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My East Coast Beer Trip Part 2, Lumfest
Posted Thursday, September 9th, 2010 by Tip Top

We drove into Ithaca and stopped off into Ithaca Beer Company.  As we opened up the door, someone is coming out and says, "you look like people going to Lumfest."  It's Chief, aka Jeff O'Neill, head brewer at Ithaca.  We chat real quick and head inside.  Mike Benz is behind the bar to greet us and asks us what we'd like.  Had to go with my first Flower Power right from the source.  What people say is true.  Fresh, Flower Power is one of the very best IPAs out there.  Top notch hoppiness that just won't quit.  The next sample was last year's Ground Break (yum) and then the just released Gorges Smoked Porter.  I can confidently say that this year's version of Gorges is by far my favorite.  Rich and chocolaty, the smoke is there to highlight the beer rather than dominate it.  If you have the chance, buy some.  I picked up a hat and we figured we better get over to Lum's since we were already later than we thought we would be. 

We drove along and are looking for 218.  215, 220...there is no 218!  We turn on the GPS and see we aren't on the right road.  Back track a bit and see that one of the signs had been turned and we should have taken a turn earlier.  We pulled up at Lum's place at just the right time.  You could smell the pig and it was ready to come off the heat.  Lum greeted us right away, as did a not too happy to see us Haley (Lumdog).  Introduced ourselves to Gilly (evertends), Tara, and Pete (Steve Tasker).  Say hello to Mark (decoman).  Then we grabbed our stuff, coolers most importantly, and set up the tent so we didn't have to do that in the dark when we were already a little drunk.  Aliza (Naproxen) showed up a little after we got there.

Lums Flower PowerI grabbed a pull of the fresh keg of Flower Power (or Flower Owlet, as some might say).  Love the home-made tap handle, Lum!  Got back to the fire just in time.  Off came the pig, venison and lamb.  Paul (Lum) carved them under the powerful light of the flashlight and then we gorged.  There was enough meat for a small army, yet there were only 8 of us.  Try as I might, I couldn't finish what I took.  We cleaned up some, and then it was time to start digging into everyone's coolers and sit around the fire.  After a bit of drinking, Nick (nchrist) and Jess (Farmhousewench) show up.  They set up their tents and then join us for beers.  So much beer.  Chief and Mike Benz from Ithaca showed up and joined in on the good time.  If I tried to recount the whole night, I would be typing all day, so I'm going to list the beers I can remember and recount some highlights of the night...

The beers...

  • Super Friends IPA growler
  • Willimantic Saison growler
  • Brown's Whiskey Porter growler
  • Bullfrog Belgian Golden growler
  • Supplication batch 3
  • Old Habit (new unreleased batch)
  • Upland Raspberry Lambic
  • CL Castleton Batch 1 and 2
  • Darkness 07,08,09
  • Cynic
  • Bitter Brewer
  • Bakes 14 year old lambic
  • Barrel Aged Imperial Stout Trooper
  • Bakes 14 Year Old Lambic
  • Half Acre Gossamer
  • Surly Four
  • Ithaca LeBleu
  • Sweetwater Donkey Punch
  • Lawsons Maple Nipple
  • Founders Deco Tenth Anniversary
  • Weyerbacher Riserva
  • Williamantic Barrel Aged Old Kentucky Sour
  • Midnight Sun Uranus
  • 2009 Cable Car
  • Surly Smoke

I'm sure I left something off the list, but as you can see, we went through a metric shit-ton of top notch beers.  There were many memorable moments throughout the night, among which were...

  • Paul, why does your fire suck, it needs pallets.
  • Hearing, "Oh shit, shit, oh fuck", etc coming out of the bathroom, and not from being sick
  • Nick's call to Gator where he talked more to Leslie (I remember the conversation getting odd but can remember what was said at the end...)
  • Jess passing out first, without saying she was going to bed.  It looks like there was a disco ball in her tent for a while the way the flashlight was bouncing all around.
  • Looking for the chickens to put in someone's tent.
  • Gilly somehow staying awake and hanging by the fire despite being up for 40 hours straight or something.
  • Bakes laying down in front of the fire which we all knew would lead to photo ops later.  He didn't fall asleep until he got back in the chair though.
  • Messing around outside Bakes' tent and hearing, "I'm still awake you know!"
  • Lum joining bakes in la la land by the fire so he could get some photo op's.

All the great food, beers, and chat around the fire were the big highlight though.  This was another night that proved to me that the community here at TheBeerSpot has to be the best group of people on the internet.  Extra special thanks to Paul for hosting.  The food and hospitality was top notch!

The next morning and Ithaca Brew Fest as soon as I can find time to blog a little more here...