This past Saturday, Connecticut's Mohegan Sun Resort & Casino hosted the 5th annual Sun BrewFest, a celebration of beer held in its convention center. This year, it was a two part event: In the afternoon was the Grand Tasting, featuring over 150 beers from both local brewers and national brands. In the early evening followed “A Toast to New England,” featuring just the locals showcasing more of its fall seasonals and some harder to get brews as well.
Many of the national brands brought strong offerings beyond its normal flagships. Guinness had two new beers, a tasty rye pale ale and Antwerpen Stout, an 8 percent smoky, chocolatey brew that previously was only available in Belgium. Stone also represented the dark side well, pouring its Bitter Chocolate Oatmeal Stout and 6th Anniversary Porter from its 20th Anniversary Encore Series. Vertical Epic 08.08.08 was a nice surprise as well. It was also good to see Ballast Point offering the excellent Peppermint Victory at Sea porter for something outside the box. Same for Goose Island, bringing three of its “sisters:” Sophie, Matilda, and a true highlight for fans of its wild ales, Gillian. New to the northeast, LA’s Golden Road Brewing made a strong impression with both its Wolf Pup session IPA, and Wolf Among Weeds double IPA.
From the locals, there was a lot of good beers to be had over the two events. Rhode Island’s Grey Sail Brewing had its popular Captain’s Daughter double IPA alongside a seasonal Belgian witbier. From Connecticut, Two Roads went with its fall seasonals in the afternoon (Roadsmary’s Baby pumpkin ale and Ok2berfest lager) while going saison-heavy in the evening (Worker’s Stomp, wine-barrel aged, and Roads Garden, brewed with flowers.) Stony Creek went crazy in a good way by bringing out Crimsang, a sour version of its Double IPA. Outer Light Brewing also showed up well with a fantastic double IPA of its own and a tasty hefeweizen.
The Grand Tasting also featured a cornhole tournament for the competitive lawn-gamers out there, as well as other games like oversized Connect-4, air hockey, table tennis and even Beirut. In the evening session festival goers were treated to a medley of pizzas from Frank Pepe’s (a Connecticut classic) and New England clam chowder from Boston’s Summer Shack. All in all, Sun BrewFest had something for everyone and should be on anyone’s “beer festival radar” for fall in the northeast.
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