Under Review: Sesh Fest

A few days back our good friends over at Imbibe Denver threw a brand new type of event with the one-and-only Sesh Fest and we were there to live tweet the whole experience.  And we’ve gotta let those of you who didn’t make it out with us what you missed out on.

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In short: incredible weather, a beautiful venue, awesome tunes, more breweries (let alone beers) than you could shake a stick at, and a beer festival I was actually able to ride my bike home from.  In a beer industry where hop levels constantly soar to hide massive ABV levels and bombers of “strong” ales start feeling more like a bottle of wine, having an event that catered to beers below 5% was, well…refreshing.

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But don’t let the low alcohol fool you, the brewers that turned out were on a mission to prove that they could deliver beers of all styles that didn’t completely demolish one’s cognitive abilities.  We sampled excellent ambers, weisses, goses, saisons, IPAs (including a black IPA from Black Bottle that was out of this world).  For your reading pleasure I present to you some of our favorites from Sesh Fest:

Favorite Surprise:

Sours baby, sours.  With temps in the high 80s an beautiful blue skies, the pervasive presence of these unique beers were both welcome and completely unexpected.  We sampled excellent at least 8 different sours, with our particular favorites coming from Fate and the legendary Crooked Stave.

Unsung Hero of the Fest:

It was very late in the game that we found ourselves drawn toward the unassuming tent for Wonderland Brewing, but were we glad that we decided to check it out.  They were pouring a mid-opaque wit that was absolutely on top of its game, presenting a well balanced flavor profile and incredibly strong carbonation and mouthfeel for such a small brewery.

Favorite Sesh Beer:

Gotta toss one out to the home-town heroes here, Great Divide Brewing.  These guys brought in a limited pour “Berliner Weiss” that had this writer at hello.  A world-rocking mix of sour initial kick, yeasted zing, and the knowledge of just how to brew a damn good beer made this brew stand out in more ways than we could count.

We certainly hope that Sesh Fest sets a precedent for beer festivals of its like in the future.  Because let’s be real,  GABF is great and all, but you’d likely be too smashed to remember that sip of Pliny the Younger you had, even if you managed to get it.  Big ups to Imibe for making this one happen!