Your Picks for GABF 2019

Discussion in 'Mountain' started by travis224, Sep 23, 2019.

  1. travis224

    travis224 Initiate (176) Jul 24, 2010 Texas
    Trader

    First time going to GABF (volunteering and getting a free ticket) and first time living pretty close to downtown, so I have the ability to hit up a number of breweries' GABF parties. For those of you who are going, what's on your docket? For those who aren't, what events are you hitting up?

    I lived in Austin for about 10 years and people would always ask me what I do for SXSW, and I'd be like, "Stay in and sleep," at least after I turned 27, or so. So, if most Denver folks on the board don't even pay attention to GABF, I understand.
     
    #1 travis224, Sep 23, 2019
    Last edited: Sep 23, 2019
  2. Domingo

    Domingo Poo-Bah (2,618) Apr 23, 2005 Colorado
    Society

    I generally just hit up places that don't distro here. That's mostly New England, the Pacific NW, and Florida. We don't see much from Minnesota or Wisconsin either, so those two as well.

    My biggest hidden gem last year was the Referend Bier Blendery in NJ. They aren't on the current list. Neither is perennial hidden gem Old Town from Portland...so I'm going in blind.
     
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  3. Mebuzzard

    Mebuzzard Poo-Bah (3,554) May 19, 2005 Colorado
    Trader

    Yah, I go for the beers not available here and those breweries in locations I'll probably never visit. For me, it's less about quality and more about exploration. Perhaps I'll look at a particular style to start off.
     
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  4. SFACRKnight

    SFACRKnight Meyvn (1,350) Jan 20, 2012 Colorado
    Trader

    I usually go in with a plan, and about an hour in I give up and just stick with beers I will never get my hands on. Last year I spent a lot of time at the Kane, Modern Times, and Fremont tables.
     
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  5. t4h2c0

    t4h2c0 Initiate (86) Jun 5, 2007 Washington

    Thursday i want hit these breweries for sure, Friday is a wander around and discover new stuff session:
    Speciation (loved them last year/great sours), Weldworks (Medianoche variants/the peanut butter version was one of my favorite beers from last year),
    J. Wakefield (stouts), Abnormal (stouts and ipas), Pure Project (stouts and ipas), Masthead (ipas), More Brewing, Odd Side Ales, Orpheus, and more...
     
    #5 t4h2c0, Sep 27, 2019
    Last edited: Sep 27, 2019
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  6. travis224

    travis224 Initiate (176) Jul 24, 2010 Texas
    Trader

    What about any breweries that are putting out great lagers? I was looking for Suarez and Von Trapp, didn't see them. I'm not too up on the national lager game though.
     
  7. travis224

    travis224 Initiate (176) Jul 24, 2010 Texas
    Trader

    This is what I'm looking for. The names of some breweries I haven't heard of yet. Cheers!
     
  8. Domingo

    Domingo Poo-Bah (2,618) Apr 23, 2005 Colorado
    Society

    GABF is the kind of event where I honestly only care about the "dumb but fun" beers. I can't tell a good pils from an awful one after the first 20 minutes, so I rarely even seek them out.
    As far are good lager breweries that have been there before, Zoiglhaus, Olde Mecklenberg, Chuckanut, Troegs, New Glarus, Victory, Capital, Sly Fox, Stoudt's, Penn, Heater Allen, etc. come to mind.
    Generally speaking, lagers are strongest in Pennsylvania, Wisconsin, and (more specifically) Austin. Oregon tends to be good and most everything, so I'd look there too.
     
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  9. Chadzero

    Chadzero Initiate (106) Dec 20, 2008 Texas

    Hit up Austin Beer Garden Brewing and Live Oak!
     
  10. seniorshmently

    seniorshmently Initiate (115) Oct 4, 2010 Colorado
    Trader

    We get them here occasionally it seems, but Pfriem’s lagers are great.

    Definitely check out Chuckanut too.
     
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  11. SFACRKnight

    SFACRKnight Meyvn (1,350) Jan 20, 2012 Colorado
    Trader

    For whatever reason I dig iron Hill's pils. Somehow I hit them every year. I'm usually suffering from "palate fatigue" by then but I still enjoy it.
     
  12. SFACRKnight

    SFACRKnight Meyvn (1,350) Jan 20, 2012 Colorado
    Trader

    Any stand outs from Thursday night's session?
     
  13. travis224

    travis224 Initiate (176) Jul 24, 2010 Texas
    Trader

    Following this.

    Can't go to the fest until Saturday, but I went to TRVE on Wednesday night for the Burial tap takeover. They'd already kicked a fair amount of stuff, but I thought Burial's Surf Wax was a pretty killer IPA. Nothing super fancy, just very well-made and fresh. If it was in cans around here and tasted as fresh as it did on tap, it would be a regular for me.

    In other news, I went to Baere's sour party afterward and tried WW's Taco Gose for the first time, and--oh boy! Probably the strangest beer I've ever tasted. Baere's festbier was killer though. Not super knowledgable about that style, but it was one of the best Helles type beers I've had in a while.
     
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  14. pjeagles

    pjeagles Initiate (150) May 29, 2005 New Mexico
    Trader

    Criminal Commission from Cigar City, the stouts at JWB, NashZwickel at the medal winners booth. More DDH Double Space Boots. Troegs Sunshine PIls, Explored Hypotheticals at the Pro-Am booth, Moonraker stuff. Going back tonight to explore more.
     
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  15. wasatchback

    wasatchback Disciple (322) Jan 12, 2014 Utah
    Trader

    Live Oak
    Heater Allen
    ACBG
    Notch
    Wayfinder
    Dovetail
    Schilling
    Jack’s Abby
    Chuckanut

    No clue how many of those are there. Suarez will never be there. Amazed Von Trapp isn’t.
     
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  16. NDogg44

    NDogg44 Initiate (125) Oct 21, 2015 Texas
    Trader

    The Solvang Helles is killer.
     
  17. SFACRKnight

    SFACRKnight Meyvn (1,350) Jan 20, 2012 Colorado
    Trader

    Mosern times modem tones and batch 3000 are the two I couldnt.get enough of.
     
  18. Domingo

    Domingo Poo-Bah (2,618) Apr 23, 2005 Colorado
    Society

    I mainly did "dumb but fun" stuff and had a good time as usual.

    As far as pastry stouts go, Modern Times/Horus Doom Hawk was the best thing I had by far. It was better than anything I had the the DRBT as well. More's Coco Flux was right beside it and was also quite good. Both were tucked into that cove across from Weldwerks and got almost no attention or lines.
    Pontoon, which was at the end of that line, had a really strong line-up of fun stuff. I liked everything they had. Over Yonder, from Golden was right beside them and also had lots of fun beers. I'd never even heard of them before, but will probably visit now.

    On the medal front, our local crews at Comrade and Weldwerks brought home a ton of hardware. Those two and Kern (which won like a zillion medals) pretty much owned anything involving hops.

    Did anyone do the VIP line thing? The normal lines looked worked like they did for the last few years...which is great, IMO. Things were well run again. Outside of some unavoidable line gridlock I though things were great.
    Anyway, what was the point of the VIP thing...or did they even do it?
     
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  19. Dan_K

    Dan_K Zealot (508) Nov 8, 2013 Colorado
    Trader

    I thought Doom Hawk was awful. It's the sweetest beer I've ever had, it tasted like nonalcoholic syrup. Almost like chugging Hershey's syrup but sweeter. Which just goes to show that people have different tastes. Cocoa flux was decent but again tasted very chocolatey and not very beer-like.

    I was really impressed with pFriem, I went back probably 4x and I had at least 3 pours of the pilsner. Pure project was kind of a sleeper hit for me as well, although I've had their beer before. Plenty of great beers available with little to no line. Lost Abbey was kind of a disappointment this year and did have quite a long line as usual.

    Area 2 brewing, the sour offshoot of 2 Roads, was great. I think I only dumped 5 samples out of ~70.
     
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  20. Powell014

    Powell014 Initiate (34) Oct 30, 2014 Colorado

    First year I've gone to Thursday session and with about 30 minutes left Lost Abby was only a few minutes so it was the first time I've ever had Duck Duck and 24 steps which, not breaking news, were amazing.

    Dumb/Silly but really good beer of the show goes to Blueberry Muffin from Great Notion which tasted exactly like it sounds to a scary detail.

    Odds and Ends:

    -Why or WHYYYYY did they move from an offline app to a webpage that looked exactly like the app but was AWFUL to use. You'd click into a brewery to see what they were pouring and when you hit previous page it'd take you back to the top of #-B brewery list. Really hope they don't do that again
    -First time trying Medianoche (got malibu variant) Did not enjoy! Way to sweet for me. I sincerely bow out of the Pastry Stout movement
    -Rhinegeist stepped up their presence in a big way with a floating booth with 9 things and all were great. Really hoping we get a bump in distro from them cause they're wonderful
    -Always love how hard Melvin tries to look like the coolest kid in the room at GABF
    -I actually found two Black IPA's!
    -Did not go in but the Jameson area looked to be catering to the worst of the patio hungry Lodo crowd. Anyone venture in there?
    -Very ready for a GABF medal for booth decorating. Make it happen Brewers Guild
    -Breweries I liked and marked down that I had never heard of: Central Waters, Fort George, Great Notion, Masthead, Speciation, Une Annee, Offshoot,
     
    #20 Powell014, Oct 7, 2019
    Last edited: Oct 7, 2019
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  21. Dan_K

    Dan_K Zealot (508) Nov 8, 2013 Colorado
    Trader

    Une Annee has been sneaky good for a while. I tried everything they offered and all were well above average.

    Blueberry muffin was great but I may be spoiled by WW- reminded me of many of the berliners they do. Good though. Sticky bun was my favorite that they did.

    The Jameson area was interesting. I had an amazing beer there. I almost got hit by flying cornhole bags a few times. There was a short irish guy yelling into a microphone that didn't make any sense. They had 2 stages set-up but one looked to be unused. It seemed like a waste of space.

    >>First time trying Medianoche (got malibu variant) Did not enjoy! Way to sweet for me. I >>sincerely bow out of the Pastry Stout movement
    Yeah Malibu is the sweetest one I've had from WW by far. The Vanilla Rye or Premier variants are less sweet, but possibly still too sweet for your tastes.

    Also a shout out to Loveland Aleworks. Great beers and no line.
     
    #21 Dan_K, Oct 7, 2019
    Last edited: Oct 7, 2019
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  22. sharpski

    sharpski Meyvn (1,152) Oct 11, 2010 Oregon
    Society Trader

    pFriem is quietly one of the best breweries in the NW, deft at a wide spectrum of styles and techniques. That Pilsner is an easy 6pk choice at the grocery store.
     
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  23. seniorshmently

    seniorshmently Initiate (115) Oct 4, 2010 Colorado
    Trader

    All my favorites have been listed (Modem Tones and B3k), but gotta toss in Chuckanut. Not normally a kolsch fan, but thought theirs was awesome, as well as their festbier which won bronze. After drinking BA stouts and sours, they were a huge breath of fresh air. Lapped them multiple times.
     
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  24. Mebuzzard

    Mebuzzard Poo-Bah (3,554) May 19, 2005 Colorado
    Trader

    I've never been a sweet-tooth and stomached some pastry stouts in the past, but Doom Hawk and Coco Flux were dumps for me. Perhaps interesting, but 1oz was too much.

    Speciation was really good. Live Oak had the best Hefe. First time I've had Kern and was impressed.

    The app was useless. None of the info populated on my screen. Didn't see a search bar either (?)

    Line was quick. Got there at 11:30 and didn't stop walking until in the inside pen (they caged us!!) for 10min.

    I'm glad there's the Caskmates section as I stay clear of it.
     
  25. bfields4

    bfields4 Zealot (569) Dec 11, 2007 Colorado

    Loved pFriem so much when I lived in Eugene. My only problem was I always seemed to only be able to find old bottles (and I mean like 6-7+ mo old at least). Maybe just a Eugene thing?
     
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  26. blackcloud

    blackcloud Aspirant (299) Apr 28, 2012 Alaska
    Trader

    the peanut butter medianoche was definitely a highlight for me, as were the pure project beers. Orpheus out of ATL was the unknown awesome find for me
     
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  27. SFACRKnight

    SFACRKnight Meyvn (1,350) Jan 20, 2012 Colorado
    Trader

    I also really enjoyed the WA wet hopped booth.
     
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  28. Domingo

    Domingo Poo-Bah (2,618) Apr 23, 2005 Colorado
    Society

    I wish I could remember the name of the brewery, but there was a place somewhere in the midwest (OH or MI) with a "roasted peanut ale" that tasted like an ashtray.
    This is coming from someone who likes rauchbier and smoked porter, too. It literally tasted like an ashtray.
    It goes down on my all time GABF worst list and is up there with that one "bacon beer" from Pennsylvania that smelled like death and tasted like vinegar.
     
  29. SFACRKnight

    SFACRKnight Meyvn (1,350) Jan 20, 2012 Colorado
    Trader

    My all time worst this year was at the Jameson area. Some pecan porter I almost spat out. All time was a smoked beer from neshamy creek. I also like smoked beers and it was like a tire fire. I suppose smoked beers are not all equal.
     
  30. Narthax

    Narthax Crusader (743) Mar 23, 2014 Texas
    Trader

    I was pleasantly surprised by Adroit Theory and Wild Barrel. I was doing the part of tour guide for our group of 10 and those were ones I'd never heard of that were killer.

    Fremont, Lost Abbey, Speciation, Black Project, Modern Times, Weldwerks, Great Notion, More all brought fire.