GABF Takeaways

Discussion in 'Mountain' started by PDawson, Oct 11, 2013.

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  1. PDawson

    PDawson Initiate (161) Mar 27, 2013 Italy
    Beer Trader

    • Bruery's Chocolate Rain (tapped at 7:14) was fantastic and worth the wait
    • La Cumbre's 2nd Anniversary Stout was even more amazing and my fav BA Imp Stout of the night
    • RR Framboise for a Cure was even better than last year, somehow
    • 3 Floyds ran out of beer early. I was there 1 hr 20 minutes after opening and it seemed to have been closed for a while.
    • Beachwood is killing it on the hop front
    • Almanac was the surprise of the night. Knew they were doing some solid stuff, but left very impressed with everything they were serving, barleywines to sours
    That's it for tonight. the big takeaway for me was me was it was a very chill, geek-ish kind of crowd, even more so than year's past. Hardly any, glass-dropped-ohhh, kind of thing.
    Other impressions?
    gklover1 likes this.
  2. CoolEthan

    CoolEthan Initiate (0) Jan 9, 2013 California
    Beer Trader

    I heard 3 Floyd's didn't even show up.
  3. Mebuzzard

    Mebuzzard Poo-Bah (3,458) May 19, 2005 Colorado

    Sun King has a bourbon brl aged dopplebock that was fantastic.
    New Belgium's Y-...something or other was a nice sour.
    Blind Tiger java stout is always nice
    I was "pouring" for Backcountry and couldn't go wrong with their beers
    Domingo likes this.
  4. GetTheYayo

    GetTheYayo Devotee (448) Aug 26, 2012 Pennsylvania
    Beer Trader

    Thought DESTIHL had a great sour portfoilio.

    Managed to get a couple pours of the BCBCS tapping that lasted all of 15-20 minutes. Was one of the beers I was chasing, and was worth it.

    Three Floyds did tap out early, but I got to try Zombie, Permanent Funeral, and Arctic Panzer early on. While Zombie Dust was great, I question the 100 pt. rating.

    I managed to balance the big brewery releases with the smaller guy's stuff, lots of good stuff here even amongst some of the smaller guys.

    All-in-all it was a great session. I agree very chill and friendly all around.
  5. GetTheYayo

    GetTheYayo Devotee (448) Aug 26, 2012 Pennsylvania
    Beer Trader

    Weasel Boy's Anastasia Woodford Reserve BBA Stout was a gem.
    Mebuzzard likes this.
  6. karlbronson

    karlbronson Initiate (0) Feb 15, 2010 Colorado
    Beer Trader

    Nice effort 3 Flloyds! I vote to give their slot to to one of the breweries who showed up just to give out beer and not compete. Closing up after an hour with nothing more than regular production brews on the Thursday session was disappointing. I guess they just aren't that interested anymore.

    Destihl was great as previously mentioned. Sierra Nevada's BA Narwhal was pretty good. Event Horizon was great as usual. I was sad to see Hair of the Dog didn't make it again this year.
  7. FEUO

    FEUO Disciple (327) Jul 24, 2012 Ontario (Canada)

    Wait.... Permanent Funeral is a regular production brew? SWEET!!!! Can't wait to get it everytime I go there in the future. :stuck_out_tongue:
  8. Domingo

    Domingo Poo-Bah (2,221) Apr 23, 2005 Colorado
    Subscriber Beer Trader

    That was my favorite beer of the festival, "Y's Leopold" was the name I think. It was using the Felix base along with blackberries and some other details that my mind isn't cooperating with. I went back for that one 4-5 times.
    PDawson likes this.
  9. karlbronson

    karlbronson Initiate (0) Feb 15, 2010 Colorado
    Beer Trader

    Guess I missed that one
  10. FEUO

    FEUO Disciple (327) Jul 24, 2012 Ontario (Canada)

    Damn. I was really hoping you knew something I didn't. :slight_frown:
  11. MighHighBrewer

    MighHighBrewer Initiate (127) Mar 10, 2013 Colorado

    Overall, I came away happy. What was most notable to me is the overall quality of the beer being served. In past GABF events, I'd say about 25% of my random beer samples were just okay (or worse). This year, I came away impressed with nearly all of the samples I tried. Breweries are stepping up their game and it shows.

    - Lost Abbey Duck Duck Gooze (beer of the night) and Framboise
    - Port Brewing Board Meeting - an excellent brown ale. Older Viscosity was good, but needs more aging
    - Bruery Chocolate Rain, SiTR, Oude Tart
    - Alesmith Vietnamese Coffee Speedway Stout...really all of their stuff
    - Ommegang Tripel Perfection

    I actually thought Almanac's stuff was just okay. Their sours never resonated with me - not sour enough.

    I also didn't get to nearly as many breweries as I thought I would. Oh well - that's what Saturday is for.
  12. chicano4craft

    chicano4craft Initiate (0) Apr 18, 2009 Colorado

    Beers I can remember that stood out...
    The Bruery Oude Tart with cherries
    Half Acre Space IPA
    Funky Buddha No Crust
    System of a Stout

    Also Tahoe Mountain Brewing was great! Locals will know the head brewers connection to CO. The Viejo Rojo and Saison Savoureuese were my favorites. Check them out. Cheers.
    woodchopper, LostCook and NVbeer like this.
  13. angelmonster

    angelmonster Defender (664) Apr 3, 2008 Colorado
    ¡Bad Trader! Beer Trader

    Chocolate Rain, System of a Stout, Mother of all Storms, Saint Arnolds Pumpkinator

    Looking forward to The event horizon, Framboise for a cure, Utopias, and No crust tonight
  14. chango

    chango Initiate (65) Mar 31, 2006 Colorado

    My beer of the fest was Sun King's Batch 666 American Black Ale.
    Good lord, what deliciousness... I went back for 3 or 4 of them.
    Other standouts for me included:
    TRVE Death Ripper
    River North B-Side Quandary
    Deschutes Sage Fight IPA
    Shorts Sagejuana
    Ninkasi Sleigh'r
    and a bunch of other stuff... but my head is fuzzy right now.
  15. Tolann

    Tolann Devotee (433) Jul 9, 2007 Colorado

    Two that stood out for me was Captain Pumpkin's Maple Mistress by Saucony Creek Brewing Company and
    Sweet Yamma Jamma by Indeed Brewing Company (in the brewer's guild).
  16. CK21

    CK21 Initiate (167) Feb 6, 2011 Colorado

    If you twisted my arm for two I immediately remember BA Narwhal and the Flanders at Distihl.
    karlbronson likes this.
  17. FishPondManager

    FishPondManager Aspirant (233) Feb 28, 2012 Colorado
    Beer Trader

    Class X from Kern, DDG, CL Rosso E Marrone, and the fresh hop brews at Fatheads stood out. Also agree on the NB Ys. Almanac is one booth to linger at and try all the offerings.
    Tarheel4985 likes this.
  18. Tarheel4985

    Tarheel4985 Initiate (87) Sep 14, 2010 Colorado
    Beer Trader

    I definitely walked out of there with a greater admiration for The Bruery, Lost Abbey, and Russian River, and a new found disdain for Three Floyds (nearing boycott status). As others mentioned, I was extremely disappointed in Three Floyds showing, to say the least.

    Closing your booth after less than an hour into the first session doesn't mean you're too popular, it means you did not plan very well. I'm hoping there was some explanation as to why they weren't pouring anything after 6:30, but if that really was all the beer they sent for that session (five 1/6 BBL's is my guess, at the most) , shame on them.

    On the other hand, Duck Duck Gooze was easily pouring until 8, maybe even 9, as were nearly all of Russian River and The Bruery's selections. The lines were manageable everywhere, and I personally was more than happy to wait in line for DDG, CR, Hunahpu, and FfaC.

    In addition to the ones I mentioned were worth the wait, I'll echo others on some beer recommendations:

    Best beers you don't have to wait in line for:
    • Pelican MoaS (2011)
    • BA Narwhal
    • NB Y's Leopold (favorite surprise of night)
    • AleSmith Vietnamese Speedway
    • Bruery SitR w/ Peaches, Oude Tart w/ Cherries (they made a separate line for CR, so the line for the rest of The Bruery's line up was surprisingly short)
    • Goose Island everything, or specifically BCBS, BCBCS (new 2013 batch with Los Imortales coffee), Sofie Paradisi, Lolita, Juliet
    • Olde Hickory Event Horizon
    • Bell's Black Note (shortest line I've ever seen for Bell's)
    • Live Oak Hefeweizen (must try if you've never had it)
    • Bear Republic Tartare (another great surprise)
    • Destihl everything
    • Almanac everything
    • Cambridge Arquebus and Cerise Cassee
    • Captain Lawrence Rosso E Marrone (ISO)
    • Wicked Weed Freak (went pretty quick)
    Just to name a few...
    IMO, this was the best beer list for GABF yet. Some pretty incredible beers to be poured for 49,000 people (or 490 if you're Three Floyds and did the math wrong before sending beers). Hope everyone enjoys the last 2 sessions tomorrow.
    Grant35, gklover1, McRyan and 5 others like this.
  19. Domingo

    Domingo Poo-Bah (2,221) Apr 23, 2005 Colorado
    Subscriber Beer Trader

    Not sure if the logistics behind the scenes changed, but I felt the Thursday session was easily the most organized GABF in years. Lines were at a minimum, the crowd didn't seem as packed-in, there were TONS of quality unusual beers being poured, etc.
    This was my favorite GABF going back to roughly 2008 and earlier.
  20. Prospero

    Prospero Savant (946) Jul 27, 2010 Colorado
    Beer Trader

    Here's a couple more, no lines (Friday Night):

    AC Golden American Wild Ale
    TAPS Remy
    Revolution A Little Crazy
    Hangar 24 Barrel Roll No. 3 Pugachev's Cobra
    Kuhnhenn DRIPA
    Logsdon Seizon Bretta
    Knee Deep Simtra Triple IPA
    Freetail Ananke
    Swamp Head Saison du Swamp w/ Brett
    SalukiAlum likes this.
  21. Prospero

    Prospero Savant (946) Jul 27, 2010 Colorado
    Beer Trader

    So I went last night and didn't have a single miss, aside from Modern Times and w00tstout.

    I bolded the standouts.

    AC Golden American Wild Ale
    AleSmith Vietnamese Speedway Stout
    Almanac Barrel Noir
    Almanac Farmer’s Reserve No 3
    Almanac Farmer’s Reserve No 4
    Beachwood BBQ Amalgamator IPA
    Beachwood BBQ System of a Stout
    The Bruery Chocolate Rain (8:07p)
    The Bruery Oude Tart with Cherries
    The Bruery Sour in the Rye with Peaches
    TAPS Remy
    Bell's Black Note
    DESTIHL Reserve Belgian-Style Lambic
    DESTIHL Reserve Flanders
    DESTIHL Reserve Sour Paw Paw Ale
    DESTIHL Reserve Sour Raspberry/Strawberry Ale
    Sun King Jungle Room
    Sun King Stupid Sexy Flanders
    Surly OverRated!
    Three Floyds Permanent Funeral
    Sierra Nevada Barrel-Aged Narwhal
    Sierra Nevada DevESTATEtion Ale
    The Lost Abbey Duck Duck Gooze
    The Lost Abbey Framboise de Amarosa
    Great Lakes Oktoberfest
    Revolution A Little Crazy
    Fat Heads IBUsive
    Fat Heads BattleAxe Bourbon Aged
    Hangar 24 Barrel Roll No. 3 Pugachev's Cobra
    Heretic Evil Cousin
    Heretic Torment
    Kern River Class X
    Kern River Dirty Hippie
    Kern River Just Outstanding IPA
    Modern Times Fortunate Islands
    Russian River Framboise for a Cure
    Russian River Propitiation
    Short's Bourbon Aphasia
    Short's Bourbon Woodmaster
    Kuhnhenn DRIPA
    Goose Island Bourbon County Coffee Stout
    Selkirk Abbey Saint Augustine
    Hopworks Organic Belgian-Style Pear Ale
    Logsdon Seizon Bretta
    Pelican Pub Mother of all Storms
    pFreim Mosaic Single Hop Pale
    Stone w00tstout
    Stone Reason Be Damned Belgian Style Abbey Ale aged in Red Wine Barrels
    Stone Ruination IPA Grapefruit Slam
    Cambridge Cerise Cassee
    Cambridge Shadows and Light
    Jack's Abbey Hoponius Union IPL
    Jack's Abbey Mass Rising
    Samuel Adams Utopias 2011
    Knee Deep Simtra Triple IPA
    Ladyface Blind Ambition
    Ladyface La Grisette
    Freetail Ananke
    Freetail Spirulina Wit
    Marshall Wharf Cant Dog IIPA
    Marshall Wharf Chaos Chaos
    Marshall Wharf Ace Hole
    Captain Lawrence Rosso e Marrone
    Church Brew Works Cherry Quad
    Peekskill Amazeballs
    Peekskill Awesome Sauce
    Swamp Head Saison du Swamp w/ Brett
    Wicked Weed Freak DIPA
    The Commons Maybelle
    The Commons Myrtle
  22. LoganStegman

    LoganStegman Initiate (41) Jun 11, 2013 Colorado
    Beer Trader

    The Saturday session still had a great lineup, that being said it was much more of the "shit show" crowd. A lot of the "oooohhhhhsss" every time someone dropped their tasting cup. Including a lot of trashed morons that were running around knocking them out of people's hands. I had a really good time, but next year I'll make it a priority to go to the members only session or one of the sessions earlier in the week.
  23. SFACRKnight

    SFACRKnight Meyvn (1,034) Jan 20, 2012 Colorado
    Beer Trader

    I did the satturday shit show as well. It was my first, and probably only, gabf. I got to ccb for hunna, they were out so I settled for white oak jai alai. Right as I get to thee front the guy ahead of me nabbed the last pour. Weak. I stuck with colorado beers that don't see distro just to see what else is out there that I don't get to try. Tweek was my standout stout as always. Nobody can touch that beer, bcbcs is a distant comparison. I got to try sofie paradisi, I wish that got bottled up. One of my hands down faves, and I was suprised by mountain sun szechuan session ale, german ale yeast withh sorachi ace worked well together, and didn't come across as watered down. On the other hand I was pretty happy to see trve, but their beers tasted wateredd down at best, and fernet porter was a drain pour for me. My fave of the night was iron sword from real ale in. Tx. Best english pale I have ever had. I gotta get me some. Other than that, I have to echo that the crowd was weak. People knocking beers out of each others hands, people completely trashed, someone puked all over the floor and people were falling in it, frat boys strong arming their way through crowds, I enjoyed myself but it isn't worth the bullshit people bring.
  24. GetTheYayo

    GetTheYayo Devotee (448) Aug 26, 2012 Pennsylvania
    Beer Trader

    Damn man that sounds terrible. The Thursday session was nothing like that. Sure there were a few "ooohhhsss" throughout the night but I didn't see anyone acting like a complete idiot, puking, or blatantly cutting in line (there were some who were sneaky about it). I also missed Hunaphu and opted to go with the White Oak Jai Alai.
  25. Prospero

    Prospero Savant (946) Jul 27, 2010 Colorado
    Beer Trader

    Yeah, Friday night was great too, none of that shit. I think there were maybe 10 glass drops I witnessed, which is actually a lot less than previous years, lol.
  26. MWolverines66

    MWolverines66 Devotee (405) Mar 13, 2013 New York
    Beer Trader

    Three Floyd's disappointing me once again. I understand that people like your beer, but for someone who flew in for the festival and not even see a single one of their beers was a disgrace. Same thing happened when I went to savory in NYC this year. Maybe they should learn how to plan for a festival. Complete joke. On a positive note, new glarus serendipity was awesome
    jrnyc likes this.
  27. Domingo

    Domingo Poo-Bah (2,221) Apr 23, 2005 Colorado
    Subscriber Beer Trader

    I've seen a fair amount of pictures and bad reports about Saturday. Lots of beers that are long gone and a lot of troublesome drunks. Seems like the exact opposite of the other days.
    I always used to do Friday, but I'm now convinced Thursday is the way to go if you can get tickets. Next year I'm pretty certain we're going to get a hotel downtown for the whole second half of the weekend. Between the light rail, buses, and cabs I'm wondering if it might actually save us money in addition to being more convenient.
  28. tacosandbeer

    tacosandbeer Aspirant (267) Sep 24, 2010 Nebraska
    Beer Trader

    And it will keep selling out. Why fix it.
    VABA likes this.
  29. taalhiker

    taalhiker Initiate (122) Aug 26, 2008 Ohio

    I poured for Weasel Boy - their entire lineup was strong. Both Anastasia's were excellent, the holiday holiday ale brewed with chocolate, vanilla beans and honey was a big surprise, and the black IPA and the paw paw fruit beers were solid. Plus the brewers hung out at the booth quite a bit. Great people making great beer. I think they only make ~550 barrels a year.
    GetTheYayo and Mebuzzard like this.
  30. aschwab

    aschwab Zealot (577) Mar 3, 2009 Texas
    Beer Trader

    As someone who lives in Austin, I may be able to help you out with a 6pack or two of that.
  31. aschwab

    aschwab Zealot (577) Mar 3, 2009 Texas
    Beer Trader

    I came here to bitch about 3 Floyds. I guess I am not the only one either. Friday was the same shit - gone within the hour.
    jrnyc and seanmonaghan13 like this.
  32. Domingo

    Domingo Poo-Bah (2,221) Apr 23, 2005 Colorado
    Subscriber Beer Trader

    Very true, although they did manage to fix the other sessions. I think the problems with Saturday fall on the breweries as much as the event staff. Being totally out of everything on Friday is weak sauce.
  33. chango

    chango Initiate (65) Mar 31, 2006 Colorado

    Saturday night is always a living hell. Leave that to the boneheads, and come join the rest of us on Thursday next year. Thursday is the sweet spot. Then, the rest of the fest, just go to all the satellite events. You'll have a much, much better GABF, for sure.
    SFACRKnight and seanmonaghan13 like this.
  34. StoutSnob40

    StoutSnob40 Poo-Bah (1,689) Jan 4, 2013 California
    Beer Trader

    Mother of all Storms blew my socks off.. Wow.
    LoganStegman likes this.
  35. SalukiAlum

    SalukiAlum Disciple (332) Dec 19, 2010 Colorado
    Beer Trader

    Wow, so many breweries anymore!! My wife and I couldn't finish the entire lap, I mean we did but because we sprinted through the Mountain section :slight_smile: First time probably since I've been in 4 years that didn't really try 'one' beer more than once or go back for seconds. The quality of the styles brought was amazing. Duck Duck Gooz, Black Note, Pugachev's Cobra, BA Narwhal, etc. Really was impressed by Jack's Abbey, Fat Heads, Drake's off the top of my head.
    FishPondManager likes this.
  36. StubFaceJoe

    StubFaceJoe Initiate (0) Nov 24, 2011 Colorado


    Beers were great. Stone grapefruit slam was really refreshing amongst all the craziness.

    The people were even better.
    Prospero and SalukiAlum like this.
  37. ipas-for-life

    ipas-for-life Disciple (347) Feb 28, 2012 Virginia
    Beer Trader

    My brother and I were discussing this afterwards. We ended up paying a good bit to stay at one of the hotels within a mile of the convention center but it was well worth it. They had a town car that would take you anywhere within two miles free of charge and we never had a problem reserving it. That and a lot of the spots were a few blocks walk from the hotel. I think we ended up saving money in the end.
  38. Mebuzzard

    Mebuzzard Poo-Bah (3,458) May 19, 2005 Colorado

    As usual, Saturday night is not for the beer geeks. Unfortunately, it's the only full session where the medal winners are listed (half of Sat. afternoon had them). Many medals winners were dry by 6pm, if not sooner.

    Just going over the medal winner list, it seems there is a wider variety of breweries who won. Many awesome beers were left without medals; nature of the beast.

    Lots of beers I did not get to try b/c my liver is only yay big. The Commons has some solid beers, so too does Weasel Boy. Barley Browns was real nice.

    No beers from Iowa or New Jersey
  39. Prospero

    Prospero Savant (946) Jul 27, 2010 Colorado
    Beer Trader

    Next year, GABF Thurs., WTF! Friday, Dr.Bill Tasting Sat. done.
  40. LoganStegman

    LoganStegman Initiate (41) Jun 11, 2013 Colorado
    Beer Trader

    Sign me up
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