Get Real NY’s Belgian Fest was a lot of fun. Once again, the Altman Building in Chelsea played host to this fine pairing of Belgian beer, food and live music. There were over 90 different brews on tap. All last week, I could not wait to try all those wonderful beers, to eat all that amazing food and to see a bunch of good friends. I had VIP passes to the Saturday Evening session. I would say about 80-100 people were promptly let through the door at 7pm. It definitely was great to have the place all to yourself for that hour. No lines, no wait and you could try just about everything early on.
Favorites of the day were De Ranke Noir De Dottingnies, a wonderful Belgian Strong Ale, Birra Del Borgo, Straffe Hendrick Quad, Hof Ten Dormaal Blonde, Slaapmutske Nightcap, Caulier Blond and Dupont Moinette Brune. Also enjoyed a couple great American brews including Pretty Things Field Mouse Farewell, Sixpoint’s Harbinger Saison, Bruery Mischief, Barrier Mare Undarum and Weyerbacher’s Heresy. I kept more to strong ales, blondes and saisons. I’m not a big fan of wheat beers, so I only sampled a few. I did have a couple interesting Pilsners though. Felt that mixing it up like that would really help keep the palate fresh. I drank a lot of water, which was found at the corner of the tables in huge jugs. Very convenient for both hydration and rinsing.
I certainly did not get to try a few beers I really wanted to. They did run out of a few beers, including the Noir De Dottingnies which was my favorite of the evening. There were only a couple beers I did not like, two specifically the Stone Belgo Anise and Liefman Cuvee-Brut. The Stone Anise, I couldn’t get over the intense licorice flavor, which is a shame since I love Russian imperial stouts. The Cuvee was just way too fruity for me. Sadly by the time I got there, all the homebrews were pretty much gone. I waited too long and only got to sample one, a saison which I believe was called Take One For the Team.
The festival also featured a ton of food, including the Naked Cowboy oyster station, artisanal cheese and meat, lots of chocolate and a bunch of other eats from places like Cafe d’Alsace, Petite Abeille, Danny Macaroons, Roni-Sue’s, Moho Cocoa and more. The food, just as last time was fantastic. Petite Abeille completely stole the show. They had a sampling of sausage, mashed potatoes, pasta, braised meat and some other stuff. To be honest, I can’t tell you what was on the plate because I ate it so fast. I couldn’t even snap up a pic. I had like three helpings it was so good.
The food was fantastic. I really wish I could have sampled more of it, but as with the beers, time and room in my tummy, ran out. This year they also had a cigar vendor. I didn’t partake, but man, two things that go well, a nice Belgian Strong Ale and a cigar. Don’t know if they’ve done this before, as well, but Get Real had the National Down Syndrome Society as a charitable partner. Needless to say, I made a nice little donation to support the cause. Thought it was awesome of Get Real to do that.
Just one complaint this time, they seemed to have a problem with the taps. I got served quite a few beers that were all foam. Sucked, because it meant you had to wait to try beers. Wasn’t the end of the world, that’s usually when I would take a break to try some food or drink some water.
Here is my full beer list. 30 beers had in all, though I may have missed a couple.
Barrier Mare Undarum
Bavik Witterkerke Wit
Birra Del Borgo
Bocker Cuvee Des Jacobins Rouge
Cuvee Van Honsebrouck Kasteel Cuvee Du Chateau
D’Achouffe Houblon Chouffe Dobbelan IPA Triple
De Koninck De Koninck
De Ranke Gulden Bein
De Ranke Noir De Dottingnies
De Ranke XX Bitter
De Rulles Estivale Triple
Des Geants Gouyasse Triple
Dupont Moinette Brune
Dupont Redor Pils
Goose Island Matilda
Goose Island Pepe Nero
Hof Ten Dormaal Blonde
Pretty Things Field Mouse Farewell
Sixpoint Harbinger Saison
Stillwater Stateside Saison
Stone Belgo Anise
Straffe Hendrick Quadruple
Timmermans Bourgogne Des Flandres
Good times. Good times indeed.
Whitesnake – Here I Go Again
There was a moment at the Saturday evening session when this song came on and all was right in the world. Plus, how many times do I get to post a video with Tawny Kitaen doing that crazy split between the two cars.