RECAP: Winterfest 2013

Tickets for Winterfest, Saturday’s beer event at the Indiana State Fairgrounds, sold out quickly, and scalpers with extras were scarce at the event. Along with the snaking lines outside of the Fairground’s Agriculture and Horticulture building and inside at the more popular tents, signs point to this being one of winter’s most popular Indy events. Proceeds benefited Joy’s House.

The Highlights

Special pour of the day: At 6 p.m., The Upland Brewing Company poured fruit lambics and Gilgamesh, making the Upland booth the Winterfest mecca of all beers sour and succulent. Bonus points for Upland: Staff poured pitchers of their Wheat Ale to those waiting in line for the 6 p.m. pour. Keep filling our glasses and we’ll keep filling your tasting room, Upland.

Pleasant surprise of the day: Flat12 Bierwerks calls it Le Doodle. You can call it the beer that satisfies your cravings for snickerdoodles and suds at the same time. Flat12 debuted Le Doodle at Winterfest, and it provided a buttery, sugary contrast to all the bitter imperial stouts and hop-tastic IPAs of the festival.

Coolest coffee infusion: Brews with mocha and espresso characters abound in the darker beer category, but New Day Meadery‘s Breakfast Magpie stood out, even as a mead among beers. Magpie’s velvety-smooth mouthfeel and complementary coffee and fruit notes made this mead a winner in the coffee category.

Trend watch: Pretzel necklaces. Even the burliest of brewmasters sported twine necklaces strung with mini pretzels. In theory, these provide a firm carb foundation for all the high-gravity beer about to be consumed. In reality, they look a little silly.