Imagine the guy that announces WWE wrestling matches saying this: "Are you ready for the Woooorld Beeeer Festivaaaal (recap)? "
According to the State paper, there were around 3,000 attendees at the early afternoon session of the WBF and I believe it. Despite cramming that many people into the two levels of the Columbia Metropolitan Convention Center with the goal of tasting as many two ounce samples of beer as possible, the crowd was a real delight. I wasn't stepped on, shoved, spilled on, or yelled at the entire time, which is more than I can say for a typical Saturday night out in the Vista. Upon entry, my friends and I received a miniature plastic souvenir beer cup, a perfect sampling size. We started on the main level and worked our way through the crowd to start at the Abita Brewery booth. Already a fan of their Purple Haze, I tried Turbodog, which was a bit thicker of a beer than I would normally try, but in a two ounce realm, I enjoyed it. A whole pint, on the other hand, might be a bit much.
Next up was the Sam Adams booth, where they had Alpine Springs brand new beer available for sampling, and an old favorite of mine, Cherry Wheat. I started with Alpine Springs and told a representative on hand my opinions on the beer, which was that "it tastes like fresh mountain air." It was a clean crisp beer that I would definitely enjoy an entire pint glass worth when it comes to bars in the area.
I pictured myself as a brewer, then went back for a hit of Cherry Wheat. After three beers in my glass, I realized that I needed to clean the suds out but didn't want to wade through the crowd to a beer rinsing station just yet. Pro tip:snag a handful of napkins to keep on your person to clean out your glass between samples, especially when the prior beer was very thick or flavorful.We made our way around the room, some beers were delicious, and some were not so much. Chocolate stout? Yuck. Absolutely not, not ever. My hits were on the lighter side- wheat beers, IPAs, a few brown ales. But since we were there, the beer was there, and they were just small samples, I did dive into a few beers I was pretty sure I wouldn't like, and confirmed my dislike of thick tasting and feeling stouts and lagers. Beers with coffee or espresso notes didn't sit too well with me either despite loving both of those things in their own elements.