Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Ale Festival & 2011 Taste of Perkins

I try to get home to see my parents and sister's family about once a month.  Sounds easy enough, but you would be amazed with work, social events and just the desire to do nothing on the weekend how hard it can be to get into town once a month.  

Some visits are lazy weekends with my family catching up on gossip and wine. While others are spent cooking for 2 days straight.  A few weekends back was a was a mix of work and fun!  I went in to help clear out stuff I have had in the basement for decades years but was surprised with tickets to the 11th Annual Festival of Ale at the Higgins Armory in Worcester.


Festival of Ale

The event allowed guests to taste many many samples of beer while strolling thru medieval relics and full armors!  Lets just say nothing makes drinking a stout more fun than pretending you are King Arthur celebrating after a battle! (Yes, I am a HUGE Dork, we have established this again and again).

The beer was spread out over 3 floors so myself along with Ma & Pa Foodie started at the top and worked our way down.  We stayed mainly with the stouts and dark ales (mama foodie and I like those the best) and Pa Foodie tried a bit of everything (lots of IPAs & Seasonal brews).

I can admit that the 3 of us started to get pretty tipsy pretty quickly!  2oz of beer over and over again adds up quickly!  Some of my favorites from the night are captured below....

Milk Stout = Weird Name but AMAZING flavorful stout!!

This was more nostalgic for mama foodie but I will admit their seasonal beer was refreshing!

New brewery in Framingham with yummy light beer!

Gluten Free Beer that didn't taste like fake beer!

Bluehills Brewery! A great mix of IPAs and dark brown ales

Ooooh a CASTLE!  

One of my all time favorites that hit the top 5 of mama foodies list!

A bit of live music to accompany the many many beers!

Red Hook Late Harvest was like a warm embrace!  Smooth, nutty and delicious!

Perfect hint of blueberry without being too sweet!

I wanted to buy a truck full of this Anniversary Blend!  So tasty!!!!!

There was even a food demonstration!  Cooking with Beer!!!

He made a cheese, beer & bacon fondue to dip bratwurst in!  YEAH he went there!  It was a magical place and I will be recreating that dish (most likely in the form of mac n' cheese)

Is it just me or does it look like this guy is talking the horse?!

Mama & Papa Foodie fighting their way to get more beer! I guess we know where I get it from :)
The night was really perfect!  A few hours of beer tasting and getting to know local vendors.  From the event we went and picked up pizza, because lets be honest is there any other way to finish off a festival of beer than with pizza?!  I say nay sir, nay!!!

A complete list of breweries is below.  I will be doing a side post soon on 50Back Beer  A beer company started by two women who donate proceeds of the beer back to military services/chrarites!  What an amazing business concept!!!

Participating Breweries:

OK, on a side note... This Thursday I will be attending a charity event for the Perkins School for the Blind The Taste of Perkins. The Taste of Perkins features a night of blind food and wine tastings, prize drawings, a silent auction and more.  

One of my fellow food bloggers and good friend Bianca  will also be attending the event to support the cause and try out all the tasty treats!  Below is Bianca's recap of why Perkins is so important to her.  If you are free Thursday and live in New England, I highly suggest you join us!

photo from the Perkins website

My family and I will be eternally grateful to Perkins School for the Blind because it helped my sister Monica, who is deaf-blind, grow and live a richer, more fulfilling life. After she came to Perkins, my sister has learned to prepare her own breakfast, write and mail letters, make new friends, dance in a prom, and work at a part-time job. These may be just ordinary activities for many people, but to Monica these are personal and social milestones. I always say that Perkins changed my sister’s life, and it changed my family’s life.
I urge you to please help support Perkins and try to come to Taste of Perkins. The event will be held on Thursday, October 6, at the Perkins campus in Watertown. You can buy tickets and make donations via the Perkins website. If you have any questions about the event or about Perkins, let me know, and I hope you can join me!

Look forward to a recap post of of this event, a recipe for oat pumpkin energy bars and homemade pizza dough!