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Tim Bissell Tim Bissell
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Three Pint Stance - When beer fests go EXTREME!

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Recently, I had the pleasure to pour for Gneiss Brewing Company at the 2019 Extreme Beer Festival in Boston. This is the fourth time Gneiss has attended the festival and it just gets more fun every year. 

This year brought an interesting wrinkle to the festivities, as the organizers, BeerAdvocate, asked brewers to bring “Extreme Session Beers” – beers that are at or below five percent alcohol but also utilize ingredients or techniques that make them extreme! 

There were all sorts of wonderful low-alcohol beers packed with flavor, a favorite of mine being the Key Lime Gose from Weldworks Brewing.

At Gneiss, we brewed up a beer inspired by Mexican sipping chocolate and cheeseball Star Wars jokes called “Hot Rebellion,” an Anti-Imperial Stout made with cocoa nibs, cinnamon and habanero peppers. Clocking at 2.5 percent, it had a ton of flavor but wouldn’t get you so drunk that you can’t pilot your X-Wing home.

(Editor’s note: I’m disappointed that you didn’t use blue milk in the process. That being said, I’m proud of your commitment to safety and responsibility. Friends don’t let friends fly drunk.)

New to EBF this year was the VIP ticket, which got attendees in 30 minutes early as well as access to the VIP lounge where they were serving some special beers and free pickles! I think every brew fest needs to have pickles from here on out, but that’s just me. I’ve seen some festivals where the VIP ticket doesn’t really get you much, but BeerAdvocate really seemed to make it worth the upcharge. 

All in all, it was another fantastic weekend celebrating the quirky weird things that seem to unite us all in the Brewing community. Sure, we all love a classically crafted pilsner, but sometimes it’s fun to try a beer made with hot dog water too. I mean, it wasn’t good, but that’s not the point!

It was so … EXTREME! 

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