The Great Taste is the second longest-running craft beer festival in North America. For those of you unfamiliar with this event, read the synopsis at Madison Homebrewers and Tasters Guild, the folks behind The Great Taste of the Midwest.
<—- “Click me or any of the pics to enlarge!”
A big part of the fun of The Great Taste is people watching, and interacting with complete strangers who, for the most part, are super-friendly and love to ham it up for the camera. This year, accompanied by husband J and my sis, we had a great time. Here are some of the highlights:
Standing in line (for about 15-20 minutes–it was a really long line!!) at Three Floyds Brewing Company, waiting for just-tapped Molok-Old. It was worth the wait. The description included “… Chocolate, coconut, and vanilla liquid awesomeness.” It was.
Posers! Complete stranger on left. Those yellow capes are from Bell’s Brewery I believe. Everyone was wearing them–very funny to see beer drinking superheroes all day. My sis and our friend (Andrea’s) Mark on the right:
Below, preparation begins for the Chocolate/Beer pairings in the Presentation Tent (barn). This year’s pairings are Gail Ambrosius Chocolatier (chocolate) and Ale Asylum (beer).
Here’s the list:
Everyone’s favorite? Pecan Praline and Contorter Porter:
My favorite chocolate? Caramel with Sea Salt. Always. Hands down. Last year this was paired with Furthermore Brewery‘s Knot Stock. Unbelievable! Really fantastic. Here’s a whole tray of these delectable chocolates. One for everyone…
Place was packed! Fortunately, beer drinkers on the whole seem to be a happy bunch.
The crowd was big this year, full of quirky characters. Here is the Schlafly Beer Bottle Guy (from St. Louis) on left. On right, tempting him with pretzels, sis got Chicken Hat Guy to pose as well:
This year’s Kuhnhenn Brewing theme: Kuhnhenn Dyasty: The year of Asian persuasion (on left). On the right, a Chicago South-sider who didn’t mind being mimicked by my sis. His recommendation for a brewery to visit in Chicago? Three Floyds, but only during off-hours he says.
We found out that with offerings of pretzels, you can get just about anybody to pose. It helps too that it’s almost impossible to say “no” to my sister:
Great graphics abound! Including this poster (featuring the tapping times at Half Acre), and the backs of shirts:
Wonderful logos everywhere!:
And sayings on backs of…backs. Wonder if this guy enjoyed the Real Ale tent.
The scary zombie folks at New Holland Brewing Company. This year’s theme: Zombie Prom:
Would you take a beer from this zombie? I thought so…
Pictured below: Bubblelicious Weisse from the folks at Leinenkugel’s Brewing Co. The little bubble balls were delicious!
Leiny’s description: This classic sour German beer is served with an Asian bubblelicious twist. This new addition is a translucent gummy ball that contains flavored juices in the center which “pops” with every bite. The bursting bubbles come in Lychee, Mango, Orange, Passion Fruit, or Strawberry.
Perhaps my favorite photo of the day…. It was nearing the end of the festival, and we noticed this solitary figure defending her space “in line”. As you can see, no one was questioning her. The cape lends authority don’t you think?