Friday, September 05, 2014

08/31 - 4th Craft Beer Festival, Rapperswil

The Craft Beer Festival 2014 in Rapperswil took place the 4th time... unfortunately I didn't hear about it before, but luckily I read it in time to have the chance to join this year's festival together with Michel, a friend of mine who also lives just around the corner. The Great Kiwi Beer Festival that I attended in March this year during my time in Christchurch was a blast, so I was curious how this Swiss event will be. It's not too far away from my place where I live, so we took the train on Sunday morning to Rapperswil... don't drink and drive, that's for sure!

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Festival T-Shirt of the Great Kiwi Beer Festival 2014 

Festival T-Shirt of the Great Kiwi Beer Festival 2014

Even though it was in the morning we enjoyed a nice Jean Nicot Gold beer during the train ride to Rapperswil, a cigar would've been perfect but trains are smoke-free unfortunately in the meantime...

Some Jean Nicot for the road...

The weather wasn't really nice but luckily the location on the castle of Rapperswil had a good rain protection, therefore it was no problem to enjoy the fantastic craft beers without any issues... as we arrived short past 11 am at the castle the queue was still short and we could enter quickly the yard. Tokens and glass were bought and the beer started to flow.

Tokens for the beer

It's a great idea to hand out some tasting notes books with all beers at the entrance (for the first 1000 visitors, approx. 2500 were expected) where you could add some infos to the beers you tried and you also had the chance to put a "TASTED" stamp on each you tried to help to keep the overview.

On the whole 36 beers were available... IPA, Double IPA, Porter, Stout, Lambic, Brown Ale... and many more different styles. It's great to see that an event with the big variety of craft beers is establishing here! Of all the beers that I tried there was just one which I wouldn't take again, a good ratio to be honest.

With the event taking place as an open-air event we're also able to smoke a cigar and so we fired up a few sticks during our time there and they matched all well with the beers... just for those who think that beer and cigars don't match. Maybe you always tried it with the wrong beer...

Tasting notes book

Filling the tasting glass

Michel's coming back with the beer supply

Blond - Double IPA

Red - Cherry Lambic

Dark brown - Coffee Stout

Brown Ale and a Juan Lopez Coronas

Another item on the schedule of this festival were two different tastings: one was "Chocolate and Beer" and the other one "Cheese and Beer". Even though I sometimes grab something sweet while enjoying a beer I decided to go with the cheese... and it was a very good decision.

The cheese were all from Switzerland and all of an excellent quality. Goat cheese, brie style cheese, red smear cheese, hard cheese and Stilton. As the beer counterpart: Brüll!Bier Druida (Imperial Stout), Oud Bruin (Sour Brown Ale), Van Loon (Amber Ale), Stägi Bräu Lambic, BFM Twin Porter, Stägi Bräu 1815 (Specialty Grain), Crooked State Vieille (Artisanal Saison).

We tried different combos of cheese and beer to find good matches and one of the results was that the BFM Twin Porter was a perfect allrounder for all of the cheese... best match for me was the Druida together with the Stilton... to strong partners combined to an even stronger match! Great experience which I will definitely repeat at home.

The tasting itself was scheduled for 30 minutes but we ended up with close to 50 minutes and it could have taken easily more time...

The cheese range - from goat cheese over alp cheese to Stilton, all from Switzerland

Beer and cheese on the table

In the middle of the tasting

Back in the yard we saw the big crowd, a lot of people have arrived during we enjoyed the cheese and beer pairings. It was really packed but we're lucky enough to find some place for us at one of the tables where we remained the rest of the time. The people at the table changed from time to time and after a while we ended up with a bunch of guys from several countries and the language changed from German to English... Brasil, Sweden, Latvia, Hungary, Italy and Germany... all living in Switzerland and meeting here in the small town of Rapperswil for some really great beers with sometimes fancy names: Trappatoni, Hop Sincope, 3 Of A Kind Wai-Iti, Citra Saison, XXA, Mystry Solved, Darach Mor, Procrastinator 2, Two Penny Williams and more...

After that great experience the date of the next festival is already marked in my calender... I'll be back on September 6, 2015!

In hops we trust... have a good time...

Nosing and drinking


There were a lot of women enjoying some good craft beers

Full house

Stouts and cigars

The international table: Brasil, Sweden, Latvia, Hungary, Italy, Germany