Rocky Mountain Club B5

Discussion Forums => Get Togethers and Garage Days => Topic started by: aowhaus on September 06, 2005, 02:42:04 PM

Title: Sept.29-Oct. 1: The Great American Beer Festival
Post by: aowhaus on September 06, 2005, 02:42:04 PM
Mark this on your calander, it's a really fun and lively event.
Sample hundreds of brews from all over the country at the new Denver Convention Center!!!  It's the largest beer event in the country!

Thursday thru Saturday (September 29-October 1)
General Admission Beer Tasting Session: 5:30 pm-10:00 pm
(Last pour 9:45 pm)

Here are the facts:
Breweries at Fest: 380
Beers at the Fest: 1,669
 8O
There's also food and other goodies there.

General Admission Tickets:
Friday and Thursday: $35 in advance, $40 at the door.
Saturday: $40 in advance, $45 at the door.
The price includes a free pint voucher at the Wynkoop, and a 2 for 1 lift coupon at Winter Park and Copper Mountain.
Tickets are available at the ticket counter at the Convention Center.

For more details check out:
www.GreatAmericanBeerFestival.com
Title: Sept.29-Oct. 1: The Great American Beer Festival
Post by: BHase on September 06, 2005, 02:44:41 PM
And don't ignore this event either. In Germany, I saw a chart that had all the major beer festivals in the world on it. The Great American Beer Festival in Denver was actually marked, one of maybe 15 or 20 global events.

Ben
Title: Sept.29-Oct. 1: The Great American Beer Festival
Post by: 92UrS4 on September 06, 2005, 02:49:04 PM
It is fun, I haven't been for a number of years now. Money, logistics and health have seemed to override my ability to go!

Maybe this year is the year I come back. I only have one glass still in tact. From like 97 or 98 or something like that.
Title: Sept.29-Oct. 1: The Great American Beer Festival
Post by: aowhaus on September 06, 2005, 02:52:01 PM
bumped into Pat at last year's event -- trying to locate each other on our cell phones with a good buzz and tons of distractions going on was funny.

I was really impressed with the stouts and porters last year -- some unique brews flavored with chocolate or coffee were especially yummy, and the couple milk stouts went down really smooth and tasty.
Keep your program and mark down the good ones, because there's no way you are going to remember any of the beers after the night is through.
Title: Sept.29-Oct. 1: The Great American Beer Festival
Post by: hotani on September 06, 2005, 02:52:52 PM
That sounds fun - I might be interested in going on Friday after work. I'm assuming the $35 allows you to have free reign on the tasting inside?

Funny, I also received an e-mail from Lola Grill (http://www.bigredf.com/lola/index.php) about a $45 tequila social.... both options are expensive but very tempting.
Title: Sept.29-Oct. 1: The Great American Beer Festival
Post by: hotani on September 06, 2005, 02:55:24 PM
Quote from: "aowhaus"

Keep your program and mark down the good ones, because there's no way you are going to remember any of the beers after the night is through.

Exactly... its certainly one of those things, no matter how goofy you look doing it, you should take a notepad and jot down the memorable brews. I went to an Oktoberfest beer garden in Seattle a couple of years ago, tried sooo many great NW beers and forgot most of them by the end of the day. :(
Title: Sept.29-Oct. 1: The Great American Beer Festival
Post by: ianacole on September 06, 2005, 02:58:48 PM
Does the price of admission include a free taxi ride home?  :lol:
Title: Sept.29-Oct. 1: The Great American Beer Festival
Post by: hotani on September 06, 2005, 03:01:28 PM
I'll be riding the bus.... :lol:
Title: Sept.29-Oct. 1: The Great American Beer Festival
Post by: aowhaus on September 06, 2005, 03:05:53 PM
Quote from: "hotani"
That sounds fun - I might be interested in going on Friday after work. I'm assuming the $35 allows you to have free reign on the tasting inside?


Yup, free reign.  You get a large shot glass-sized souvenier cup, and they literally let you loose on the convention floor.  1,669 brews to taste, no limit to any of them.  Some of the breweries also offer free food pairings (cheese, chocolate, breads, appetizers, etc.) to their brews.

You could feel the love in the convention center!
Title: Sept.29-Oct. 1: The Great American Beer Festival
Post by: hotani on September 06, 2005, 03:07:30 PM
Wow - sounds good. Anyone else interested in going Friday?
Title: Sept.29-Oct. 1: The Great American Beer Festival
Post by: aowhaus on September 06, 2005, 03:21:13 PM
I could go on Friday -- it would be easier for me to head straight there from my office.

Let's get a GTG going!

I could offer to host something afterwards at my loft so that everyone could sober up before heading home.
Title: Sept.29-Oct. 1: The Great American Beer Festival
Post by: hotani on September 06, 2005, 03:28:02 PM
sounds good to me. I'm downtown as well, so I can just walk over after work.
Title: Sept.29-Oct. 1: The Great American Beer Festival
Post by: jfrahm on September 06, 2005, 05:25:05 PM
Friday night is the crazy drunk frat boy tasting session, or so I'm told.  I like the Saturday Afternoon session where the winners are announced.  More relaxed.

-Joel.
Title: Sept.29-Oct. 1: The Great American Beer Festival
Post by: hotani on September 06, 2005, 10:25:59 PM
As much as I hate anything 'drunk frat boy' related, I am limited to Friday or Thursday since I'll most likely have my son with me over the weekend.
Title: Sept.29-Oct. 1: The Great American Beer Festival
Post by: jfrahm on September 07, 2005, 08:18:11 AM
Well, I don't know how bad it gets but be advised that it is the night where people go to pound beers for a nice flat rate.  I have heard some crazy stories that make it sound pretty bad (people throwing up on the floor, etc.)  Don't judge the fest by that session.

The GABF is one of the the top events in the world.  In fact, some experts say USA brewers have surpassed Belgium and Germany and now produce the best beers in the world.  As you can imagine this is something of a controversy, but the USA does have the tradition of stealing whatever we want from other cultures and trying to make the best of it.  The GABF also has a lot of variety as American brewers brew nearly every style of beer imagineable (which is less common elsewhere in the world.)

A bunk of international beer geeks I know will be there.  Should be fun.
-Joel.
Title: Sept.29-Oct. 1: The Great American Beer Festival
Post by: aowhaus on September 07, 2005, 08:38:56 AM
yeah, I remember some non-American beers there.
I think Canadians still make the best beers around -- my favorites: Creemore Springs, Sleemans, and Upper Canada Brewery.

I remember quite a few college and frat kids there on a Saturday, but it didn't bother me.  Everyone was having a fun time and I haven't been in a place with so many happy and friendly people around.
Title: Sept.29-Oct. 1: The Great American Beer Festival
Post by: Eric18T on September 07, 2005, 08:53:27 AM
where do all you guys work downtown? We should meet up for lunch sometime. I am up at 17th and broadway.
Title: Sept.29-Oct. 1: The Great American Beer Festival
Post by: jfrahm on September 07, 2005, 09:38:17 AM
I don't recall any non-USA brewers present, but naturally there are beers of nearly every style in the world.  It would be interesting to go to the World Beer Cup and see how the USA beers stack up (in like styles) to the overseas counterparts, many of which are not exported to the USA or do not travel well.

Canada makes some great beers.   Unibroue is a favorite of mine.  
-Joel.
Title: Sept.29-Oct. 1: The Great American Beer Festival
Post by: aowhaus on September 07, 2005, 10:06:50 AM
I work at 18th and Wynkoop (across the street from the Wynkoop Brew Pub).
Title: Sept.29-Oct. 1: The Great American Beer Festival
Post by: BHase on September 07, 2005, 01:27:33 PM
Quote from: "jfrahm"
The GABF is one of the the top events in the world.  In fact, some experts say USA brewers have surpassed Belgium and Germany and now produce the best beers in the world.  As you can imagine this is something of a controversy, but the USA does have the tradition of stealing whatever we want from other cultures and trying to make the best of it.


As a bit of an international beer geek and connoisseur (???) myself, I have to say that I wholeheartedly agree with the importance of the GABF, as I stated in my first post on this topic.

However, I would really like to know how these 'experts' came to the conclusion that American beers have surpassed Belgian and German beers.  As a frequent drinker of many different types of beers, and from many different areas, I can safely say that few regions produce beers like those of another.  For example, even the yeast cultures used in the brewing process can be significantly different; Weihenstephan, which has existed in Germany since ca. 1060, has a yeast culture that is the product of almost a millenium of brewing research. The Belgians have groups such as the Trappist and Ciceran monks, whose beers are similar to some others, but truly unique in many ways.  Some so unique that they are protected by international trademark laws, e.g. the Belgian lambic. And in some countries, such as the U.K., the malt is purposely burnt to produce a far darker and more 'roasted' taste in beers, a practice which wouldn't even be admissible in Germany under the Reinheitsgebot, or Purity Law, propagated sometime in the mid-1500s.

Next is the nature of the brewing industry.  There is no brewery in the world that can rival Anheuser-Busch in size, but in my opinion, these breweries produce for quantity.  Even if we are to take a large brewery such as St. James, which produces Guinness, we can see that while a good beer is produced, there is a lack of variety (in the case of Guinness you can pick between stout and extra stout).  However, the majority of European brewing is done in small beer houses, comparable to the American microbrewery.  As frequentors of Germany will attest, you rarely order a brand of beer (e.g. Paulaner, Becks) in a German restaurant, rather you order by type (e.g. dark hefeweizen, pilsner).  This is possible because there is a vast abundance of small local breweries that form exclusive contracts with the beer halls and restaurants.  So you may often not even know exactly what it is that you are drinking (unless you look at the glass or at the sign presented generally on the front of the building).  This emphasis does not exist in the United States; you know when you're drinking a Fat Tire from New Belgium over a Michelob Amber Bock, because it is the brand you order, not the type (in this case, amber).

None of this is to prove one's worth over another, rather it is to show that the regional differences both in the process of making beer and in the method of distributing (insofar as there are different philosophies of what makes a good brewery) lead to a global beer culture that does not allow for comparisons such as "X is better than Y", but only for "I like X better than Y".  I know it wasn't your statement, but I felt it was important enough to address. And this is an online forum. And I am a beer snob. :)

Ben
Title: Sept.29-Oct. 1: The Great American Beer Festival
Post by: hotani on September 07, 2005, 02:08:22 PM
Quote from: "Eric18T"
where do all you guys work downtown? We should meet up for lunch sometime. I am up at 17th and broadway.


16th and Broadway. :)


As for the USA beers vs Rest of The World, from what I've tried so far I'm going with American beer. We can't build a decent car but we sure did get the beer right.

I've tried many different styles of beers from other countries, and being an ale man myself, I tend to lean towards English and Irish brews rather than the German lagers - and I haven't been very impressed with the Belgian beers I've had so far, which means absolutely nothing since I haven't had that many.

Overall the American stuff I've had so far has been the most impressive. Specifically the IPAs and wheat beers. However, there is a special place in my heart for Irish stouts - namely Guinness and Murphey's. America has yet to produce a Guinness-killer. :)
Title: Sept.29-Oct. 1: The Great American Beer Festival
Post by: aowhaus on September 07, 2005, 02:19:31 PM
Quote from: "BHase"
Quote from: "jfrahm"
The GABF is one of the the top events in the world.  In fact, some experts say USA brewers have surpassed Belgium and Germany and now produce the best beers in the world.  As you can imagine this is something of a controversy, but the USA does have the tradition of stealing whatever we want from other cultures and trying to make the best of it.


As a bit of an international beer geek and connoisseur (???) myself, I have to say that I wholeheartedly agree with the importance of the GABF, as I stated in my first post on this topic.

However, I would really like to know how these 'experts' came to the conclusion that American beers have surpassed Belgian and German beers.  As a frequent drinker of many different types of beers, and from many different areas, I can safely say that few regions produce beers like those of another.  For example, even the yeast cultures used in the brewing process can be significantly different; Weihenstephan, which has existed in Germany since ca. 1060, has a yeast culture that is the product of almost a millenium of brewing research. The Belgians have groups such as the Trappist and Ciceran monks, whose beers are similar to some others, but truly unique in many ways.  Some so unique that they are protected by international trademark laws, e.g. the Belgian lambic. And in some countries, such as the U.K., the malt is purposely burnt to produce a far darker and more 'roasted' taste in beers, a practice which wouldn't even be admissible in Germany under the Reinheitsgebot, or Purity Law, propagated sometime in the mid-1500s.

Next is the nature of the brewing industry.  There is no brewery in the world that can rival Anheuser-Busch in size, but in my opinion, these breweries produce for quantity.  Even if we are to take a large brewery such as St. James, which produces Guinness, we can see that while a good beer is produced, there is a lack of variety (in the case of Guinness you can pick between stout and extra stout).  However, the majority of European brewing is done in small beer houses, comparable to the American microbrewery.  As frequentors of Germany will attest, you rarely order a brand of beer (e.g. Paulaner, Becks) in a German restaurant, rather you order by type (e.g. dark hefeweizen, pilsner).  This is possible because there is a vast abundance of small local breweries that form exclusive contracts with the beer halls and restaurants.  So you may often not even know exactly what it is that you are drinking (unless you look at the glass or at the sign presented generally on the front of the building).  This emphasis does not exist in the United States; you know when you're drinking a Fat Tire from New Belgium over a Michelob Amber Bock, because it is the brand you order, not the type (in this case, amber).

None of this is to prove one's worth over another, rather it is to show that the regional differences both in the process of making beer and in the method of distributing (insofar as there are different philosophies of what makes a good brewery) lead to a global beer culture that does not allow for comparisons such as "X is better than Y", but only for "I like X better than Y".  I know it wasn't your statement, but I felt it was important enough to address. And this is an online forum. And I am a beer snob. :)

Ben


We salute you, Mr. Analytical Beer Drinker Connoisseur.

Real man of genius...
[/b]

 :lol:
Title: Sept.29-Oct. 1: The Great American Beer Festival
Post by: BHase on September 07, 2005, 02:25:54 PM
Quote from: "hotani"
As for the USA beers vs Rest of The World, from what I've tried so far I'm going with American beer.


You must be one of the experts.  :D

Ben
Title: Sept.29-Oct. 1: The Great American Beer Festival
Post by: hotani on September 07, 2005, 02:30:35 PM
Self-proclaimed. :P
Title: Sept.29-Oct. 1: The Great American Beer Festival
Post by: jfrahm on September 07, 2005, 02:59:04 PM
Who brews the best beer in the world is a luridly philosphical (and perpetual) debate.  AB, Lebatts, St. James Gate, and other megas don't really enter into it.  Every country has it's megas.  When I was in Belgium I was astounded that I could choose from several fantastic trappist beers in a night shop at 2:00am, yet the locals tended to get tall boys of Jupiler to drink on the street.  Whatever.

How does New Glarus in Wisconsin compare to Fantome in the Ardennes?  How does Great Lakes or Goose Island's Dortmunder style stack up against Wolnzach?  Impossible to say.  We can judge them and give them medals, but that will not end the debate.

From what I have seen/tried/experienced, I feel that the USA generally produces the best beer.  That is to say, of all the styles of the world, given a fair blind tasting, the USA will generally have more beers in the top three than any other single country.  Heller or Spezial might have a better rauchbier, St. Sixtus (or for that matter St. Bernardus) a better Quadruppel, but the USA produces a great if not the best example of nearly every category.  If I had to pick a country to produce the beer I drink henceforth, it'd be the USA and I would survive (but I'd be begging Great Lakes to clone the best Bamberg Rauchbiers and Keesman Bock effectively.)

This is mostly a factor of the USA's size, our diversity, our ability to attract brewers from around the world to work in the USA, and the fiercely competitive spirit of the USA brewers.

The best brewery equipment probably still comes from Germany. :-)

-Joel.
Title: Sept.29-Oct. 1: The Great American Beer Festival
Post by: hotani on September 21, 2005, 11:22:13 AM
So who's in for Friday 9/30? Just want to make sure I won't be on my own if I'm dropping $35! :)
Title: Sept.29-Oct. 1: The Great American Beer Festival
Post by: aowhaus on September 21, 2005, 11:48:34 AM
I could make it on Friday (the ultimate afterwork happy hour).

I think Andrew and Pat may be interested.
Title: Sept.29-Oct. 1: The Great American Beer Festival
Post by: hotani on September 21, 2005, 01:07:53 PM
well ok then. I'll get a ticket and meet you guys somewhere between here and there with my little notepad friday. :)
Title: Sept.29-Oct. 1: The Great American Beer Festival
Post by: aowhaus on September 23, 2005, 08:41:40 AM
Andrew will be out of town, but I have a couple other friends joining me on Friday.
Title: Sept.29-Oct. 1: The Great American Beer Festival
Post by: hotani on September 27, 2005, 09:09:08 AM
Holy crap... looked online for tix:

Quote

Tickets (Great American Beer Festival)     
Full Price Ticket    US $40.00 x 1
Total Convenience Charge(s)

   US $5.75 x 1

Order Processing Charge(s)    US $3.30
ticketFast Delivery

   US $2.50

TOTAL CHARGES    US $51.55

Wow. $10 of BS "handling" charges. I'll buy em at the door, or go by today. Anyone know if you can just walk over and buy tix at the convention center anytime?
Title: Sept.29-Oct. 1: The Great American Beer Festival
Post by: 92UrS4 on September 27, 2005, 09:26:21 AM
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, :)
Title: Sept.29-Oct. 1: The Great American Beer Festival
Post by: hotani on September 27, 2005, 11:30:48 AM
Ah, Old C's is convenient maybe i'll go by there.

I've enlisted (http://forums.vwvortex.com/zerothread?id=2210116) the help (http://www.passatworld.com/forums/showthread.php?t=194055) of our national VW bretheren in order to have something to work with when I go Friday. I'm keeping an updated list (http://hotani.net/blog/articles/index.php?link=v&arid=87) on my blog.
Title: Sept.29-Oct. 1: The Great American Beer Festival
Post by: aowhaus on September 27, 2005, 12:20:04 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.)
Title: Sept.29-Oct. 1: The Great American Beer Festival
Post by: hotani on September 27, 2005, 12:38:37 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.
Title: Sept.29-Oct. 1: The Great American Beer Festival
Post by: aowhaus on September 27, 2005, 01:59:26 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.
Title: Sept.29-Oct. 1: The Great American Beer Festival
Post by: hotani on September 28, 2005, 09:46:45 AM
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
Title: Sept.29-Oct. 1: The Great American Beer Festival
Post by: jfrahm on September 28, 2005, 10:54:35 AM
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.

-Joel.
Title: Sept.29-Oct. 1: The Great American Beer Festival
Post by: Eric18T on September 28, 2005, 02:15:28 PM
can someone please try the new sam adams light? i am curious if it is as good as they say.
Title: Sept.29-Oct. 1: The Great American Beer Festival
Post by: hotani on September 28, 2005, 03:12:15 PM
Good info from 'Matt' on the vortex thread (http://forums.vwvortex.com/zerothread?id=2210116):

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
Title: Sept.29-Oct. 1: The Great American Beer Festival
Post by: aowhaus on September 28, 2005, 08:46:12 PM
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.
Title: Sept.29-Oct. 1: The Great American Beer Festival
Post by: hotani on September 28, 2005, 09:50:59 PM
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 (http://hotani.net/blog/articles/index.php?link=v&arid=87) (19 breweries to try and counting...) and am ready to go! :D
Title: Sept.29-Oct. 1: The Great American Beer Festival
Post by: jfrahm on September 29, 2005, 08:20:11 AM
What time are you getting there?  I am looking into going tonight for a while.

-Joel.
Title: Sept.29-Oct. 1: The Great American Beer Festival
Post by: hotani on September 29, 2005, 08:40:27 AM
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.
Title: Sept.29-Oct. 1: The Great American Beer Festival
Post by: aowhaus on September 29, 2005, 05:34:42 PM
anyone going on Friday?

here's my cell: 720.341.6507
Title: Sept.29-Oct. 1: The Great American Beer Festival
Post by: hotani on September 29, 2005, 08:02:42 PM
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.
Title: Sept.29-Oct. 1: The Great American Beer Festival
Post by: PasSoup on September 29, 2005, 09:03:22 PM
You write with such clarity, I would be able to think staight let alone write after that.  Good night Charles.... :)
Title: Sept.29-Oct. 1: The Great American Beer Festival
Post by: aowhaus on October 01, 2005, 11:51:22 AM
ugh, hangover...
Title: Sept.29-Oct. 1: The Great American Beer Festival
Post by: aowhaus on October 01, 2005, 08:16:18 PM
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.
Title: Sept.29-Oct. 1: The Great American Beer Festival
Post by: hotani on October 01, 2005, 11:45:30 PM
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.
Title: Sept.29-Oct. 1: The Great American Beer Festival
Post by: jfrahm on October 02, 2005, 11:01:55 AM
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.

-Joel.
Title: Sept.29-Oct. 1: The Great American Beer Festival
Post by: hotani on October 02, 2005, 12:02:52 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+.
Title: Sept.29-Oct. 1: The Great American Beer Festival
Post by: hotani on October 05, 2005, 10:21:22 AM
Nice to see CO breweries won 29 medals (http://www.beertown.org/events/gabf/medals/medalists.aspx)!

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