Sunday, October 28, 2007

SPBW Real Ale Festival

l-r: Dominic Cantalupo (current president SPBW); Lisa Lawson;
Hugh Sisson, Clipper City Brewing.

The rain stopped at noon, and the sun broke out at 1pm ... just as the SPBW's Real Ale Fest began at the Wharf Rat Brewpub in Baltimore yesterday.

Quite a few real ale fanciers showed up during the next 5 hours. The festival became packed in short order. I was there along with fellow sales representative Jim Still and owner Hugh Sisson.

There were approximately 30 different casks from 25 breweries.

Rather than ticking my favorite pulls or taking pictures, I took the time to enjoy, meeting up with folks in the Baltimore beer world I hadn't seen in quite a while, and trying small tastes of various real ales.

Of the other offerings, I particularly enjoyed host brewer Steve Jones' Hot Monkey Love Barleywine, Jason Oliver's Schwarzbier from Gordon Biersch, and a rustic hard cider from an orchard in Pennsylvania. The last two weren't actually real ales, but who's keeping score?

SPBW stands for Society for the Preservation of Beer From the Wood. No beers were poured from wooden firkins; the name refers more to an ethos of tradition and freshness than to a literal material.

More photos from the fest.

[UPDATE: 2007.10.30- Baltimore columnist Rob Kasper weighs in on the festival and cask ale in general.]

1 comment:

  1. Thanks Tom,

    It was, as always, a pleasure to be in your company and share in your vast knowledge. We set out to make it bigger, better and more diverse this year and I think we exceeded our expectations. The only negative was a less than stellar offering of the new Brewers Reserve, Bright Goldings from Brooklyn and some overcrowding. We plan to alleviate latter next year by expanding to the less used area of the front courtyard. BTW, I'm still pres. through this year and will stay on next year as vice president to mentor and help out. Cheers, Dominic


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