rss feed Twitter Feed Facebook Fan Page
Sign In
Not Registered Yet? Register to have access to all content.

Did you miss your activation email?
Latest Reviews
Latest Drinks
Latest Beers Added

Official TBS Blog

Great Taste Of The Midwest 2010 Review
Posted Wednesday, August 18th, 2010 by James Kitchens

1822The 2010 version of the "Best Fest Not Only In the Midwest" was a big success this past weekend. Being a veteran of three fests, as of this year, I was obviously immune to the siren call of the "special releases" as well as the Real Ale Tent. I was likewise not at all distracted by the wave of fantastic sour beers at the fest this year. Nope, none of that stuff made any difference to me this year.

Actually, this year the hallmark of this fest (to me) was the increased presence of the sour beers in their many forms. Being a big fan of sours, this certainly did not disappoint me. I must admit that the best of the bunch were the Pooka Boisenberry Sour from Brugge and the Raspberry Wild One from Bell's. I also liked the Central Waters Exodus on Friday at our pre-party.

My favorite non-sour was probably the Blood Orange Wheatwine from Short's, AKA their Anniversary Ale. My favorite "odd" beer had to be Kuhnhenn's E.T.'s Reece's Pieces. That one was special in my opinion, with a solid amount of peanut butter and chocolate on the nose. The taste was much less peanut butter, and much more chocolate along with a bit of coffee. Having said all that, keep in mind that I did in fact miss most of the special releases.

Otherwise, this was actually a fairly tame fest for me personally. I certainly did not go after the special releases as vigorously as years past. Not sure why, but a lot of them weren't styles that I personally wanted to test on a somewhat moist August Saturday in Madison. I do regret not getting the Vanilla BCS from Goose Island though. As well as a few others.

Once again this year I managed to miss entirely the Presentation Tent. Next year, I have to make a commitement to get there. The "Beer and Food" and "Beer and Cheese" presentations were on my early radar screen, but I failed to make it. I really need to fix that mistake next year. I did attend the TBS 2010 Great Taste Cheese Off! though. As noted in the thread on the forum, I was big fan of the Camembert from Bakes and McBruver's triple cream Cowgirl Creamery Mt. Tam. Those were my top two, with the smoked Bleu in third place.
I have to say that I am already excited about the Great Taste of the Midwest 2011 weekend. The fact that it is 51+ weeks away makes me somewhat sad, but hopeful. Now I have something to look forward to every day. The Beer Spot is already considering some ideas for the fest next year, as well as securing the same spot for the pre-party at Brickhouse BBQ.
Speaking of Brickhouse did a great job on both Friday and Saturday nights. The third floor space for the party was fantastic. The brewery lineups were also great. Although with only one sour beer in the lineup, it seems that list didn't follow the impression I took away from the actual fest. I will say that the Central Waters Exodus was great though. Note for next year: more sour beers.
If you didn't make the events on either night of the weekend at Brickhouse, I recommend trying it next year. The food was great, on top of the special beers from Central Waters and Short's. I had the burger on Friday and the ribs on Saturday. Both were top notch, although the burger had bacon on it. As we all know, EVERYTHING is better with bacon, so they may have cheated on the burger. The ribs, though, were outstanding on their own. We are absolutely looking forward to seeing everyone there again next year.

Thanks again for everything at the fest to the Madison Homebrewers and Tasters Guild and all the breweries and their employees and volunteers. As usual, they put on a first-class fest. Thanks to Brickhouse for the great pre-party on Friday. Next should be even better.

--- James Kitchens, AKA Nucular George