Sunday, February 19th, 2017

Fort George Brewery Festival of the Dark Arts recap

Ron Swarner

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If you’ve ever wondered at the appeal, the urge, the drive to attend Fort George Brewery’s Festival of the Dark Arts, if you’ve heard wisps of the mythology and the mystery and the epic weirdness or even seen a few pictures and wondered, you know, WTF, maybe I should dress like Jack Sparrow and make my way through 63 stouts on a cloudy February 18th Saturday.

 

You should.

 

Fort-George-Brewery-Festival-of-the-Dark-Arts-tattooThere’s nothing like drinking a Fort George Dark Matter Oatmeal Stout aged in Pinot Noir and bourbon barrels while watching someone get a tattoo next to a fermenter painted as a giant red pig.

 

Your worldview will change sipping a Block 15 Brewing Breakfast With Woodford Imperial Stout aged in Woodford Reserve barrels while feeling the heat of a glass-blowing kiln on your face.

 

Your id will swallow its own tongue as Cloudburst Brewing’s Darkenfloxx Imperial Stout infused with housemade cold brew and hazelnut oil slides down your throat as a blacksmith hammers hard on metal.

 

You’ll lighten the hell up holding an Ecliptic Brewing Bourbon Barrel-aged Oort Imperial Stout in one hand and a giant slab of bacon on a stick in the other.

 

It’s rather astonishing how often you’ll reach bliss at the one-day stout craft beer festival. It almost matters not from which brewery room you inhabit — Festival of the Dark Arts is an equal opportunity soul enricher. In your admiration for boy wings and leather vests and body paint and witches eyes you’ll also taste the very best in craft brewery-made stouts, including 16 from Fort George proper.

 

In short, Festival of the Dark arts reminds you that you are far from alone in your understanding that this is one excruciatingly short life experience and sometimes the best you can hope for is to don a top hat and mount the steel dragon and scream from atop the Fort George gangplank with a Mill City Brew Werks Raspberry Tripwire Russian Imperial Stout infused with figs, vanilla beans and aged in rum barrels with 35 pounds of raspberries raised high toward the Moon Goddess.