10 October 2008

The Main Event - GABF Trip 08

So we've arrived in Denver for Great American Beer Festival, and while you might expect that there's a lot to say, really, there isn't. GABF is everything you'd expect it to be: A giant hall, every brewery you can think of (though Founders and Schlafly aren't here..), lines for the better known rarities (Russian River, Lost Abbey, and New Glarus always had long lines), people jumping out of the way of Gina's wheelchair (an unending point of entertainment), and us ending up way drunker than we really needed to be (thanks in no part to Ted Miller and the Brugge folks).

Could I tell you what I drank yesterday? New Glarus Cherry and Raspberry Tart both stand out, as do the multiple pours of Brugge's Diamond Kings 08. Let's see if I can come up with a list of what else...

  • Alaskan Smoked Porter

  • Budweiser American Ale

  • Augusta (St. Louis) Tripel

  • Avery Ale to the Chief

  • Avery 15th Anniversary

  • Barley Island Beastie Barrel Stout

  • Bluegrass Brewing Kick in the Baltic Porter

  • Brugge Diamond Kings 08

  • Brugge Googoboom Helles

  • Brugge Black

  • Clipper City Marzhon

  • Clipper City Winter Storm

  • Deschutes Abyss

  • Deschutes Black Butte XX

  • Duck-Rabbit Brown

  • Duck-Rabbit Milk Stout

  • Flossmoor Station Organic Woody

  • Flossmoor Collaborative

  • Goose Island Matilda

  • Goose Island Juliet

  • Great Divide Oak Aged Yeti Imp Stout

  • Great Divide Coffee Oak Aged Yeti

  • Left Hand Terra-Rye'zd

  • Maui Brewing CoCoNut PorTer

  • New Belgium Eric's Ale

  • New Glarus Belgian Red

  • New Glarus Raspberry Tart

  • Pizza Port Carlsbad Ruby Black

  • Pizza Port Carlsbad Cow Stout

  • Rogue Double Dead Guy

  • Rogue Old Crustacean

  • Shmaltz Hebrew 12

  • Coney Island Sword Swallower

  • Coney Island Albino Python

  • Sierra Nevada Chico Estate Harvest Ale

  • Sierra Nevada Chico IPA

  • Ska Buster Nut Brown Ale

  • Stone Vertical Epic 08.08.08

  • Stone 12th Anniversary

  • Three Floyds Moloko Milk Stout

  • Track Town Oak Aged Imperial Red

  • Track Town Triple Jump

  • Turoni's Pumpkin Ale

  • We also had a few Chili beers, but I can't remember whose they were. One of them tasted pretty much exactly like the nachos you'd buy at a baseball game. Interesting.

    A few surprises, I guess - BBC didn't have any of their regular (great) stuff - no Bourbon Barrel Stout, none of their awesome brown. Liquid Bread is here, but they also had no brown. Three Floyds hasn't brought out anything too wacky.

    But there's plenty to drink, obviously. Is it worth the trip? Yes. The whole trip has been amazing.

    This concludes our coverage - I'm going to really enjoy the next couple days.


    1. Did you catch any of the sly Utopias pourings, or Dogfish's 120-minute Randall-fed pours?

    2. while we certainly noticed that there was a utopias pouring going on, we weren't about to try to navigate that "line" with a wheelchair. Dogfish's lines were also pretty much unnavigable with the wheelchair, though we met one of the dogfish brewers and he told us that we were welcome to come around the side of the booth for a jump the line pouring.

      maybe next time.

    3. I can understand that, the crowd was huge (was almost impossible to get to 3floyds given the proximity to the bathrooms). I much more enjoyed the AHA session, much more my speed. Very peaceful for 46k beer drinkers though, outside of the occasional glass-slapping idiot around.

      You know, next time I might go with more of a style strategy, I love a lupulin overdose but I hit it a bit too early in the night every night!

    4. Did you get any of the Utopias or the Dogfish, Joe? I'd love to hear what you thought if you did.

    5. Hi Mike (Anonymous was me too),

      Yeah I got a couple of pours of Utopias, there was a point where they had the pitcher going around on the side and I jumped behind really quick (we were hovering I must admit). No head, aroma of port/sherry/cognac, vanilla/maple taste, had no carbonation..couldn't pick out the hops but it was well-balanced given the high alcohol. I absolutely loved it.

      I hit the Dogfish booth often every day (I was there fri/sat). The Randall 120-minute IPA was exploding with carbonated Centennial goodness. This was the first time I had tried their World Wide Stout, it is very complex...I need to spend some time with it away from other beers to fully take it in. I don't think I've had a stout this high in alcohol that retains the same carbonation & head that they get. I'm also curious as to what malt mix they use on this one.

      I also tried all the other Dogfish novelty stuff except Panagea: Red & White (Pinot Noir in it comes out strong to me), Midas Touch (barely got the Saffron), Burton Baton (won't say much other than I loved it).