Thursday, June 13, 2013

Club Night NHC 2012!

Occupy NHC movement
Club Night!  Nothing can prepare you for this.  Nothing is like it.  Think a combination of beer festival and Sci-fi convention.  Local clubs and larger clubs from farther afield will put up booths ranging from a jockeybox with a small sign stating "we couldn't afford a big sign or booth, but the beers are tasty," to elaborate booths with interactive games and members with crazy outfits.  I took some pics to show a small cross section.  There were over 20 of these booths, serving fantastic, nasty, and mediocre beers, ciders and meads.  And the wacky cultist booth was serving cool-aid shots.

Many clubs embraced the Sasquatch theme

Chainsaw Squatch and these monks actually shaved their heads!
While I toured several breweries in the area and tried tons of other commercial beers on this trip, the wildest and the best were the creations of bold homebrewers.  Was there some bad beer poured at this event?  Yes, but also some of the most amazing!  Being West Coast, there was a preponderance for hoppy styles like IPA and pale ale, but plenty of stouts and porters, ESB's, and lagers. 

One of the better IPA's I tried was off this guy's back
The costumes and presentation is a huge part of the draw for this event.  I'll admit, I do occasionally judge a book by its cover and if the booth was sad and forlorn without wackyness, I might let it go untried.  One such unassuming group was the A to Z Brewers and every single thing they served was stellar.  Their cherry lambic was my favorite of the entire night and despite hundreds of beers to sample, I kept going back for more.  Great meads too, which were fairly rare.  Our group hung back by this booth for most of the first hour, not wanting to relinquish our prime spot.
Hippies from Eugene, OR

On the oposite side of the spectrum was a large group that had a stage with guitar tap handles, disco balls and music.  They also had members handing out VIP passes to try the really good stuff back stage, they had a great Berliner wiess back there! 

Best beer names...ever

There were randalls filled with coffee beans, hops and fruit with beers being poured through them.  Stout with ice cream in it...good, but chunky...  Coffee mead with cream...also chunky.  And of course some really good basic beers.

"Nobody #$%#@ with the Jesus"

All of this chaos ended around 11PM, but the party was far from over.  A large portion of us flocked over to the Sasquatch Social Club area where two of the larger groups had moved their booths to.  Had a Tang flavored Beermosa there...I have actually made a Tang beer before and mine was better!  I hung mostly with the Primary Fermenters this evening and after a while here I noticed that they were all gone.  I was getting ready to call it a night, when Tony texted me that there was more beer down the hall.  Not to miss out on anything cool, I changed my bedtime plans and went in search of the next room.  Apparently local liquor distributors had set up a room to sample some of their wares on a perfect audience!  Dogfish Head 90 minute, Midas Touch and Palo Santo were awesome!  After a while, we closed down the party and those of us die-hard enough to last out took home some extra bottles.  I'm pretty sure I ended up in bed by 2:30.  I am too old for this.  I didn't even do this in college!    Next up 9:00AM seminar on food and mead pairing...
Can't forget Sasquatch serving smoked/juniper beer from a keg on his back....

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