After contacting a Weston rep to get to the bottom of some of their beers, which I recently purchased when I was in Missouri for a wedding, I learned that this Festival Ale, what they call an Irish Style Brown Ale, is named for a 2006 festival held in Weston, MO, during which this recipe was the favorite beer consumed.

Hence, Weston introduced O’Malley’s Festival Ale into their lineup. I was a little curious and cautious to say the least, since it’s seemed to me that they’re not really doing a whole lot of creative brewing. Adding “Irish Style” to all the beers you market, being altogether vague about the process and ingredients used, and such don’t a great craft brewery make.

Still, these Weston beers are popular in Missouri, so there’s some kind of merit to be had. My pint of Festival Ale poured brown with a red twinge, nicely carbonated, and a great bubbly head.

Smelled strange, and something was wrong. Vinegar? Really? This strange smell dominated what few malts were there in the nose, and I was saddened that this particular beer was going to be a let down.

While it didn’t taste like vinegar per se, it still had a sour character to it that was borderline intolerable. I longed for the sweet malt backbone, the balancing hop presence that I’ve grown accustomed to in Brown Ales.

After 5 or 6 sips, I decided to pour the rest out. Perhaps they’re still bottling Festival Ale from the original 2006 batch…

ABV: 4.7%

Grade: D