FWIBF 23 – The Day

The common talking point amongst beer scribes is, what is the angle when talking about this festival? You can talk best booth decor. To me Green Cheek with their photo frame and slushie machine was tops. Or you can talk amount of beers. Bagby brought a ton of stuff, all of which looked great. You can talk lines, which present wasn’t omnipresent this year compared to my last fest in 2019.

In the end, it comes down to the beer. And the beer, uniformly is fantastic. You can quibble about the breweries invited or the mix of light beers to big ABV beers but the choices are just great. Whatever you pick, it is not anywhere near mediocre.

That said, there were some beers that really, really stood out. So, I am going to highlight those. My best was a Green Cheek beer. Not one at their rightly crowded booth but a beer poured at a Thiol conversation just wowed me. Evan Price poured an IPA that was good, then a second beer was brought, Forcing Natures Hand. Damn, it was as if you cut a passion fruit under my nose. Price said that he liked a blend of one and two. I dis-concur.

Other winners was the Earl Grey lambic from Oud Beersel which compared to the blunt force of the lapsang souchong smoky version was an exercise in subtlety. I was excited to try FW Brewmasters Collective beers, and the best of my tasted trio was the Pirate Sour. Maybe too sweet for some but very tiki to me. I had two beers from Leeds based Northern Monk and both were my favorite hoppy beers, pils and hazy.

I spoke with a few people about their viewpoint on the day and each one was impressed by something different. That is the festival in a nutshell. Impressive.