Review: Lancaster Winter Brewfest

Barley Brewing

When I heard that the Leaky Beak Pub was hosting our town’s 2nd annual Winter Brewfest, I ran right out and bought my ticket.  That ticket for only $35 got me a souvenir tasting glass, 20-5oz. sample tickets and a meal ticket.  Not bad for a night out on the town and let me tell you, it was a great night on the town.  My friends and I arrived to a room full of people, many we knew.  On stage were local singer songwriters and lining the walls were the beers.  All those beers just sitting, waiting for us try and dissect, but first let’s discuss the establishment.

The Leaky Beak Pub (Established 2013) sits on the outskirts of Lancaster, OH and resides on the Estate Club Golf Course.  They serve pub style food (the beer cheese soup is killer) and several craft beers. You’ll always find a variety of reds, blondes, stouts, pale ales, and seasonal beers on tap. To this day, the Beak is the only place I can find my favorite Catawaba Island beer, Mango Habanero Blonde Ale. I occasionally hound the bar manager/pro shop manager Brian Jackson on when they will have more on tap.  I spoke with Brian prior to the brewfest to discuss details of the Leaky Beak and take pictures.  There were two things I just had to know.

 

Question 1: Who brews the house beer Leaky Beak Cream Ale? 5.1 ABV (light drinking, slightly sweet ale)

Brian:  Buckeye Lake Brewing

Question 2:   How did the Leaky Beak name come about?

Brian: From a cartoon. Co-owner’s Thom and Samantha McCreery’s children were watching a cartoon.  In the episode there was a pirate ship named “The Leaky Beak”.

Knotty Pine

Now for the beerfest:

The Winter Brew Fest featured over 15 Ohio breweries, each serving 2 to 3 different beers.  General admission began at 6:00 p.m. and VIP admission began at 5:00 p.m with special tappings throughout the night.  Now, my friends and I like to take our beer list and rate the beers (rating scale 1-10)  With our snifters and pens ready we started making the rounds.  There was a generally consensus of what beers topped our list.

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Favorite: Brew Kettle Black Rajah 6.5% ABV – A Black IPA that I could drink all night long (and I did), filled with tropical flavors that excite the nose and taste buds.  The smell and taste are the same. Pours a dark brown. Features Citra hops.

Runner up: Knotty Pine Cherrywood Smoked Porter 5.6% ABV – A smoky malty porter with touch of fruit, goes down smooth.

Least favorite:  Catawba Island Seiche Scottish Ale w/Plums & Raisins 7.9% ABV – The plums & raisins didn’t work for me and it tasted like dates.

Special Tapping favorite: Lineage Brewing Tropical Berliner Weisse with Mangos 4.1% – We had to share a glass because it was limited and running out quickly. This beer rated high with me and a few others. I found it tart and refreshing, though a couple friends thought it was too tart, mainly taste of grapefruit.

Not on the list: Barley’s Brewing Company Bourbon Meyer Buckeye Stout – Bourbon Barrel Aged Stout with peanut butter and chocolate.  The name alone would sell to any Ohio State Buckeye fan and the taste would make you go back for more.  Smooth taste, not overly sweet.

End note:  Though this is a smaller brewfest compared to bigger ones such as the Columbus Beerfest (held on February 20th and featured over 100 breweries), the Lancaster Brewfest had an intimate and cozy feel.  The Leaky Beak Pub did a fantastic job hosting this event. Plus all the beers were Ohio beers. Always nice to sample and discover breweries I’ve either never heard of or haven’t had the pleasure to try.

Brewfest lineup:

Winter Brewfest list

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