The Upper Bucks Brewfest is one of our favorite beer festivals in the area. The event is organized by Quakertown Alive!, a community organization whose mission focuses on the revitalization of the downtown Quakertown area, so the proceeds of the event all go back into the community. While we love the charitable mission, we were also smitten with the amazing beer selection that was compiled by one of the Quakertown Alive! volunteers and local craft beer icon, John Dale. John owns and operates the historic Spinnerstown Hotel which has arguably the best craft and imported beer list in eastern Pennsylvania (and is one of our favorite places)!
Upper Bucks Brewfest featured a heavyweight lineup of major craft breweries including Ommegang, Dogfish Head, Bear Republic and Deschutes. They also featured beers from some of our favorite Lehigh Valley and Bucks County breweries such as Hijinks, Free Will, and a limited release brew from The Proper Brewing Company in Quakertown . Below are some of the standouts from the festival.
Bear Republic Red Rocket Ale – This may have been my favorite beer of the day, though I guess I shouldn’t be surprised given how many awards it has won. The Red Rocket is a Scottish-style red ale that very perfectly balances a pinch of sweet malts complemented by a spicy, hop finish. This beer actually made me think that I might be drinking too many IPAs and not enough red ales – trying something a little different was definitely rewarding. Loved it!
Deschutes Chainbreaker – I get so excited on the rare occasion that I see this beer out here in the Eastern US. It is one of my favorites and there is absolutely no better beer on a hot summer day than this outstanding white IPA. Chainbreaker was one of the very first commercially available white IPA’s, a style that marries the hop forward style of an IPA with the gentle spice of a Belgian wit. Deschutes brewery is located just East of Portland, Oregon and I first had this beer on a backpacking trip in the Northern Cascade National Park near Seattle. It was fairly recent that they have broken into the Pennsylvania market, so if you haven’t tried any of their beers yet, I highly recommend you try anything from their solid lineup. Another excellent Deschutes beer is the Fresh Squeezed IPA, a seasonal release, which was also at the brewfest.
Dogfish Head Biere de Provence – This is a relatively new offering from Dogfish Head that I was excited to try. It is inspired by the similarly-named French herb blend that often includes marjoram, bay leaf, chervil, and lavender, which are all used in brewing this beer. This was not my favorite of the day. While it was unique and consistent with the courageous, experimental beers that Dogfish Head is well-known for, the three ounce pour that I had was enough for me. It was a medium-bodied ale that had, as you might imagine, a powerful herbal finish. This might be good with some fish or chicken at dinner but it is definitely not an easy-drinking session ale.
There were many other fantastic beers at the Upper Bucks Brewfest – check out the full list here. We hope to see you at next year’s Brewfest to support the Quakertown community and drink some quality beer!