Cultivating Craft 2016

May 11th marked Union Distribution/Blueprint Brands' Cultivating Craft event, which is held to showcase their wide portfolio of craft beer and craft spirits. Happening only once every 3 years, I was thrilled to find that I would be going with The Wilky team this time around. 

Household names like Stone, Allagash, Avery, Bell's and Maine Beer Co. were all in attendance, as well as New York's favorite locals (Grimm, Sloop, Peekskill, and many more). There were also breweries new to Union to check out, like von Trapp, a Stowe-based brewery focusing solely on craft lagers. While there were too many tables to hit in one session, I'll highlight a few of my stand-out beers of the night. 

The Bruery Poterie - French for "pottery," a traditional gift for an 8th anniversary, the Poterie marks The Bruery's own special occasion. With pieces of oak-aged anniversary beers past in the blend, the malt characteristics of Poterie were intense and deep. It poured a very telling, clear, caramel color. From the second it was poured, the aroma was a caramel bomb. Taking a sip, you taste a strong toffee flavor combined with caramel. As it washes down, notes of vanilla and hints of oak become apparent. The body was medium with low carbonation. Overall, this was a standout because it was such a robust toffee/caramel dessert beer. While we all know, I'm not a fan of sweet beers and can only drink them in small quantities, this was something I could definitely see as a 9 oz. dessert. (Noting that the abv is 16.8%, it's probably better that I don't drink more than 9 oz.!) 

Owbow Saison de Kuaska - This blonde farmhouse ale is aged in French oak barrels for 16 months before bottling. This saison poured a slightly hazy gold in color with a tart fruit, lemonish, funky aroma. Taste? Wow, a delicious green apple and lemon tartness with just the right amount of saison funk. Notes of oak and slight acidic, chardonnay-ish qualities were present. 

Sloop Sauer Peach - This Berliner Weisse poured a hazy, orange tinted gold. The aroma was sour and peachy, as you may assume by the name. The taste was sour peach with nectarine notes, lactic acid and some brett-like funk. While pretty sour, not so sour that it will make your face hurt; drinkable for those who want to drink more than one. Moderately carbonated with a fitting fizziness. 

Unfortunately, the beer floor was more than enough to take up an entire session and I did not get to experience much of the craft spirits. However, we all left the event easily, knowing we had plenty of kegs ordered. While I can't mention exactly which ones, you can always come to The Wilky and find out for yourself! 

Until then, hoppy drinking!

                                               - One Hoppy Lady