Brouwer’s Big Wood Festival Kick’s Off Today – My Hit List

December 3rd, 2009 · 6 Comments · Events

I get giddy about most big Brouwer’s festivals. Sour Fest and Hard Liver are both incredible, but Big Wood has possibly become my favorite over the past few years. There is a ridiculous amount of exceptional beers on this year’s list. Here are a few of the beers that stick out to me, but there are seriously so many I’d love to try it’s pretty hard to pick.

Hair of the Dog Bourbon Fred From the Wood – My friend Dean and I couldn’t get enough of this gem during the HOTD open house during this year’s Oregon Brewers Festival. It was phenomenal. Get some while it lasts…this one could kick quickly.

Firestone Walker/Nectar Ales Black Xantus – Imperial stout with coffee aged in a combo of bourbon and wine barrels. It’s as good as it sounds.

Avery Beast from the Wood – A barrel-aged version of Avery’s 15% monster beer? Sure, why not. I think I’ll split a glass of this with someone, though.

Port Brewing Brouwer’s Imagination #2 – According to the label shot posted at, this will be a blend of 34% ale brewed with honey, raisins and rosemary and aged in bourbon barrels, 33% ale aged in bourbon barrels, and 33% ale with raisins and aged in wine barrels. Sounds like we’ll see this in bottles shortly as well.

Cascade Vlad the Imp Aler – Hard to pass up this GABF Silver medal winning sour ale. If you haven’t tried this previously, make sure you do. This Portland brewery is hitting all cylinders.

Cantillon Lou Pepe Kriek 2004 – With six Cantillon beers on tap for the festival it will be hard to choose. I’ll take a glass of the five year old Lou Pepe, please.

Well, that’s six of the beers I’ll be going for. Only about twenty others I’d love to try as well. There are a few bourbon aged IPAs this year that I’ll be interested to have a sample of but not a whole glass. The combination of strong hops and bourbon has not been a favorite of mine in the past.

Did I leave out anything that you are looking forward to in particular?

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6 Comments so far ↓

  • urban beer hiker

    Alright, people, listen up! The harder you push, the faster we will all get our beer!

    (paraphrased from Chief Wiggum on Simpsons episode 5F14, “The Trouble With Trillions”)

  • P. Fruit Trees

    Another one if I might suggest is the Hair of the Dog Michael which is appearing for the first time at the Festival. Originally this was premiered at the HOTD Dock Sale back in November. From what I hear its a definite must taste if you can find it anywhere.

    Cheers and thanks for the suggestions.

  • Dean Ruffner

    Aside from the aforementioned HotD Bourbon Fred, of which I have become the most shameless advocate/pimp, #2 on my Hit List list is the Big Sky Ivan the Terrible.

    That and another 20+ beers on the list.

  • elvis

    gonna try to hit this on sat.

    at the horse brass the other night i had the HOTD Blue Dot, and while it’s not your typical HOTD beer, i was just blown away. had it in the bottle before, but it was so, so good on tap.

  • urban beer hiker

    You’re right – HOTD Fred from the Wood was scary good. I also had “Matt” and “Bob” and was impressed by how different they all were. (Fred was my favorite.)

    I also finally broke my Lost Abbey Angels’ Share cherry. I get it now. Stellar.

    Cantillon’s Rose de Gambrinus is probably my choice for the Belgians.

    If anyone sees me at Brouwer’s past 1opm on Friday night, please feel free to kick my ass out of there. I have to work on Saturday morning and I have oh so little will power.

  • Nick

    FYI – A few beers published on Brouwer’s website were no-shows. There was no Black Xantus or HOTD (showed up later) beers there when I was there at opening. Also no Firestone Barrel Aged Double Barrel, RR Consecration, or Abyss 08. The Cascade Impaler was awesome as was the New Belgium Tart Lychee…

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