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Sunday, May 15, 2011

Kohler Festival of Beer

Three Days of Very Special Brews

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It's rare to find a beer that's only served in one place worldwide.

But that is the rare case when it comes to the 3rd Annual Kohler Festival of Beer. For beer aficionados, the three-day festival is not only a chance to taste brews from around the world, but one very special one that only appears at the Jigger Inn, located next to the Old Course Hotel in St. Andrews, Scotland—a Kohler property. And it was a special request from Kohler CEO Herb Kohler himself to create a special brew.

"Mr. Kohler charged the Jigger Inn to develop a brew in the classic Scottish Ale," says Teo Zagroba, Kohler beverage manager. "The Belhaven Brewery [a local supplier] came up with the Jigger Ale which has only been served on tap at the Inn."  That is, until this year's Beer Festival in Kohler.

The Jigger Ale, which has nutty, toffee like tastes, is but one of many beers to choose from, says Zagruba. Wisconsin breweries on hand include: Central Waters (kicking off the "ceremonial tapping" Friday night), Great Dane Pub and Brewing company,; New Glarus, Sprecher, Titletown, Leinenkugel, Milwaukee Brewing, well, the list goes on and on.

For those searching out brews with an international locale, Beers around the World will satisfy those looking for the unique in terms of taste and locale, according to Missy Dortman, Kohler Director of Meeting & Events.  Belgium and Germany, of course, are well represented. But here's a chance to also try some rare beers such as the Farson Milk Stout from the country of Malta, a Lion Stout from Sri Lanka, and India's aptly named Taj Mahal (the palatial namesake is located in the city of Agra).  Japan's highly rated Hitachino Nest White Ale will also be featured along with its Baird Angry Boy Brown Ale. (Half the fun is figuring out the names and what they mean).

With 1,000 fans attending in 2010 (2009's inaugural event had 500), the Festival is sure to draw even more this year, according to Dortman, "especially if the weather's good as it was last year."

Many of the events take place in a enormous white tent (think more like a house) which features "Shorts and Chefs" where top local and regional chefs grill and pair their specialty dishes with beers and the "Blues, Brew and BBQ," featuring live blues music, barbeque and, of course, more beer.

But a big part of the festival's fun for many is to find the next great beer to add to the drinkable collection waiting back home.

"People are still trying to search out craft beer styles they like," says Zagroba. "And that's what makes the Festival such an enjoyable event. There's always new stuff to try."

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The 3rd Annual Kohler Festival of Beer runs May 27-29 in Kohler, Wis. For more information, please call:  1-800-344-2838 or visit: www.AmericanClub.com/beerfestival