It was my first time attending. The event ran from 1-4 p.m., with an extra hour starting at noon with the premium ticket. The premium was well worth it, as the crowd surged considerably at 1 and lines started forming, especially for popular breweries and various special releases throughout the day. There were over forty breweries from the Midwest represented, with the majority from Iowa. There is a lot of really good beer being brewed in Iowa these days.
Toppling Goliath from Decorah brought a firkin of their tasty pseudoSue pale ale that had been dry hopped with the Mosaic hops used in their newest IPA, Pompeii. Both were delicious (I was able to try the Pompeii the night before at the Sanctuary Pub in Iowa City) with lots of every tropical fruit you can name, especially passion fruit. The beer in the firkin was dubbed Pompesaurus. There were several chili beers, with Chefs in Black's Orange Scorpion and Bent River's Jalapeno Pepper Ale worthy of extra mention. Backpocket Brewing is across the street from the Marriot and is one of the event sponsors. Their new Machete DIPA deserves a shout out. It was a great fest!
At the Tallgrass booth with the man from the Oasis can:
The relatively uncrowded first hour:
The crowd grows, the line for the 2:28 special pour of 2012 Assassin Stout by Toppling Goliath:
So many bottles waiting to be filled: