Gary Glancy from the “Hoppy Hour” blog reports that there are plenty of tickets left for the Top Of The Hops beer festival in Greenville, SC (Saturday, April 10 from 2 to 6pm). In conjunction with the big beer festival, co-sponsor Barley’s Tap Room, is hosting a series for beer lovers who cannot wait for the fest to start. Line up for Barley’s Beer Week:
Tuesday (April 6): Oskar Blues night. This Colorado brewery has established itself as one of the best in America, from the canned Dale’s Pale Ale and Old Chub to the amazing “Ten FIDDY” Russian Imperial Stout. On this night, Barley’s will be pouring GUBNA, a 10 percent alcohol double IPA, including both regular draft as well as a cask-conditioned version. For those who are new to cask-conditioned ales, they are lightly carbonated and served at room temperature, so it’s definitely a different taste experience, but all the flavors and nuances of a beer really shine through on cask.
Wednesday: Foothills Night. Oh, my, get ready for this, folks: This amazing brewery from Winston Salem, N.C., will present two casks – one of the People’s Porter and the other of Hoppyum IPA, which was given an addition of honey in the secondary fermentation and then dry-hopped with three hop varieties (dry-hopping is when a brewer adds frsh hops to the tanks, after the actual brewing process has taken place) – plus a special bourbon-barrel version of Festive India Brown Ale that was aged in 23-year-old Pappy Van Winkle barrels, and, last but certainly not least, the brewery’s most famous and sought-after beer – the already legendary Sexual Chocolate, a cocoa-infused imperial stout. This is a rare beer – bottles of which are released one day a year (which occurred last month) only at the brewery, for which people come from around the country and line up early in the morning outside the brewery to get their hands on some. I was lucky to get two bottles of this treasure, and actually cracked one the other night at a party I hosted. It was incredible, especially paired with Brewey’s ice cream and Hershey’s dark chocolate. Yum!
Thursday: Thomas Creek Night. The local Greenville brewery will be pouring its “extremely” tasty Up the Creek Extreme IPA, which is a super-potent and hoppy imperial/double IPA, through a device called “Randall the Enamel Animal,” first made famous years back by cutting-edge Delaware brewer Dogfish Head. Sorry for the lack of a scientific explanation here, but the Randall is a filter thingy packed with fresh hops that is affixed to the beer line leaving a keg, so that the beer pours through and picks up even more hop qualities on the way to the glass. Thomas Creek will be using the noted Amarillo hop variety.
Saturday: Regional Cask Night. Barley’s is trying to get as many as four cask-conditioned beers – from Terrapin, Thomas Creek, Highland and Coast – for a post-festival party at the bar/restaurant. Wow.
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