GABF Takeaways

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

Thread Status:
Not open for further replies.
  1. gklover1

    gklover1 Initiate (102) Oct 18, 2009 Colorado
    Beer Trader


    - DDG
    - COULD NOT believe there was no line for Hangar 24 Pugachev's Cobra. Stood there drinking that for 30 min alone, rapping with Kevin the brewer.
    - Went to check on CR at 7:15 pour time...dogfish head-like line. Came back 30 min later, they were standing there with pitchers of CR calling it out and no line. Drank a couple, then mixed it with one of my new found loves Oude Tart w Cherries for Cherry CR.
    - Almanac Farmer's Reserve #4
    - Beachwood System of a Stout
    - GOOSE ISLAND. They are doing it right. BCBS, BCBCS, Juliet, Lolita, ALL plentiful, minimal line.

    Had a GREAT GABF. Next year, no one should go to WTF, except me and JWB. Wow. (Wow for that event OVERALL, but wow.)
    FishPondManager likes this.
  2. SlightlyGrey

    SlightlyGrey Zealot (515) Apr 4, 2011 Minnesota

    Went to the Friday night and Saturday afternoon sessions and didn't witness any of the craziness that Saturday night had - everyone was well behaved to the extent that the police seemed bored. I thought that the organizers did a good job in getting eyeryone in efficiently and having plenty of water stations available. Have to agree that FFF was realy weak in closing up Friday within 2 hours. Loved the light rail dropping off across from the front door.
  3. ablackshear

    ablackshear Initiate (128) Sep 17, 2010 Colorado
    Beer Trader

    I was pleasantly surprised to find that on tap at 1-Up on Saturday night, fantastic beer.
  4. Grant35

    Grant35 Initiate (0) Jul 7, 2012 California

    Beers that stood out:

    Notorious Triple IPA by Boneyard
    Mother of all Storms
    Vietnamese Speedway
    No Crusts
    Almanac - everything
    Bruery - everything

    After Farm to Table Thursday, Avery's Barrel Aged Bike Ride (which was a frickin blast!), and another Farm to Table Friday I began blending Mother of all Storms and Utopias - honestly was freakishly good!
    joshclauss and SalukiAlum like this.
  5. dirtylou

    dirtylou Poo-Bah (3,336) May 12, 2005 Washington
    Beer Trader

    Avery Barrel Aged Bike Ride was a definite highlight of the weekend - killed the rest of the night at Falling Rock
    joshclauss and Grant35 like this.
  6. CenCalMario

    CenCalMario Initiate (132) Jan 12, 2009 California
    Beer Trader

    Here are a few that I really liked from the first 2 rows of GABF...

    Goose Island's - Juliet, BCCS
    Elevations - False Summit and Fan Boy.
    Epic - Big Bad Baptist, Hopulent
    Equinox - Space Ghost
    Avery - Thensaurum, Uncle Jacob's Stout
    Funkwerks - Deceit
    Loveland - Sour Raspberries
    Dad & Dudes - Rum Forest Rum
    La Cumbre - Project Dank
    Sierra Nevada - BA Narwhal
    Funky Buddha - a bunch of stuff.

    Again, these are just from the first 1-2 rows, I'll have to see what I had for the 2,3 and 4th rows.... If I was forced to chose only 3 more servings of any beers I had all week it would've been:
    1- Project Dank
    2- Project Dank
    3- One of Elevations two beers mentioned above.
    Grant35 and SalukiAlum like this.
  7. SalukiAlum

    SalukiAlum Disciple (335) Dec 19, 2010 Colorado
    Beer Trader

    Space Ghost IMO, one of our little gems of a beer here in Ft. Collins!
    Jumbolaya, chicano4craft and denver10 like this.
  8. Boonedoggle

    Boonedoggle Initiate (0) Nov 30, 2011 Nebraska

    I agree with most above on the usual stellar beers, however by far my favorite of Thurs. night:

    New Holland Dragon's Milk Reserve (w/dry roasted Chili de Arbols)

    Best of all, no line whatsoever.
  9. Doodler

    Doodler Initiate (0) Oct 17, 2009 Colorado
    Beer Trader

    Dittos on the Dragons Milk Reserve. Nice and zippy on the finish.....:sunglasses:
    My fav was hidden in the middle section - Flossmoor Station's Bourbon Barrel aged Fireside Chat barleywine - delish and no line... drank about a half bomber - one ounce at a time. Yummy stuff
  10. DenverBeerDrinker

    DenverBeerDrinker Aspirant (258) Apr 5, 2012 Colorado
    Beer Trader

    Agree on the Flossmoor. Found myself going by that table multiple times over the two sessions I was there.
  11. PackieMcHopHead

    PackieMcHopHead Initiate (155) Oct 1, 2009 Massachusetts
    Beer Trader

    I was there on Saturday night and didn't see much craziness as described here. Perhaps it's because I was bracing myself for much worse as I've been to many big festivals that just pack'em in like sardines. Thought the lines were relatively short, even at the popular brewers (except for the Dogfish line, no need to stand in line for that). Sure there were a few drunks and such, but thought it was a behaved crowd.
  12. MighHighBrewer

    MighHighBrewer Initiate (127) Mar 10, 2013 Colorado

    My non-beer takeaways:
    1) The admission lines get longer every year. I arrived for the Saturday afternoon session at the same time as last year, but was WAY further back in line compared to last year. Surprisingly (at least to me), when I left the Sat afternoon session at 4PM, there was no line for the Saturday evening session beginning at 5PM.

    2) From now on, I think I'm purposely going to arrive late to GABF. It seems that it takes about 40 minutes for the line to filter in. Instead of waiting an hour in line before my session, I think I'm just going to arrive 40 minutes after the session starts and walk right in. You still get ~4 hours of drinking (depending on the session).

    3) The new layout is excellent IMHO. Lines were minimal, "choke points" just weren't there. Booths were easy to find. Excellent!

    4) Even though there was a decree that brewers should be more visible at their booths, I didn't talk to one. In fact, I don't even think that I saw one. It was probably my luck. But it would've been nice to talk with a brewer and/or a brewery representative every once in a while.

    5) By and large, breweries brought enough beer. Especially the more rare offerings. I was very surprised at how long certain beers lasted before being tapped (Chocolate Rain, Duck Duck Gose, etc)

    It was my favorite GABF since attending them in 2009. It's a very well-managed event.
  13. Domingo

    Domingo Poo-Bah (2,243) Apr 23, 2005 Colorado
    Subscriber Beer Trader

    I think some of that comes down to the Saturday blues. The medal ceremony is a major distraction and a lot of the brewers are burnt out from being at GABF (and other events like the RBT and WTF) on previous days.
    On Thursday night the brewers are out in full force. I saw head brewers from many of the well known places (DFH, Brooklyn, Bruery, etc.) and since I recognize most of them, nearly all of the Mountain area breweries.
    Saturday used to be one of the best sessions, but now I think if it was my only option I'd skip the fest altogether.
    Grant35 and MighHighBrewer like this.
  14. MighHighBrewer

    MighHighBrewer Initiate (127) Mar 10, 2013 Colorado

    I went to the Thursday night session too but didn't talk to any. Like I said, I think it was my luck - I didn't visit Mountain at all, for example. I also think it's a product of my expectations: I thought there was some decree that breweries should be more visible at their booths?

    This would really help the smaller breweries IMHO. I went out of my way to concentrate on smaller breweries with no line or following. It would've been nice to talk to one brewery representative - they could spread the word about their product and I'm more likely to tell my friends, this forum, etc of an up-and-coming brewery if I know their story.

  15. ipas-for-life

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

    I was also expecting much more of a cluster f. Everything went better than I expected. My take aways are.

    1. Thursday night got in and hit the merch booth first. Maybe waited in line 2-3 minutes before getting the shirts I wanted in the sizes I wanted. Line seemed to get longer as the night went on. Glad I did this first.
    2. The port a johns were awesome as long as you can handle a cloud of second hand smoke. I never had to wait in a line to use the bathroom and they were actually clean.
    3. I did not stress getting any particular beer. Did not waste any time waiting for a beer to be tapped. In two sessions I got to try almost every brewery I wanted and a lot I have never heard of. Only had to pour out two beers.
    4. Saturday afternoon was more crowded than Thursday night. Got there an half an hour late and still had to wait for the line to die down to get in. They were out of glasses when I did get in. But in the end this worked out for me. I checked with about two hours left and they had more glasses. Used this to my advantage and double fisted the breweries I had to wait in line for.
    5. The Lost Abbey, RR and Bruery Sours were the shit. Made me extremely jealous of those of you on the West Coast.
    MighHighBrewer likes this.
  16. HoldenDurden

    HoldenDurden Disciple (338) Nov 27, 2011 Illinois
    Beer Trader

    Haven't seen any mention of it, but I thought Kern River's Class X Stout (Bourbon Barrel aged Class V) was fantastic. Never a line either.

    The guys from Kern River mentioned that Citra would be released at the end of the month for those interested.
Thread Status:
Not open for further replies.
  • About Us

    Founded in 1996, BeerAdvocate (BA) is your go-to resource for beer powered by an independent community of enthusiasts and professionals dedicated to supporting and promoting better beer.

    Learn More
  • Our Community

    Comprised of consumers and industry professionals, many of whom started as members of this site, our community is one of the oldest, largest, and most respected beer communities online.
  • Our Events

    Since 2003 we've hosted over 60 world-class beer festivals to bring awareness to independent brewers and educate attendees.
  • Our Magazine

    Support uncompromising beer advocacy and award-winning, independent journalism with a print subscription to BeerAdvocate magazine.