GABF 2015 Recap

The 2015 Great American Beer Fest has come and gone and has left me thirsty for next year. Our second year in attendance was pretty rad and we learned a lot from 2014. This year, we attended both Saturday sessions and did it smartly. I tasted and rated 113 brews out of over 3,700+ beers. We focused on new breweries and brews we can’t get in Seattle (looking at you Texas) and hit up a few old faithfuls like Firestone Walker (XVIII) and Ska Brewing (20th Anniversary Beer).

We were semi-unorganized newbies for GABF 2014 and filled that night with high ABV beers. This year we partied with mostly Sours, Saisons, Grisettes with the occasional Bourbon Barrel-aged something to the unique CBD infused IPA (kudos Dads & Dudes!).

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A few of the most memorable beers of the weekend:

  • Lake Tahoe Brewing Co (Carson City NV) – Fossy Fussy: 100% Brett fermented farmhouse style dry-hopped and aged with fresh ginger, watermelon, honeydew, cantaloupe and hibiscus. It was as tasty as it sounds!
  • Panther Island Brewing (Ft Worth TX) – Allergeez: We chatted with friendly Joe Chapa for a bit about this relatively new brewery and the booming brew bust of North Texas. This spiced delight won Silver in the ‘Herb & Spice’ category and a 4-star rating from me!
  • Ratio Beerworks (Denver CO) – Wicked Grin: We actually hit up this brewery on Friday night and they have a stellar line-up of saisons. My favorite being the plum saison. The lime gose is also great as we brought a bottle home with us. Still kicking myself for not buying two more.
  • Shorts Brewing (Bellaire MI) – Melt My Brain: One of my all-time favorite cocktails is a simple gin and tonic and this was on point with heavy juniper and slight gin.
  • Six Rivers Brewery (Mckinleyville CA) – Macadamia Nut Porter: This porter captured the essence of the macadamia beautifully! 4 STARS!
  • The Rare Barrel (Berkeley CA): We got back into this line 4 times to try them all, my favorites being the Home, Sour Home and Another World.
  • Zwanzigz Brewing (Columbus IN) – The Ticket Chocolate Beer: If it looks like a cow, but barks… is it really a cow? This is the lightest colored AND most chocolate-ly beer I ever tasted. I also love that the brewer named the Nvllivs In Verba brew after an episode of Cosmos.
  • 10 Barrel Brewing (Bend OR) – Cucumber Crush: Very refreshing Berliner Weisse with lots of cucumbers!

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A trip to Denver is never complete without a stop at Crooked Stave… Sunday’s tapping of the Nightmare on Brett in Port Barrels was excellent! A few tasties we brought home.