5 Brew Tasting Tips from Last Weekend's Winter Homebrew Festival

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The Winter Homebrew Festival is unlike many a brewfest you might have gone too (and we’re assuming you’re reading this because you LOVE brewfests!).  

First, the WHF is held in… you guessed it… the winter.  Well actually March, which is still winter here in Vermont.  Additionally, the WHF is a festival that combines not only home brew like beers, but also includes wines, ciders, meads, baggots...and you guessed it (again) WINGS!

Over 1,000 wings were handed out by area restaurants in a competition to be named “Best Regional Wings.”  Equally, 20-something home brewers went head-to-head to be named “Best Home Brew.”

Due to the fact that it’s winter, the festival is inside which creates this close, big-ass party feel.  400-500 people in a room tasting home brew, wings and listening to some solid tunes! It’s exactly what the end of winter called for.

Here are some tips to get your taste buds truly appreciating the eclectic brews of the day:

1).  Swirl the brew around in the glass delicately to look at the color and the “head.” Give it a couple “side to sides” and you’ll see the carbonation come up.

2). Set the pallet.  You do this by aroma. Give it a gentle swirl and stick your nose as close to the brew without actually touching it.  Take a good, deep breath in throw your nose. Come out and then go back in. What are you smelling in your brew?

3.) Let it mingle around the tongue.  Take a health swig of the brew and let it mingle around the tongue. Note the flavors you’re tasting.

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4). Appreciate it!  Most people just get their brew and take a swig of it.  The steps above help you better appreciate the work and passion that has been put into the brew.

5).  If you had time (which in the WHF you only have so much time to taste as much brew as you can!), our brewers in The Shires suggest putting the brew down for 10 minutes.  When you first get it the brew it’s probably cold. Letting it sit for 10 minutes releases all the flavors and complexities of the brew. Don’t be in such a hurry to drink your brew!  Relax! Your brew will change in the 10-20 minutes you have it. Note that!

For more information about the festival visit:  www.Bennington.com/homebrew