Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Layover beneath the great krausen in the sky.

Ok, so i wrote this on my way home from GABF and somehow never got a chance to post it. Sorry for the delay to those actually paying attention. To those who aren't, who could blame ya?

Last Wednesday shortly after taking off from O’Hare our plane climbed towards altitude and we broke through a sky full of clouds, hovering just above what looked like a huge krausen covering the Midwest. For a nerd, it was a pretty symbolic way to start the trip to GABF. Not knowing exactly what to expect both from a work standpoint and a kid in a candy shop standpoint i was fully excited to hit Denver and get out and about. No lying here: We got out and about quite a bit. There is definitely more to do during GABF week than you can possibly make, but its hard to find a clunker in the bunch.

A lot of my friends were able to get to multiple brewery tours and some of the side events at Falling Rock and while neither were in the cards for me this go ‘round I can’t think of a minute I’d have done differently. Despite the madness there was some time spent that was just downright relaxing. But anyway you’re here for the beer so I’ll just get down to it. I will preface all this, however, with a suggestion to check out Bryan’s take on he and Patty’s adventures in Colorado. I checked in on his site and the two of them whenever I was able to during the festival and he was able to cover a lot of ground and document a good bit of it.

Ok, so what did I do? What did I drink?

Spent a good bit of time at Falling Rock, the epicenter of activity during the week. They had some amazing beers on tap: several from Russian River, Green Flash Le Freak and Saison, crazy stuff from Avery, Jewbulation from He'brew, the list goes on and my mind goes blank. A lot of Malheur floating about, La Folie here and there.

Wynkoop held a reception for brewers and they were pouring some amazing beers, I missed a La Folie / raspberry mead blend and Hoperation Ivy, but had Hop 15 on tap. I also had the Wynkoop Schwarz that would go on to win a gold medal.

Cheeky Monk had a tap list that was inspiring to say the least…erhm Kwak. They had Ommegang Rouge and Chocolate Indulgence on as well as Avery 15 just for the fest. Victory had guest beers for the week as well.

Speaking of the fest, sheesh. I just wandered when I wasn’t at the New Holland booth. I got to taste the New Glarus Berliner for the first time as well as a few beers from the very awesome Bruery from California. They had a Saison with Brett that was amazing as well as a few other beers de’ funk. Real Ale from TX (thank you Mr. Kolesar) was pouring an amazing set of beers. Triangle and Foothills breweries from down south had great things happening. Lost Abbey was pouring Angel Share and Isabelle Proximus in their lineup. I would do daring or illegal things for more Proximus.

Sad to say that we didn’t take home any medals, but both Michigan and Pennsylvania (where my allegiances lay) both did quite well. We were pouring Golden Cap, Dragon's Milk, Charkoota Rye, Night Tripper, and Existential. Iron Hill had an amazing showing, I was really happy to see them get to accept so many medals. Sly Fox's Rauch got its due and Flying Fish nabbed their first necklace.

All in all, it was a great time. I hope to make the return trip next year.

1 comment:

A Stout Yeoman said...

Ok, THAT is who Matt Stairs looks like...