Beers. Beats. And most importantly, Fun. That’s what we’ve grown to love and expect from Imbibe events and this year’s Sesh Fest did not disappoint. Having fun with friends, in a beautiful part of city while playing lawn games and listening to live music – this is the recipe for a good time. Whether you’re partial to a game of giant beer pong (yup, with a volleyball and 3 foot tall Solo cups), corn hole, ping-pong, or the true centerfold of the day, beer, this was your festival.
Walking into Sculpture Park and being greeted with a can of Ska Brewing’s Rudie Session IPA is tough to beat. There were plenty of other Session IPA’s and Pale Ale’s to take in too, but Cannonball Creek Brewing Company’s Featherweight Pale Ale was our favorite, bringing together the perfect balance of citrus and pine. The Golden brewery also offered up a tasty dry-hopped American Wheat called Half-Day, with juicy citrus flavors and a crisp dry finish.
The rise of Berliners. We couldn’t be happier with that sentence. It seemed like every other brewery in attendance had a Berliner Weisse pouring, which in our opinion is the quintessential, OG session beer. The Run DMC of beer, if you will. This is such a quaffable style that we’re excited to see getting the attention it deserves.
A few standouts came from Baere Brewing, who brought 3 different dry hopped Berliner’s – Cascade, Citra, and Northern Brewer. Ratio Brewing’s New Wave is equally fantastic, fruity and refreshing.
Nothing will give you ants in the pants at a festival more than a special timed tapping. If you weren’t too fuzzy-headed from the heat and remembered to b-line it back to Baere’s station at 1:30, you were delighted with one of the finest beers of the day: Raspberry Table Sour. The heavy raspberry jam on the nose was welcoming and the perfect way to beat the heat. The raspberry aroma easily transferred into the taste and transitioned into the oh-so-familiar lactic sourness. This beer was delicious and just as advertised – a light, refreshing beer to imbibe on a hot, 93 degree day.
Sure, your average whalezbro will tell you that Ciders have no place in a beer festival and are #LadiesTent material, but this is Sesh Fest. Plus, they are wrong and downright sexist for that matter. With such well crafted ciders on display from The Old Mine and C Squared, you could have quite the padded argument with your chauvinistic friend. C Squared, owned by former Wynkoop Head Brewer Andy Brown, and set to open in the upcoming Bierstadt Lagerhaus complex (which can’t open soon enough), brought an excellent lineup to share. The standout was the Ginger which brought memories of the explicit yet balanced ginger character of Happy Leaf’s Longevity Kombucha we’ve become quite fond of.
The clear-cut best-in-show in our opinion was Spangalang Brewery’s Sonny, a dry-hopped petite Saison refermented with Brettanomyces. This is the kind of beer we would have taken a full pour of, snagged an open hammock and said “sayonara” to the rest of the day. Fruity esters exhibited with nuanced peppery and spicy clove notes from the Brett, while the gentle use of East Kent Golding hops provided just the right amount of hop presence, yet didn’t distract from the beer’s great subtleties.
Many thanks to all of the breweries, the volunteers and Imbibe for another great Sesh Fest. See ya next year!
By: Brian McKenzie and Matt Morris