Thank gosh it was a long weekend this last one gone is all I can say. With Fluid Festival Brisbane at the Pig ‘n’ Whistle Riverside on the 25th, followed by the Australia Day Hottest 100 Craft Beers of 2013 countdown it was all beer, beer, beer. Thankfully I had a full day on Monday to recover.
And so drunkspec’s somewhat boozy long weekend began at Fluid Festival: enjoying some sneaky tasters from a select number of brewers from both near and far. It was a dreary Saturday – which we felt worked in our favour, if not for the event organisers – and so it was pleasantly comfortable inside and punters could move about with relative ease, not to mention the ample number of available seats. Then again we did arrive just a touch before noon and the whole thing only kicked off at 11am.
Tokens were the currency of the day with 1 token getting you a 100ml sample, 2 tokens 200ml and 5 tokens a pint. We purchased our tokens and scouted out the offerings for the day before finding ourselves unable to pass up the seasonal on offer from Fortitude Brewing, made under their Noisy Minor label – Saison Froment, a 100% wheat saison. Smelling very much like a hefeweizen it offered an unexpected dry bitterness on the palate with a somewhat restrained funkiness.
Next it was Kooinda that took my fancy and I grabbed a halfy (100ml) of their American Pale Ale which I was surprised wasn’t to my taste. There seemed too little freshness and too much of a dry mouthfeel. Liam suggested that if we were blindfolded we might guess we were drinking a porter. Intriguing nonetheless.
After Kooinda we tried the Cavalier Brown at the neighbouring stand and weren’t disappointed after hearing much praise for the Melbourne outfit. Intense bitter chocolate flavours that packed a punch despite the beer being fairly light-bodied.
At this point we were accosted by a friendly fellow from DCider cider (well duh!) who probably thought we looked like a couple of weirdos taking notes and getting our beers to pose for pictures. Long story short, he twisted my arm and I had a DCider. It was a sweet cider and sweet’s all I can really say about it after its bitter predecessors above.
Next it was over to our new acquaintances at Beard & Brau to nab some more of their Golden Paw, a 4.7% California Common, which had some of the best lacing I’ve seen and is a great example of the style. My final sampler for the day was a Fortitude Lager – a bit of a strange choice for me because I find lagers all very much taste the same.
Overall the festival was a gentle introduction to the world of craft beer. I would’ve liked to have seen more beers on offer, particularly more seasonals, from the brewers who had stalls. Then again with the majority of brewers only having 1 or 2 of their beers available it’s probably more an indication of the cost involved for them than anything else. Nevertheless, I’d go again if it’s held next year. With no entry fee, it’s one of the few beer festivals I’ve been to where you’re not broke before you even get in the door.
For a full list of the breweries that participated you can check out the Fluid Festival website here.