There were LOTS of events around town, so many that the ones I attended never seemed to be overly crowded. I was able to try any of the beers I wanted to at the events, rarely did any waiting, and none of the things I wanted to try ever ran out. I think the variety of events was probably the strongest part of the week. There were probably enough things going on that no one venue became overloaded. The events I attended all had plenty of guests but only one was truly "crowded". More on that in a moment.
So many local brewers offer a range of beers, with most of them being some variation on an IPA, an "Imperial" version of an existing style, a "West Coast" version, or some other code word for "hopped-up" beer. As I've said many times, I appreciate the flavor, aroma, and other qualities hops adds to a beer - but I don't enjoy it when the bitterness dominates the flavor. It's like a chicken soup that's too salty, cinnamon toast with more cinnamon than sugar, or a chocolate cake with a paper-thin layer of frosting. It's unbalanced.
Weird Beer Night at The St. James Tavern
Free Glass Night at Zauber
After St. James, we went to Zauber's Taproom on Fifth Avenue in Grandview. My wife and I each got a free pint glass, and the opportunity to enjoy their Marzen and Empire Strikes Bock. Both were nice beers and worthy of the Zauber name.
The Daily Growler
On Saturday, we stopped by The Daily Growler in Powell and shared a pint while talking with co-owner John Blakely and his excellent staff. Be sure to check out his "Crowler Truck" campaign on IndieGoGo and support it if you can!
Six One Pour
Saturday evening we went to Six One Pour at Brewmaster's Gate. It was great to see so many Columbus area breweries there showing off their products, and fun to try the different collaboration beers. If you were a fan of hop-forward beer styles, you were probably in heaven. Out of the approximately 120 beers on the official program guide for the event, I was only interested in about 14. Of those, at least five or six didn't show up or were well-hidden in the venue. We left the event about 90 minutes after we got there, having sampled as many of the beers we wanted to. I probably dumped more samples than I drank, either because the flavor didn't live up to the name, or the beer was hoppier than its style suggested. It's rare that I walk out of any beer tasting event as quickly as this, and with having tasted absolutely every beer I cared about.
There were a few beers at Six One Pour that I enjoyed. Sadly, my favorite of the bunch was from Sam Adams - their New World Tripel. I expected Wolf's Ridge to bring Alpha, Beta, St. Francis, and some of their excellent Belgian style beers. They brought two IPAs instead. There were lots of IPAs at the event, but few Belgian style beers. I keep hoping that someday Columbus craft beer fans learn the joys of styles other than Pale Ales, IPAs, and "Imperial" beers.