Last weekend Blondelicious and I attended the Great Taste of the Midwest (GTMW). This has been my third year attending, and it was her first. Last September she went to the Screw City Beer Festival, but the GTMW is much larger. To give you an idea they had 5 large tents that had 25-30 breweries, plus a couple of smaller tents that held one brewery they were showcasing. They advertise over 500 beers are in attendance. I didn’t count, but I have no doubt in my mind they had well over 500 different beers. I didn’t even try sampling all of them.
This is a difficult event to get into, they only offer 6,000 tickets. You either have to camp out for them, hope you win the ticket lottery, have a friend that has an extra or hope you can find someone selling them. They are face valued at $50.00, but I’ve seen someone pay upwards of $200.00 for a ticket. Why? Because once you get in… all the beer is free, and it’s all craft beer. There is no Miller, Budweiser, Coors, etc. The breweries they have are some of the Who’s Who of Craft Brewers as well as a lot of smaller breweries that you probably have never heard of or can’t get in your area. They had breweries from Iowa, Illinois, Indiana, Kansas, Kentucky, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, Ohio and of course, Wisconsin. I had four tickets this year. One I sold to my College Roommate, the other I ended up selling at a local bar because none of my other friends were able to go or were interested.
I had some great beers and I’ve started a list of Breweries I’m going to visit next year already. I’ve already hit my goal of breweries to hit this year so I’m probably going to revisit ones I’ve already been to instead of hitting new ones this year. That way I can always have something to look forward to.
Here are some of my favorites I had this year:
Aged Bourbon Barrel Kriek 2010- New Glarus Brewing Co.
Barrel-Aged Cherry Black Power – Revolution Brewing.
Blueberry Flanders Cask- Perennial Artisan Ales.
Bourbon Black Cherry Porter – Short’s Brewing Co.
Dirty “old” Helen II Sour Ale – Barley Island Brewing Co.
Firkin Wisco/Rosie Sour – Lakefront Brewery
Just about anything from The Livery.
There were many more, but these really stood out to me. There might be pictures coming. I can't find the camera!