Author Topic: Sept.29-Oct. 1: The Great American Beer Festival  (Read 7999 times)

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92UrS4

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Sept.29-Oct. 1: The Great American Beer Festival
« Reply #30 on: September 27, 2005, 02:26:21 PM »
I think Old C's and Ticketmaster are the only places until the festival days. At least that's how it used to be, I haven't been ina  few years.

We are trying to see if we can go, have family stuff Friday night so we are thinking Saturday. However, $40 is a lot, :)

hotani

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« Reply #31 on: September 27, 2005, 04:30:48 PM »
Ah, Old C's is convenient maybe i'll go by there.

I've enlisted the help of our national VW bretheren in order to have something to work with when I go Friday. I'm keeping an updated list on my blog.
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Sept.29-Oct. 1: The Great American Beer Festival
« Reply #31 on: September 27, 2005, 04:30:48 PM »

aowhaus

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« Reply #32 on: September 27, 2005, 05:20:04 PM »
you sure can:

TICKET WINDOW HOURS
Colorado Convention Center - Welton St.
Thurs. Sept. 30 (Noon to 9:30 p.m.)
Fri. Oct. 1 (11 am to 9:30 p.m.)
Sat. Oct. 2 (11 am to 9:30 p.m.)
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hotani

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« Reply #33 on: September 27, 2005, 05:38:37 PM »
awesome, I'll go by there today.

We meeting up somewhere Friday? Looks like the doors open at 5:30 so that works out well.
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aowhaus

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« Reply #34 on: September 27, 2005, 06:59:26 PM »
it's a good idea to get there early, as there is usually a long line to get in even if you are a ticket holder.
I'm off at 5pm so I will head straight there from work.
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« Reply #35 on: September 28, 2005, 02:46:45 PM »
I went by the convention center and one of the people working there said they weren't selling tickets, and to go online or to Old C's. Maybe they didn't know what they were talking about... either way, I'll just pick up my ticket at Old C's tonight.

BTW... Here is my official Beer List for the festival, most are brewery booths to make sure I visit, some with specific brews to try:

- Alaskan Brewing Co. (AK): Pale Ale, xmas Ale
- Allagash Brewing Co. (ME)
- Anchor (CA)
- Blue Point Brewing Co. (NY): Toasted Lager
- Brewery Ommegang (NY)
- Brooklyner Brewery (NY): Weisse
- Dogfish Head (DE): all IPAs (personal mission)
- Elysian or LaConner brewing company (WA)
- Foothills (NC)
- Goose Island Beer Co. (IL): Hex Nut Brown
- Kalamazoo Brewing (MI): Oberon, Winter White Ale, Two Hearted Ale
- Lakefront (WI): East Side Dark and Riverwest Stein
- Michigan Brewing Co. (MI): Celis White, High Seas IPA, Mackinac Pale Ale
- Pennsylvania Brewing Co (PA)
- Pyramid (WA)
- Redhook (NH): nitro porter, brown
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jfrahm

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« Reply #36 on: September 28, 2005, 03:54:35 PM »
I was at the Falling Rock last night, having a bevvy or two.  Had a few beers with Jim Brewer from Anchor, nice guy.  Also met a brewer from Denmark, he was interesting to talk to.  I had been there in May and we had some common ground.  Fun night.  Anyway the Rock has GABF tickets for sale, cash only though.  1919 Blake street.

At the Fest be sure to check out New Glarus brewing and Pizza Port.  If Pizza Port has the Mother Of All Beers or the Cuvee de Tomme it'd be worth a sample.  You can always find New Glarus by their long line.

I'll be at the Saturday afternoon tasting.  Tempted to go Thursday to see Marty Jones perform, he's a lot of fun.  I might just get a Designated Driver ticket for that... but for $20 more I can sample a few beers.  Hmmm.

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Eric18T

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« Reply #37 on: September 28, 2005, 07:15:28 PM »
can someone please try the new sam adams light? i am curious if it is as good as they say.

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« Reply #38 on: September 28, 2005, 08:12:15 PM »
Good info from 'Matt' on the vortex thread:

Quote

We went to the GABF last year as a late honeymoon and had a blast. We got some advice from some past visitors that worked well for us.

We were given 3 different ways to cover the event.

1. Pick a particular style of beer you like and cover the entire floor drinking just that kind of beer. Last year we went with the idea of drinking as many different IPA's as possible, but we quickly found out that being from San Diego, we had a thing for insanely hoppy beers and most IPA's throughout the country are way WAY too malty for us. So after that we went around drinking as many lambics as we could find (I think we found 3) and then just tried fruit beers (3 or 4 more) and then we went looking for porters, then stouts and then pale ales. It worked pretty well, but we went in thinking we'd be able to spend the entire event (we had tickets for every session) drinking just one style of beer and we were wrong.

2. Pick a region you want to taste. The event is set up like a map of the US so all the northeast breweries are near each other and all the southwest breweries are mear each other and so on. This didnt really work for us, but if you try it and want suggestions, I would definately hit the northwest, california and maybe the northeast. The beers of the south were, generally, not our style and the midwest ws just fair. Some great breweries, some crap ones.

3. Pick a handful of breweries you want to try and make your way around trying all the different styles each has to offer. When we go back, I think this is the route we'll take. Again, if you're looking for suggestions, I'd definately recommend most of the CA breweries (Alesmith, Pizza Port, Russian River, Left Coast, Santa Barbara, Stone brewing makes crap beer and I would avoid them) We also found some great breweries we hadnt tried before. Mainstreet and real time from the northwest, bells and Iron Cross from the midwest.

A few other things to keep in mind. Just because there are 1500 breweries "at" the GABF, realize that not all of them will be serving beer. It's not a requirement to actually serve beer to the public to be able to enter the contest. I was disappointed last year that a few of the breweries I really wanted to try werent there serving, but were just being judged. Luckily we were able to gain access to the "bottle Party" where all the left over, unopened bottles that are submitted for judging are laid out in ice filled buckets in a banquet room of the host hotel and are made available to all the volunteers and the brewers and whoever else helps out. We were able to get some of the beers we had wanted to try, but werent serving to the public.

Another thing, if you havent purchased your tickets yet, keep in mind that Friday and Saturday nights get INSANELY busy and the place fills up with a bunch of idiot frat boys who are there just to get drunk. If you can, I'd definately recommend not missing the thursday night session and the saturday day session. They are WAY less crowded and you can actually talk to some of the brewers. Also, last year there were no backpacks allowed in the place. The first night they had a coat/bag check, but the second they didnt and the staff basically had the stance of "it sucks to be you" if you showed up with a bag or backpack.

The event ends fairly early and there are countless places to go afterwards. Your tickets will offer you a free pint at Wyncoops, but I'd pass. This is where all the tourists and people just looking to get drunk go. If you want the inside scoop, catch a cab to Falling Rock. This is where all the brewers end up. If you go wednesday or thurdsay night (I know you arent going until Friday, but others may be reading this) the place is basically FULL of brewers and it's a good time.

One final thing to remember, DON'T FDROP YOUR GLASS!

Have fun

Matt


Want to switch nights to Thursday? Sounds like Friday will be crazy. After reading his post i'm definitely going to 'travel light' that day and not bring my pack.

Joel: go Thursday! :D
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aowhaus

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« Reply #39 on: September 29, 2005, 01:46:12 AM »
I was there on a Saturday last year and I didn't think it was that crazy -- very lively but not crazy.  A lot of the frat boys got sick after just 30 minutes.
I'm still planning on going Friday as I will be meeting up with a couple people there and I have woodshop tomorrow night.
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hotani

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« Reply #40 on: September 29, 2005, 02:50:59 AM »
I went and got my ticket at Old C's - $35. Do NOT go online and buy them, you'll end up spending over $50.

Finally decided on Thursday night, hoping to avoid some long lines and mobs - I'll let you all know how it goes. I've got my list (19 breweries to try and counting...) and am ready to go! :D
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jfrahm

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« Reply #41 on: September 29, 2005, 01:20:11 PM »
What time are you getting there?  I am looking into going tonight for a while.

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hotani

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« Reply #42 on: September 29, 2005, 01:40:27 PM »
I'll be there when the doors open - I think that's 5:30. Let me know if you want to meet up somewhere.

This is the only night I'll be going, I'll have my son with me all weekend so that's out.
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aowhaus

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« Reply #43 on: September 29, 2005, 10:34:42 PM »
anyone going on Friday?

here's my cell: 720.341.6507
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hotani

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« Reply #44 on: September 30, 2005, 01:02:42 AM »
I'm back from the beer fest. There was a massive line to get in at first, but it moved very quickly. I was inside in less than 5 minutes probably, and I showed up at exactly 5:30 and was at the very back of the line.

My strategy seemed to work well. For the most part, I just tried one beer from each brewery on my list. The exception was Dogfish brewery which specializes in IPAs, and I'm kind of an IPA freak. I tried their 60, 90 and 120 minute IPAs. The 60 was a pretty standard IPA, nice amount of hoppiness, clean and smooth, very drinkable. The 90 minute bordered on too hoppy - and this is coming from a huge fan of hoppy beers. It was very good, but get ready for some *punch*. I highly recommend trying these three. The 120 minute IPA... Wow. It was candy. I'm not joking. NOTHING like the other two. Very sweet, definite orange flavor, and a high ABV of 21% 8O. Not something I'd want to drink every day, but certainly give it a try.

Other memorable brews:
- Alaskan IPA: on my notes I simply wrote: "I want more." I also tried the smoked porter which was very good. It has a definite smoky flavor, but not so much to overwhelm the beer - nicely balanced.
- Kalamazoo had a really good wheat
- Lakefront ESB was good
- Brooklyn Brewery, Chocolate Stout: really chocolaty! I've had chocolate stouts before, but this was the first to actually taste like chocolate - very good.
- Oaken Barrel 'Superfly IPA'
- Pyramid amber weizen
- LaConner Pale Ale
- Foothills ESB + Oktoberfest (from my home town! :) )
- Widmer stout (nice balance, slightly sweet)
- Abita Turbo Dog, Rogue IPA (nice and hoppy! :) )

Make sure you write stuff down, you will NOT remember one from the other when you walk out of there!

Have fun at the beerfest, and TAKE GOOD NOTES!! It is the only way you will remember what you tried.
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« Reply #45 on: September 30, 2005, 02:03:22 AM »
You write with such clarity, I would be able to think staight let alone write after that.  Good night Charles.... :)
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aowhaus

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« Reply #46 on: October 01, 2005, 04:51:22 PM »
ugh, hangover...
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aowhaus

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« Reply #47 on: October 02, 2005, 01:16:18 AM »
I got there just when the doors opened and stayed there until last pour.
I pretty much did a round through the convention center trying the brews I really wanted to try and also anything interesting along the way before ony of my friends showed up.

I stuck to mostly Heffewiesens/Wheat beer, Stouts & Porters, and fruit flavored/infused beers.
I thought the heffs and wheats were very good this year, but I thought the stouts and porters were not as good as the previous years.  I really like the milk stouts and chocolate/coffee flavored porters, but nothing really stood out and the chocolate and coffee flavors seems a bit harsh and not very refined.

Here are some brews I made a note on:

Dogfish Head Craft Brewery
A very popular beer stand, which offered a selection of intense (flavor and alcohol) brews.
120 Minute IPA: A very sweet and chewy IPA, with syrupy apricot flavors.  Almost barley wine-like.
90 Minute IPA: A little more pallateable than than the super sweet 120 min IPA.
Raison D'Extra: an usual beet and raisen beer.  Sweet like Cassis but similar to an easy drinking barley wine.  It has a whopping 18% alcohol.

The Fort Collins Brewery
Major Tom's Pomegrante Wheat: A very nice summer brew, the pomegrante flavor is very subtle and not overly sweet.

Krebs Brewing Company
Choctoberfest: a very nice light chocolate flavor.  Better tasting than many of the chocoate porters and stouts there.

America's Brewing Co.
Hemp Stoned Ale:  a very nice earthy coffee taste, but finished with a slightly unpleasant swag pot aftertaste which spoiled this really tasty brew.

Smuggler's Prewpub
Powder Night Espresso Porter: I really like this brew.  Robust coffee kick and a nice Guiness-like finish.

I actually tried Zima for the first time (as it was free).  I could see why this is such a chick drink.  It reminds me of a flavored vodka tonic but much sweeter, almost soda pop like.
It was a very tiring night and I managed to eat a handful of pistachios with shells without even noticing.
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hotani

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« Reply #48 on: October 02, 2005, 04:45:30 AM »
um... You ingested pistachio shells? That's only slightly better than swallowing broken glass.

RE: 120 minute IPA, I found a bottle at Total Beverage in Northglenn. Get this: $9 for ONE bottle. Yeah, I bought one. :lol: Maybe just to say I have a 21% ABV beer in my fridge. It reminded me of foamy orange liqueur when I tasted it at the fest. They also had 60 and 90 minute IPAs. I thought the 60 minute was great when I tasted it and brought home a 6er - which was also pricey, but from the exotic land of Delaware so it was totally worth it.

OT: *STOLE* some El Tesoro tequila from Total Beverage. They had it on sale for $18 from $40. 8O I might be going back for more later, just to stock up. Holy crap.
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jfrahm

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« Reply #49 on: October 02, 2005, 04:01:55 PM »
I had a great time at the Saturday afternoon tasting.  The 120 min was a favorite, as  was the Cuvee de Tomee from Pizza Port.  Had  several very good belgian styles and a really nice smoked bock from Rocky River called Kohlmanator (named for the famous Kulmanator dopplebock.)  I had a guide that knew most of the winners so we were able to sample ahead of the announcements.

It was all I could do to drive my Buick downtown and leave my 'new' 2001 Audi A8 at home.  The A8 is not plated yet so I have not driven it much.  Nice car though.

I will have to hit total Bev for some Tesoro, I have the Anjeo but I really want some Reposado.  I also could use a few Belgians and a 120min for the Barchives.  Thanks for the tip.

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hotani

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« Reply #50 on: October 02, 2005, 05:02:52 PM »
Yeah total bev had a nice selection, I'm sure L-Mart in boulder has the Dogfish beers too and then some but I haven't checked yet (I'll be out there Tuesday).

The reposado was on sale for $29. Damn good deal. I bought one bottle of blanco and reposado for a total just shy of $50; normally that would have run $80+.
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hotani

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« Reply #51 on: October 05, 2005, 03:21:22 PM »
Nice to see CO breweries won 29 medals!

Some of my standards were on the list:
- Odell Brewing Co./ 5 Barrel Pale Ale/ Silver/ Classic English-Style Pale Ale
- Odell Brewing Co./ Easy Street Wheat/ Gold/ American-Style Hefeweizen
- Avery Brewing Company/ Ellie's Brown Ale/ Bronze/ American-Style Brown Ale
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