Meanwhile back in the ol’ USA

For much of September and October, I was back in my home state of Massachusetts, visiting family and handling personal matters.  Towards the end of my stay, there were two events of note.  One was the two-day Belgian Beer Fest in Boston, and the other was the limited, brewery-only release of Allagash Brewing Co’s Vagabond Ale in Portland, Maine.

I was actually a member of the volunteer staff at the festival.  Lots of great Belgian and Belgian-inspired beer, with a chance to taste some very rare and intriguing beers, particularly those fermented with wild yeasts and bacteria.

For more photos, see here and here.

I suppose I can only hope for the day that “funky” beers (such as unsweetened lambics and flanders red or brown ales), brewed with organisms such as brettanomyces and lactobacillus, will become more commonplace in China.  Beijing already gets Orval, Rodenbach (including the Grand Cru), and Liefmans Kriek.  But only in very select places such as the Tree, Morel’s or Beer Mania.  And even then, the Chinese waitstaff is not well-versed in the styles.  Whenever my friends or I ordered Rodenbach at the Tree, we were discouraged from doing so, “because it’s sour and not good”.

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