Brouwer’s Hard Liver Barleywine Festival Kicks Off This Saturday

March 7th, 2011 · 3 Comments · Events

Let the craziness begin. Brouwer’s Cafe is known for throwing great festivals, and this Saturday’s Hard Liver Barleywine Festival is the most popular of them all. Now in its 9th year, Hard Liver is a gauntlet of 60+ barleywines all on tap at once. The updated full list is below, as well as some highlights of which beers are at the top of my list (in bold with brief comments). You should also check out the preview over at Beer Blotter. There is also a judging for the barleywines that takes place, and the winners are typically announced early afternoon. The winning barleywines are usually quick to go after the announcement. In general, barleywines age very well. I’d suggest targeting beers with at least a year of age on them. Take a look at the past winners from the competition. None of the top 3 winners since the 2007 competition have been a fresh vintage.

For those that have not attended the festival previously, the doors open Saturday at 11am, and there will be a line of people waiting to get in. Tables will be hard to come by all day, and by say around Noon or 1pm there will be another wait to get in. If you don’t want to fight crowds, I highly suggest skipping Saturday and just visiting on Sunday or next week. You will most definitely miss out on some of the popular selections, but there will be plenty of great barleywines left pouring after Saturday.

Flying Dog Horn Dog 09
Fishtail 10 Squared – This is one for the hopheads.
Red Hook Trouble Hook 10
Alaskan Golden Nugget 10
Victory Old Horizontal 10
Sierra Nevada Big Foot 08 – This popular barleywine should be shining after a couple years
Sierra Nevada Black Barleywine 10
Avery Hog Heaven 10
Boulder Killer Penguin 10
Great Divide Old ruffian 10
Southern Tier Black Burner 09
Anchor Old Foghorn 10
Dogfish Olde School 10
Lost Coast Fog Cutter 10
Pike Old Bawdy 07
Anderson Valley Horn of the Bear 09
Ninkasi Critical Hit 10
Speakeasy Old Godfather 09
Stone Old Guardian 09
Stone Belgo Barleywine 10
Lagunitas Gnarleywine 10
North Coast Old Stock ale 10
Anacortes Old Sea Bass 10
Dick’s 05 – A barleywine w/ six years of age is tough to pass up. Has the potential to be great, or past its prime.
Hales Rudyard’s Rare 07
Hood Canal Breidablik 10
Deschutes Mirror Mirror 08 – These beer has aged well in past; 1st Place at Hard Liver in ’08
Mad River John Barley Corn 09
Mad River Wheatwine 08
Hair of Dog Doggie Claws 10 – One of my favorites. HOTD is special.
Boundary Bay Old Bounder 10
Glacier Brew House Old Woody 10 – Probably will be the first to kick. 1st place last year. Great beer that we only see for this festival.
Lost Abbey Angel Share 10 Brandy
Lost Abbey Angel Share 10 Bourbon
Black Raven Old Birdbrain 09 – Just won the judging at the Alaskan Beer & Barleywine Fest, beating out some true heavyweights.
Big Time Bill’s Bearded Wonderfulness 09
Big Time Bill’s Bearded Wonderfulness 10
Elysian Cyclops 10
Ram Mall Walker 10
Fullsail Old Board Head ??
Hub Noggin Floggin 10
Bigsky Old Blue Hair 10
Bigsky Old Blue Hair 10 Cask
Firestone Abacus 11 – Just released in bottles, get some on tap now and save your bottles…
Smaltz Jubilation Blend 14
7 Seas Wheel Chair 10 – Have never had the pleasure of trying this one.
Moylan’s Old Blarney 10
Marin Old Dipsey 10
Scuttlebutt Old No. 1 09
Naked City Cluster Cuss 10
Eel River Triple Exultation 10
Snipes Roza 10 – Just sampled at BPP, and it is tasting great.
Old Lampoc Tavern Rat 09
Old Lampoc Unsettler Belgo Barleywine 10
Laurelwood Old Reliable
Port Towsend 10

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