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!).
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
- 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!
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.