We accepted our plastic tasting glasses and program at the door and took a lay of the land. It was a very similar set up to The Atlantic City Beer Fest I attended last year. The girls headed for the food stands while Joe and I scouted out some of our favorites. The program listed all the breweries of which only about half were foreign. We were a little disappointed to see there were only 2 Belgian Breweries in attendance. American Craft beers were well represented though.
The first beers that caught my eye were the distinctive cans of 21st Amendment from San Fran whose Monk's Blood Strong Ale is quickly becoming one of my favorites. I walked up to the pourer and asked for some Monk and he poured me some amber colored ale from a bottle. I asked him why it wasn’t served from a can like the others and he said that he was from North Coast Brewery also from California. Apparently, they didn’t bring a sign which made for some confusion.
The beer has a sweet complex taste like the Monk and is called Brother Thelonius Monk. It too is a Belgian Style Abbey Ale, and part of the profits from its sale go to a Jazz Institute named for Thelonius. Not a bad start. I just have to remember to ask what I’m getting before they pour.
My sister-in-law, Irene, is Polish so we made a bee-line for the two Polish beers at the show: Tyskie and Lech (as in Welesa). We had a little trouble pronouncing the former, calling it Titsky even before we saw the girl behind the counter. Both beers were standard lagers but I thought they stood up well to the competition.