FALL MEANS FESTS

Adjectives heard post-BEERVANA: epic, awesome, stupendous, mind-blowing . . . . The fourth edition was all that and more; a few samples of Goose Island Bourbon County Stout on tap crossed another item off the list. Congrats to the Beervana team for a well-run event and furthering "craft beer enlightenment" in such an epic, awesome, etc. manner.

The next chance to get your sample on is at the 19th Annual GREAT INTERNATIONAL BEER FESTIVAL, at the Rhode Island Convention Center on Saturday, November 3. As usual, most of the craft brewers are from New England, including Amherst, Berkshire, Watch City, Blatant, Blue Hills, Magic Hat, Cape Ann, Sam Adams, Boston Beer Works, Grey Sail, Paper City, Harpoon, Mayflower, Cody, Newport Storm, Long Trail, Gritty McDuff's, Narragansett, Opa Opa, Cottrell, Shipyard, Otter Creek, the Shed, Union Station, and Woodstock. There will be some choice beers from the other 44 states (Boulder, Brooklyn, Lagunitas, Goose Island, and the new-to-RI Pyramid), a few international entries (Innis & Gunn, Palm, Guinness), and ciders (plus food and music by Point Street Bridge and Jaywalkers). Sessions are from 1 to 4:30 pm and 6:30 to 10 pm; tix are $40 online (beerfestamerica.com) and at the door.


BEER NOTES

HIGH JINX BREWERY is officially in the beer business, having secured local and federal permits. They hope to bring their first brews to you around the 1st of December . . . NEWPORT STORM's latest limited edition Cyclone release is Vlad, a Russian Imperial Stout (9% ABV) with lots of coffee, chocolate, and caramel flavor. And this year's Annual Release, '12, is an "Apocalypse Brew" inspired by the Mayan calendar end-of-the-world-on-12.21.12 doomsday prediction. The Storm crew used South American ingredients (blue agave, flaked maize, cocoa nibs), plus Chipotle and Habanero peppers post-fermentation. We had a taste at Beervana and can confirm that the heat factor is overpowering. Ouch! . . . A trio of exquisite beers that have only been available in bombers — FIRESTONE WALKER'S DOUBLE JACK (imperial IPA), STONE'S SUBLIMELY SELF-RIGHTEOUS ALE (American black), and ALLAGASH BLACK (Belgian strong dark ale) — are making their debut in four-packs at a store near you. Cheaper and user-friendly: a win-win . . . Due to some complications on the production line, LAGUNITAS didn't produce its potent (9.99% ABV) BROWN SHUGGA in '11 (though they filled the gap with the fantastic Lagunitas Sucks Holiday Ale), but the beloved strong ale will make a triumphant return this week.

Send news and feedback to  bottlescansclaphands@yahoo.com.

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