Beer Hoptacular 2012
Kudos to 5 Rabbitt Brewery. Its 5 Lizard brew won top honors for Beer of the Year at this year's Beer Hoptacular. On Saturday night, the festival for beer lovers concluded under the big top inside the parking lot of Riverfront Theater. I'm glad I didn't don any treasured footwear to this event, where hundreds of enthusiasts sipped, gulped and spilled samples of more than 150 beers from 60-plus breweries.
I'm a beer novice (Yes, my idea of a good beer is Miller Lite.), but my favorite of the night was Lexington Brewery & Distillery's Kentucky Bourbon Barrel Ale, which took home second place. Try this vanilla-and-oak—infused goodness, if you haven't already. Ommegang's Art of Darkness took home third place. Oskar Blues' Old Chub Scottish Ale (a coffee-flavored can beer from Colorado), Haymarket Pub & Brewery's Indignant (a barrel-aged stout), and the 90 Minute IPA from Dogfish Head (a smooth citrus blend) were a few of my other favorites. All were suggestions of Beer Hoptacular founder and Minty Fresh record label head (The Cardigans, Veruca Salt, Liz Phair) Jim Powers.
"I want to continue to show people that there are more varieties than what's featured during a Super Bowl ad. Great beer involves great ingredients, not fake foaming agents. A lot of breweries are putting out beer that's being consumed by everyone, not only frat boys," said Jim.
I may have spotted a few fraternity brothers enjoying a round of Hammerschlagen. Overall, the scene seemed more like a party full of hipsters, couples and women beer aficionados. But I, the Miller Lite–lover, managed to expand my taste.