"33" Export and the Dragonboat Festival

Thanks to a passing Facebook message I was turned on to the Dragonboat Festival in downtown Hartford, CT. Figuring that there would be some decent food being cooked up, I decided to head down there for some lunch. I was surprised to find that in addition to some very good Thai food there were a selection of Asian beers to try. Seems everywhere I go, beer in there. It's a nice problem to have.

There were all the usual suspects, Asahi and Sapporo, but a different one caught my eye. "33" Export, apparently a Vietnamese beer (brewed by the French). It had the classic light straw color of a lager, with aromas of corn, not much in the way of sulfurs though. The body was light, with a slightly thicker mouthfeel than I was expecting from a light lager. There were some sweeter flavors mixed in with some vegetal ones, which made me think of coconut. An odd beer, but it went well with my Pad Thai.

Made fresh on the spot, I was lucky to get some fresh off the wok. Combined with curried veggies and some BBQ chicken, I was a happy camper. Naturally I put way too much Sriracha sauce on mine, so the slightly sweet Asian lagers helped out with that quite a bit.

The Dragonboat races were pretty interesting too, the teams seemed to range from the weekend warrior to seasoned professionals (complete with custom paddle cases slung over their shoulder like a tennis player). It was a fun spur of the moment outing, to be sure.

Paddling those boats is exhausting work. Oh, and did I mention there were free sake shots? There were free sake shots.