14 October 2008

GABF Trip 08 - The Recap

I know I said I was finished, but a few (well, 10) things I'd like to note:

1) We had a lot of beer last week, and when you have a lot of beer, most of it all blurs together.
2) There is more beer than you could possibly want at GABF. There is also more horrible beer at GABF than you might expect. We spent one day drinking anything that sounded interesting. That seemed like a good idea at the time...
3) We missed a lot of great beer at GABF. But that's just how things work - they don't announce winners until the early Saturday session, and running around trying to try all those winners would be pretty futile.
4) Despite not winning the sour category, I still like Brugge's Diamond Kings as much as any other sour I tried. I didn't try the category winners, though..
Lambic or Sour Ale
GOLD: Iron Hill Brewery & Restaurant - Media, DE - Lambic de Hill
SILVER: Upstream Brewing Co., NE - Upstream Gueuze-Lambic
BRONZE: Iron Hill Brewery & Restaurant - Newark, DE - Cassis de Hill
5) We were definitely right about Hays, Kansas' Liquid Bread - they took home two medals:
Oatmeal Stout
GOLD: Gella's Diner and Lb. Brewing Co. - Oatmeal Stout
BRONZE: Gella's Diner and Lb. Brewing Co. - American Wheat
6) Best brewery tour? Easily New Belgium. Then again, they kept giving us really great beer. Best brewpub? Easily Oskar Blues. Our server was awesome, and the place does comfortable dumpy chic perfectly. I mean that as a compliment.
7) Best beer I had at GABF? After having a bit of everything everywhere, we finally made our way to the constantly long Lost Abbey line after they ran out of most of their beer. What was left on the table? The 2006 Angel's Share. Thick, syrupy, sweet, and tasty. Highly recommended.
8) Can someone send me some New Glarus Belgian Red? Or Raspberry Tart? Those are pretty nice, too.
9) A funny moment: Gina and I was watching a beer pairing session hosted by Sam Adams' Jim Koch. Jim is comparing beer to wine, and says "I always look at it this way: With wine, you spit. Beer swallows." I don't think we'll be hearing that in any Sam Adams commercials.
10) Was it worth going? Yes. It really is a great time. The crowds are large but bearable. The beer is abundant and all over the map. Would I go again next year? No - devoting a whole week (or even three straight days) to drinking isn't something I'd recommend making a yearly tradition. But ask me again in a month...


  1. I just happen to have a bottle of New Glarus Raspberry Tart in the fridge. :)

    Been really enjoying the reports you guys have done about the GABF trip. Sounds like a great time and I can say I am pretty jealous of all the places you got to go and visit.

  2. Is that beer hard to get a hold of? the lines at GABF were crazy, but I'm thinking that's just because you can't get it in colorado... is it pretty easy to get in Wisconsin?

  3. I just happen to bring a case of both the Cherry and the Raspberry back from Wisconsin, I'd be willing to part with one of each, maybe a trade..drop me a note.


  4. I didn't have too much trouble finding it in Milwaukee at reasonable prices. I think the bottles were around $7-8.

  5. I'm definitely interested, Mike. Email me at hoosierbeergeek@gmail.com and we'll work something out.

  6. Mike --

    Can you please send your updates at 4:50 pm instead of 5:00 pm. I hate getting ready to leave and then having one last email pop up. I'd rather yours be the last one of the day -- right after NORML News :)

    Thanks for the tour.

  7. j.j. - just checked. the windows are 1-3, 3-5, 5-7, etc. We'll stick with 5 because it's not unusual for the random beer roundup stuff to show up in my inbox around 3:50.

    We're sometimes worth waiting for.

  8. New Glarus flows like water in Wisconsin. Raspberry Tart and Belgian Red aren't rare at all, their distribution area is just super tiny. We've got a bottle of each sitting in the beer cooler now.