World Beer Festival – Raleigh

I spent yesterday at All About Beer’s World Beer Fest-Raleigh sampling dozens of beers from around the country and world. I tried as best I could to take notes of some of the beers I tasted, which was unsurprisingly difficult over the course of the event. While nothing really blew me away this year (unlike New Glarus‘ creme brulee java stout from October’s World Beer Fest-Durham) there were plenty of good brews. Here are some highlights…

Jolly Pumpkin

While this brewery has been available in the Triangle for a little while, I never ponied up for a ~$15 bottle. That may change. Their farmhouse ale was very, very good. It was light, crisp with just a hint of sourness at the finish that you don’t find in beers like this. The sour is something I imagine won’t offend most and for me, makes it a sour beer I could drink a lot of.

Huske Hardware

I had never heard of this brewery out of Fayetteville, NC, but one of their beers left an impression – their watermelon wheat. I found it to be much better than 21st Amendment’s version of the watermelon beer. Huske’s version had more watermelon taste but a really good body. Definitely an “exotic” beer that you don’t often find that’s perfect for the summer months.

Great Lakes

I’ve already written about my love for Great Lakes, but the brewery had two beers at the festival not sold in the Triangle – a pilsner and white ale. I opted for only the white due to lines, but really liked it. Like their other brews, this one is well-balanced with a good spiciness at the front and some fruit on the end.


This brewery out of Georgia surprised me. I really liked their Breakout Stout, which had a little coffee on the nose and lots of chocolate on the tongue. It was pretty dry, but I could easily drink a bottle of it.

Thomas Creek

I’ve had Thomas Creek before, but never their chocolate-orange IPA. It was original, with more orange flavor than chocolate. It worked well with the citrus notes of the IPA and gave me some ideas for a homebrew using citrus and/or tropical fruit with an IPA. Combining the two takes a little of the hit off the hops of the beer while adding some complexity to the body.


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