coconut – but the flavor wasn’t the problem. It was… syrupy. The only beer I really didn’t enjoy there.

Rockmill Brewery's Dubbel (with figs)

Rockmill Brewery’s Dubbel (with figs)

Dubbel (with Figs) by Rockmill Brewery 

We both are big fans of this brewery, and their dubbel, for sure. The fig made for a unique sweetness that suited this beer so much so we’d like to see it around more.

Rye IPA (Dry Hopped with Sorachi Ace) by North High Brewing

Rye IPA (Dry Hopped with Sorachi Ace) by North High Brewing

Rye IPA (Dry Hopped with Sorachi Ace) by North High Brewing

Ry says: This Rye IPA has been a solid one but the addition of the Sorachi Ace hops made for a nice intense citrus bite to the beer. I hope to see this version of the beer show at the brewery soon.

Keif says: we must have had different beers. My one complaint of North High is they have a large selection of beers they make, but few that are truly “exceptional”. The rye flavor was good, but it is not one of their best.

Jackie O's New Growth (dry hopped with Centennial)

Jackie O’s New Growth (dry hopped with Centennial)

New Growth by Jackie O’s

What can we say, Jackie O’s never disappoints our taste buds. This fresh, clean American IPA gives us that taste we love s about IPA’s without the boring repetition we’ve been seeing with the IPA craze.

In Keif’s words: “I’m in ‘like like’ with this beer.” I also believe this was the one (if not the only) we “tried” more than once.

White Rajah IPA (infused with pineapple)

White Rajah IPA (infused with pineapple)

White Rajah IPA (Infused with Pineapple) by The Brew Kettle

White Rajah IPA is a solid IPA in and of itself, but this pineapple addition took the beer to a whole new level. Recently, we have had a run-in with another pineapple beer (we will spare them the embarassment) which was one of the most awful things we’d ever tasted.

THIS BEER is how you do a brew with pineapple.

Apologies for the beers we didn’t cover. We aimed for the ones that stood out the most.

Sláinte, Keif and Ry


ale

ry