01 October 2011

GABF Day 2 - Friday night session

Last year the Great American Beer Festival started a Farm to Table program to demonstrate the benefits of pairing beer with locally sourced food. Chefs and brewers from around the country are paired together to come up with interesting pairing experiences. The Farm to Table event is an additional cost over the festival entry and is limited to 500 tickets. This year, the program has been expanded to two sessions (Thursday and Friday) and both sessions sold out. As an additional benefit, the beers available at the Farm to Table event are not available on the festival floor.

As with any pairing event, some things worked really well and some things completely missed their mark. Standouts included the combination of The Monks Kettle from San Francisco and Funkworks from Fort Collins. A sweetbread based "meatloaf" was excellent with the Funkworks Saison. Brooklyn Brewery paired their Black Chocolate Stout with a chocolate and custard dish from Chicago's The Signature Room for a decadent and delicious dessert pairing. Three Floyds paired their Gumballhead with a dish of poppyseed and lemon curd topped with cuddlefish noodles for what was my favorite pairing of all. Nice job guys, and my apologies for not remembering which restaurant put together that great dish.

On the festival floor, standouts included Darkside Fermentation from Texas, Trinity's Brain of the Turtle which is released on Sunday, Jester King from Texas, Duck Rabbit, Old Hickory, Real Ale, Metropolitan, Smuttynose and St. Arnold - among many others.

Here's another photo dump...

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