This year something marvelous happened at the Barleywine Festival: we got a table. We arrived sometime around 9:30am, ate breakfast in line, and when the doors were opened, raced straight back to the last table in the back room. Victory! That combined with the fact that we had 3 other people with us this year meant that we got to try 50 barleywines (out of 55!), the most we’ve ever gotten through.
We got to try all the winners this time, though I barely remember having Big Woody. We were inside from 11am-4pm, plowed through a bag of goldfish, half a loaf of bread, a can of toffee peanuts that the people next to us left behind, and a giant brownie. That’s what it takes to get through 50 barleywines.
Some of our personal favorites were: Old Bluehair from Big Sky–lightly sweet and balanced, with hints of golden raisins; 547 Haight St from Pizza Port (they never fail to amaze me)–which one of our friends described at IPAish, hoppy, crisp, and drinkable; and Hair of the Dog’s Doggie Claws, which smells hoppy, but tastes mmmmmmalty!