BW's 2019 Treefort Playlist: Alefort Goes Basque, Txotx and All 

click to enlarge We tried a taste of the New Blegium Paonia Peach sour, a sharp, citrusy brew that cost two tokens ($7). - LEX NELSON
  • Lex Nelson
  • We tried a taste of the New Blegium Paonia Peach sour, a sharp, citrusy brew that cost two tokens ($7).
There was already a line of eager beer lovers waiting at the tent flap when Alefort kicked off its second day March 23 during Boise's Treefort Music Fest. Much of the excitement likely stemmed from the fact that in addition to the extensive collection of local and regional beers and ciders, the day also featured a partnership with Foodfort that brought Basque bites from Bar Gernika and The Basque Market under Alefort's canvas roof.

click to enlarge The roasted chistorra chorizo with smoked onion jam was a perfect bite paired with a New Belgium sour. - LEX NELSON
  • Lex Nelson
  • The roasted chistorra chorizo with smoked onion jam was a perfect bite paired with a New Belgium sour.
"I think we're off to a good start," said Bar Gernika owner Jeff May between handing out bamboo plates of onion jam-topped chorizo, thin-sliced steak, and potato omelettes to the crowd in exchange for $3.50 tokens.

Alefort 2019 also featured a different layout than years past, grouping beers into various bars by type rather than producer. At 12:30 p.m., the Barrel Aged, Wild & Funky, and Lager bars commanded the longest lines. Returning Alefort guests Karen and Brian Havey gave the fort's new structure a thumbs up.

click to enlarge Emily Roberts pours a glass of Honey Meadow cider from Finnriver, a sweet drink made with foraged burdock, lemon balm, chamomile and honey. - LEX NELSON
  • Lex Nelson
  • Emily Roberts pours a glass of Honey Meadow cider from Finnriver, a sweet drink made with foraged burdock, lemon balm, chamomile and honey.
"I'm an IPA drinker, and with the range of IPAs here, I have a lot of work to do," said Brian, adding that having all of his favorite beers concentrated in one place made it easier to find them.

Karen, a cider drinker, concurred.

"I walked the cider aisle and I could check them all out at the same time, which was good," she said.

The highlight of the day came at 1 p.m., when Alefort organizers wheeled a keg into the roped-off center of the tent for a demonstration of "txotxing," the Basque practice of tapping a keg of cider and lining up to catch the stream, which can shoot up to eight feet, in successive glasses.

When the cider splashed down into the demonstrators' aluminum Alefort mugs, a cheer went up from the crowd, who later lined up across the tent to try it themselves. Check out our video of the demo below.


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