Sour & Bitter: some scattered impressions

Yesterday I was at that beer ticker-event of the year known as Sour & Bitter, a beer-and-food party organized by Drikkeriget as a kind of kick-off/warm-up event for Copenhagen Beer Celebration (which starts today). The line-up was drool-inducing indeed: lots of rare stuff from lambic masters 3 Fonteinen (including a release of their much-anticipated 2010 Framboos), The Bruery, Lost Abbey, and Pizza Port (first time in Europe!). Very high tick factor, in other words – someone even remarked that all the information released by Drikkeriget before the event just emphasised how rare the beers were, with not a word on whether they were any good.

But I mustn’t grumble: the whole thing was excellent, with a very friendly atmosphere. It was very open and easy to chat to the brewers and the fellow beer-geeks. The love of beer and food shone through everything – food was provided by Mmm… Zonen for madkultur, and served in a set of small “stations” where the guests assembled their own nibbles also using components handed out in brown paper bags – very pretentious in a surprisingly un-pretentious way, if that makes any sense.

I didn’t take any detailed notes and due to a technical oversight I will not be able to post any of the pictures I took just yet, so for now you’ll have to make do with my scattered impressions:

  • Food highlights: cheese with orange-and-walnut chutney, and the little gem lettuces you dressed with cream sauce. The latter in particular was a dead simple, dead delicious snack that worked extremely well with sour beer (I splurged on a bottle of Malvasia Rosso 2003 – amazing).
  • Pizza Port – great beers, but they were a victim of my own high expectations. Everything I tried from them (Jules Winfield Ezekiel, Bagby’s Last Stand Barrel Aged Blend, Middleman IPA, Feeding Frenzy and some other stuff that was lost in my notes) was solid but nothing really stood out.
  • What did stand out, however, was the unannounced appearance of two New Glarus Brewing Company beers: Raspberry Tart and Wisconsin Belgian Red (the latter a kriek). New Glarus is a tiny Wisconsin brewery that hardly exports even outside the state and, according to our sources at Sour & Bitter, whose brews therefore command sky-high prices on eBay and are much sought after in beer trades via RateBeer and other such sites. And after having tasted the two heavenly, sweet and massively fruity beers on offer, I can totally see why – the Tart and the Belgian Red were veritable taste explosions at around 4.o ABV. An outstanding feat of brewcraft that will live long in my memory.
  • Overall highlight: buying 3 Fonteinen beers for take-home from out of the back of a van, in a shady warehouse area in the Copenhagen harbour (the event was really held in the middle of nowhere), having it handed to me by Mr Mikkeller himself. Definitely a surreal beer experience. As I am not a hoarder (OK, not that much of a hoarder) I and my friend just bought one bottle each of the Framboos and the Armand & Tomme Blend and was able to give away the rest of our rations (there was a limit on three bottles per person) to two other fellow beer geeks. Everybody left happy.

More scattered impressions from CBC to come in the following days.

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Posted on May 11, 2012, in Event and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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