Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Recap of 2013 Wood & Wild Fest at Grand Rapids Hopcat

Written by  Dan VanderKooi
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 Recap of 2013 Wood & Wild Fest at Grand Rapids Hopcat

Once again, Hopcat has outdone themselves with this year’s weekend celebration of Wood & Wild, putting on tap an amazing array of all things barrel aged and/or wild including a selection aged for years in Hopcat’s own underground cellar. Also featured were a limited selection of bottles as well as some Woodford Reserve Barrel-Aged beers released as part of the Beer City Bourbon Barrel challenge.
Michigan breweries were well represented at this year’s festival. A few that made my list of favorites include the 2009 Jolly Pumpkin Noel De Calabaza, Vander Mill’s Cyser Van Doom (aged in Founders Doom barrels,) and the Brewery Vivant / Grand Rapids Brewing Co. collaboration Ménage à Trois. Rare releases (available only in 5 oz pours) included 2011 Founders Backwoods Bastard, 2009 KBS, and selections from Goose Island, Great Divide, and Scotland’s Harviestoun Brewery. The rare bottle release beers included Arcadia Shipwreck Porter, 2008 Goose Island Bourbon County Stout, and additional selections from Founders.

The Beer City Bourbon Barrel challenge beers tapped at Hopcat prior to the fest included Hopcat’s own Bourbon Barrel Fornicator, a maple dopplebock. Brewery Vivant’s Devastation, an aged version of the Trebuchet double IPA was quick to sell out. Additional beers included Perrin’s very delicious Malted Milk Ball Porter, and selections from Hudsonville’s Pike 51 and White Flame breweries. Hopcat’s participation in the challenge was preceded by special tappings at Harmony, and followed up by the final night of the challenge at the B.O.B.’s Brewery on Thursday, November 21st.

Dan VanderKooi

Dan VanderKooi

Dan VK has been following the Michigan Craft Beer scene since before Oberon has been available in 6-packs. Besides making the rounds at all the local craft breweries and beer bars, Dan also supports the local music scene, reads crime fiction, and enjoys playing volleyball with his wife and friends.