GABF Day One
The first day of the GABF is in the books, and I have barely scratched the surface. The first session didn’t begin until 5:30pm, so I had some time to kill. What’s a beer guy to do hours before the largest beer festival in the country? Well, this one chose to visit a brewery. A short distance from the convention center, Great Divide Brewing seemed like the natural choice. Other convention attendees must have had the same idea because as soon as I walked in, the place was packed.
The wait for a drink did not take long and soon I had my hands on their Colorado Fresh Hop IPA. Fresh hop beers are in season right now and they are some of my favorite. Not as bitter as the usual American-style IPAs, they showcase the fruity and resin aspects of the hops much better than their dry hopped counterparts. Fresh hop in hand, I decided to take the complimentary tour. While there wasn’t that much to differentiate it from your usual brewery tour, they were in full production mode. That meant you had to dodge forklifts and watch out for split beer on the floor.
After the tour, it was time to head to the convention center. The vastness of the convention struck me right away. Good thing I downloaded the GABF mobile that that displays the floor plan and brewery locations because I would have been lost without it. For the most part, it wasn’t hard to get a drink. At many booths you were able to walk up and get your 1 oz pour without a problem. Some of the more popular breweries, though, had extended wait times. Russian River Brewing out of Santa Rosa, California had the longest lines of the evening. They were pouring some of their highest rated beers including their world famous Pliny the Elder DIPA. Wisconsin’s New Glarus Brewing also had extended wait times.
Now while I won’t go through every beer I sampled, two stuck in my mind. The first came from Short’s Brewing in Bellaire, Michigan. It was called “Bloody Beer” and yes, it’s a Bloody Mary beer. You could smell tomato, pepper, caraway and maybe a hint of horseradish. Not an everyday drinking beer, it was still enjoyable.
If you think a Bloody Mary beer is bizarre, Wynkoop Brewing upped the game. The GABF served as the premiere of their Rocky Mountain Oyster Stout. The eight barrel batch they produced included 25 pounds of bull testicles. I’ve never eaten rocky mountain oysters before, so I couldn’t say what they add to the beer. All the novelty aside, it was a great stout.
As the first day drew to a close, I knew that I still haven’t even come close for getting a handle of the GABF. Fortunately for me (and unfortunate for my liver) tomorrow is another day.
Picture from newbelgium.com
There are lots of things from the brewing business that I wish transferred over to other industries. Number one on my list, though,
Stout in SoCal
Speedway Stout and Andrew Jackson: Alien Hunter
As much as it pains my Midwestern roots to say this, I love Southern California. I may not have the proper melanin ratios to survive outside there for long periods of time, but
Anonymous asked: Hi Dan, really enjoy your predictions on ufc. Could you post them a day or two earlier. So I can read them before the fights =) Thanks.
I don’t really control when they get posted. I’ll talk to my editor and see what happens, but they have a timeline for a lot of the ufc.com content. Glad you like the articles, though!
Bitter Beer for a Wedding?
Giving the Devil a Second Chance
Picture via foundersbrewing.com
When I decided to review Founders Brewing Company’s Devil Dancer, I was a little apprehensive. I had tried it on tap last year and did not have a pleasant experience. A friend and I both determined, “dirty sweat socks,” was the best way to describe it.
Burger King’s Bacon Sundae
I’m slowly starting to realize that I may have a destructive personality. From professional fighting, drinking too much beer and going out in the sun with my shirt off — I constantly seem to be putting myself in situations that cause me personal harm. Well, that streak continued the other day as I strolled into my local Burger King to ingest their new Bacon Sundae.
Nostalgic Beer > Actual Childhood
I like to think I’m the type of person that isn’t easily seduced by advertising. Not only can I tell the difference between butter and I Can’t Believe It’s Not Butter, but I also once gave a woman a Dr. Pepper 10 just to prove a point. Sure I use Secret anti-perspirant, but that’s because it REALLY IS strong enough for a man.
Sadly, though, my iron will could not resist Tallgrass Brewing Company’s 8 Bit Pale Ale.