04 October 2008

On the Lam(bic) - GABF Trip 08

Gina and I are currently using the last of our vacation days on the way to Denver for the Great American Beer Festival. While we really wish we could have brought everyone along, that wasn't in our budget this year, so we'll do our best to bring you with us through the magic of photos and words. There are few things as boring as someone else's vacation photos, so I'll keep the focus on the beer - of which we'll have plenty.

Our first stop on the way to Denver isn't really on the way to Denver at all. Last week we got a call from Upland in Bloomington letting us know that our previously reserved lambics were ready for picking up. So we took a slight detour and stopped in to the Upland tap room on a nice Thursday afternoon.

I have no IU ties and wasn't raised in Indiana, so my trips to Bloomington are few and far between - really the only reason I have to visit is that there's a nice bicycling route that leads from near my house to Miller-Showers Park. As a result, I'm a bit ashamed to say that this was my first trip to Upland.

We settled in at the bar on a slow Thursday afternoon. Gina ordered their Bad Penny Imperial IPA and I ordered a Preservation Pilsner for myself. The pilsner was nice and balanced, and worked well against my cup of buffalo chili (also recommended). Gina's Bad Penny was big but balanced, and would be very easy to over-indulge if it weren't for the limit (the beer is 10%, so you're only allowed two). This brew has an interesting story, being that it is a guest brew from homebrewer Ken (I didn't get his last name, hopefully one of you did).

We were informed that the lambics are not served on tap at the brewpub, but that if you'd like to purchase a bottle and drink it there, they'll gladly pour for you. For an in-depth guide to all the varieties of those lambics, I highly recommend the article at Indiana Beer.

Our palates teased, but with a drive ahead, we took our box of lambic and headed to the car. Next up, a pit stop in Illinois (with no beer) and then a trip to Hays, Kansas.


  1. You got a Kiwi Mike?

    I didn't get in early enough to get any, but still got two peaches instead.

  2. well, to be honest, Gina got all the beer... so I didn't get the kiwi, she did.

    I'm willing to bet I'll get to try some, though.

  3. We also have a Kiwi waiting for us to pick up this coming weekend. Did you guys order one of each as well? What did you end up getting, Matt?

  4. I heard that the Ginas Bad Penny had $3000 worth of hops -- it was the UpCup winner's ProAm beer for the GABF.

    I'll live vicariously through your blog for the trip -- best I can do this year.

  5. I got a flavor of everything except for Kiwi.