Posts Tagged ‘autumn’

It is hard to believe we are already in the month of August and that September is almost around the corner.

As depressing as it may be for some, I tend to welcome the end of summer.In fact, I anticipate it.

Autumn happens to be my favorite season — and for many reasons. Autumn equals college football season, fall foliage, apple picking, Halloween (my favorite holiday), pumpkin beers (pumpkin everything), wine harvest, Oktoberfest … and lots of other beer festivals.


One such beer festival is the Great Lakes Brew Fest in Racine, WI. This year the GLBF is being held on September 19th from 3-7pm at the Racine Festival Park.


The Great Lakes Brew Fest is in its sixth year and will feature unlimited sampling of more than 250 craft beers and sodas from nearly 100 brewers on the beautiful shore of Lake Michigan. All paid attendees will receive a souvenir tasting glass.

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Food served by local restaurants will be available for purchase. The festival also features live music including performances by the world renowned Kilties Drum and Bugle Corps.

Attendance is limited at 4000 people. Tickets went on sale June 1st and the VIP tickets have already been sold out. Basic Fest passes are still available at $39 a pop. They are being sold at a rapid rate, so make sure to secure your spot at the festival ASAP.new for 2009

And why do I think YOU should be attending this event? For starters, I’ll be there. And if that is not enough, then you should go anyways because the lineup is KICK-ASS.

But don’t take my word for it, check it out yourself — HERE.

Although I intend on visiting every pavilion and as many breweries as physically possible, I can GUARANTEE that you will find me in the Michigan Beer Pavilion (Bell’s, Founders & Jolly Pumpkin — oh my!)

Here is The Wench’s list of  GLBF breweries that I absolutely MUST VISIT:

  • Dogfish Head (ummm no brainer)
  • Bell’s
  • Jolly Pumpkin
  • Founders
  • North Coast
  • New Beligum
  • Stone
  • Ommegang
  • Victory

Of course, I intend on hitting up as many breweries as possible. But the ones listed above are my top priorities.

If you are planning on attending the Great Lakes Brew Fest and want to meet up, please leave a comment on the blog or shoot me an email at drinkwiththewench@gmail.com.



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Welcome to September!

Although the autumn equinox is still 22 days away, the essence of autumn is all around.

For many, the 1st of September starts the changing of the season.

College football is already in full swing. Many kids have started school or are just about ready to go back. The first apples of the season are ripe and ready for picking. In retail stores, summer clothing has been put on the sales rack to make room for fall lines. The amount of daylight is slowly decreasing and, in the northern hemisphere, nights are getting cooler.

For many beer drinkers, this change is most noticeable on the shelves of retail shops and in the taps of bars. Summer ales are dwindling off the shelves. The vacant holes from the summer seasonal beers are being filled by new releases of autumn seasonal beers. Oktoberfests and Pumpkin Ales are beginning to saturate the beer market.

If you are like me, seeing all the new releases in the stores and bars is very exciting. But, there is something inside me that is preventing me from drinking them at this time. Everything around me screams fall. College football has invaded my television and I have already gone apple picking. The wine harvest is upon us.

Yet, part of me is not ready to give up summer. I want to savor my special summer beers, crisp acidic white wines, margaritas & BBQ cookouts. I am not ready to give up more minutes of daylight.

Alas, autumn will still come and summer will fade away. SIGH.

Ahh, who am I kidding? I absolutely love autumn. I love the bright colors of the changing leaves and the crisp cool breeze that rips them from the trees. Autumn is the season of apples, pumpkin & corn etc. (Mmm corn chowder!)

I love everything apple. Drinking hot apple cider and going apple picking. I love making apple sauce, apple crisp, apple pie, apple cobbler and even just eating plain old raw apples.

And then there is the pumpkin. Pumpkin pie, roasted pumpkin seeds, pumpkin bread, pumpkin soup, pumpkin cheesecake, pumpkin risotto, pumpkin ravioli, pumpkin ice cream, pumpkin butter, pumpkin pancakes … aww heck. You can put pumpkin in just about every recipe!

What really makes pumpkin “foods” POP is the traditional blend of spices that typically accompanies pumpkin – aka ginger, nutmeg, cloves, cinnamon, and all spice.

For The Wench, though, the crème de la crème of pumpkin creations is PUMPKIN ALE.

The process of brewing Pumpkin Ale varies from brewer to brewer. Some brewers drop hand-cut pumpkins into the mash, while others use puree or pumpkin flavoring. As with most pumpkin recipes, Pumpkin Ales are typically spiced with some sort of combination of ginger, nutmeg, cloves, cinnamon, and all spice.

Pumpkin Ales typically have little hops presence, with very little bitterness. They are mostly characterized by the flavor of the malt, the pumpkin, and the combination and intensity of the spices used.

Although I have not tasted a Pumpkin Ale yet this season, my favorite Pumpkin Ale in the past has been DogFish Head Punkin Ale. As with every other Dogfish Head ale, Punkin is a super-strong extreme beer with weird ingredients. It is definitely an off-centered ale, and absolutely perfect for off-centered people (like myself). I look forward to reviewing this year’s release in the very near future!

A word to the wise, if you see Dogfish Head Punkin Ale – whether or not you are ready to drink it, scoop it up now!!! There is no telling how long the supplies will last and how frequently the shelves will be replenished.

As always, I encourage you all to send me your tasting notes as well as links to interesting articles & blogs!!!


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