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Quivey's Grove Beer Fest 2011: A Review

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Quivey's Grove Beer Fest

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This year's beer fest at Quivey's Grove was greeted by superb 80+ degree and sunny weather, 37 total breweries, and over 100 beers to taste. The festival ran from 12-5PM on the grounds of the historic Quivey's Grove. Many breweries were in attendance, including several from Madison. Ale Asylum, which is based in East Madison, brought over its Satifaction Jacksin Double IPA (a whopping 8.3% ABV) and Contorter Porter. Capital Brewing Company, located in nearby Middleton, had its Autumnal Fire Dopplebock (one of my favorite dopples) and Hop Cream Ale. The Great Dane Pub & Brewing Company was also present and pouring out its Stone of Scone Scotch Ale and Verruckte Stadt German Pils. Likewise in attendance was Vintage Brewing, showcasing its Pumpkin Disorderly, Dedication and the DeVille Abbey Quadruple Ale. Last but not least, the House of Brews, staffed by owner Page Buchanan himself, brought out four of its newest brewskies: the Prairie Rye Kolsch Ale, Cellar Dark (a very light dark beer at 5.5% ABV), Full House Pale Ale (ABV 7.5%), and Standing Stones Scotch Ale (tapped right out of the secondary fermentor).

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Who else was in attendance at this year's brewfest? Out of town breweries included Ommegang Brewery (Cooperstown, NY), Crispin Cider Company (Minneapolis, MN), Founder's Brewing Company (Grand Rapids, MI), Lagunitas (Petaluma, CA), August Schell Brewing Company (New Ulm, MN), Bells Brewing (Galesburg, MI), Great Lakes Brewing (Cleveland, OH), LakeFront Brewery (Milwaukee, WI), Minhas/ Rheinlander Brewing (Monroe, WI), Pearl Street Brewery (LaCrosse, WI), Sprecher Brewing Company (Glendale, WI), Stevens Point Brewery (Stevens Point, WI), Goose Island Brewing Company (Chicago, IL), Magic Hat (Burlington, VT), New Belgium Brewing (Fort Collins, CO), Abita Brewing Company (Abita Springs, LA), O'so Brewing Company (Plover, WI), Pangaea Brewing (Wisconsin Rapids, WI), Potosi Brewing Company (Potosi, WI), Upland Brewing Company (Bloomington, IN), Big Bay Brewing (Shorewood, WI), Central Waters Brewing (Amherst, WI), Cross Plaines Brewing Company (Cross Plaines, WI), Furthermore Brewing (Spring Green, WI), Leinenkugel/Blue Moon (Chippewa Falls, WI), Lake Louie Brewing (Arena, WI), Lithia Brewing (West Bend, WI), Milwaukee Brewing Company (Milwaukee, WI), New Glarus Brewing Company (New Glarus, WI), Summit Brewing Company (St. Paul, MN), Tyranena Brewing (Lake Mills, WI) and Grumpy Troll Brew Pub (Mt. Horeb, WI).

Arguably, the Quivey's Grove Beer Fest had the most Wisconsin breweries in one place and one time. While I had visited a number of the above mentioned breweries and pubs, I had obviously not seen and tried them all. It was also nice to catch up on old favorites of mine, such as Lakefront, and try brews such as their Local Acre Wet Hop Lager (not my favorite beer) and Pumpkin Lager (I'm not a fan of pumkin beers). I also tried Big Bay's Wavehopper Kolsch (unfortunately skunked in the bright outdoor sunlight), New Belgium's Hoptober (hoppy!), Great Lakes Oktoberfest (arguably my favorite Oktoberfest) and Sprecher's Oktoberfest (a decent and clean beer). The servings were quite generous, so after a few hours it became harder to sample more beers. I took a break and got myself a pulled pork BBQ sandwich, as well as a hot soft pretzel, from Quivey's food stand. Then, it was time to go back in for more frothy libations.

Before too long, it was 5PM and the kegs and stills were being put away. It was sad to see all these breweries go. However, thanks to my many beer tastings, I now know which brews to purchase in the future.

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