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Hardliver, the annual barleywine festival at Brouwer's Cafe, is upon us: March 15 and 16. For the uninitiated, barleywine is not wine, but a beer style of English origin defined predominantly by its color (somewhere between toffee and stout-black), sweetness (usually a lot of it), and alcohol content (typically around 10 to 14 and sometimes as high as 18 percent, hence the "wine" part of the name). Sometimes people call them Old Ales. Some of them, like Sierra Nevada's Bigfoot, drink not unlike huge IPAs when fresh, though the aforementioned sugar and alcohol content often make them good to drink several years after they've been bottled or kegged...

WHAT THEY'LL HAVE AND HOW TO SURVIVE THIS THING > > >