We walked into a room filled with cameras, lederhosen and beer. . . not your typical Crafty Ladies. Left Hand Brewing hosted their annual Oktoberfest Crafty Ladies event and head brewer, Ro, came dressed for the occasion, looking dapper in his traditional German garb. The cameras were a new addition for a special taping of Crafty Ladies to be aired on the new Beer:30 television show on Channel 3. To say I was excited for this Crafty Ladies event is an understatement. I love Left Hand, they are one of my all time favorite craft breweries and knowing that they were going to put on an Oktoberfest extravaganza made me elated.
Upon arrival, we were handed the crisp and refreshing Polestar Pilsner to be paired with grilled artichoke and Highland Tap and Burger house-made duck liver pate. Polestar is a German-style pils that is light in body with nice floral hops, which, as Left Hand’s VP of Brewing stated, paired perfectly with the earthiness of the duck.
I’ve found that the Left Hand crew has a poetic and thoughtful way of describing beer and how it compliments food. They constantly leave me thinking deeper about the beer I’m drinking and what I should be tasting, pushing my mind and taste buds.
Following the Polestar we moved to the much anticipated Oktoberfest, of which we tried the last keg of for this year. If you see Left Hand Oktoberfest bottled in the store, grab it, because it’s already selling out. The Oktoberfest is a medium-bodied, biscuity and malty Marzen Lager; paired with salty pork salami from Utah, it made for a true Oktoberfest evening. Left Hand produced about 1,100 barrels of Oktoberfest this year. Putting this into German perspective: if it were served in Munich during the ten-day drinking fest, it would last about 10 minutes.
Feeling good about life and the fall season after the delicious Oktoberfest, we moved onto a special three-part tasting of Sawtooth Ale paired with local cheese. First up was Sawtooth on nitro complimented by a nutty Bellavitano. Second, Sawtooth on CO2 paired with creamy MouCo ColoRouge from Ft. Collins. And third, Chainsaw (double Sawtooth) paired with a strong and pungent Cashel Blue. The creaminess of the blue cheese went great with the strong 9.8% Chainsaw, balancing out the flavors and demonstrating the unique differences between all three approaches to Sawtooth.
Finishing out the evening, the Left Hand team shared some fun stories, including tales of their brew house being haunted by pigs. . . it did used to be a slaughterhouse. This Halloween preview made for a enjoyable culmination to a great Crafty Ladies.