Oct 6, 2014
Well, we survived another year of GABF, discovered some new favorites, and ended up only slightly hung over.
It’s fun to think about all of the beers under one roof, but you can’t even hope to try everything on your GABF wish list, even if you attend every session of the weekend. By the time the Saturday night session (which is what we attended) comes around, many of the rock star, must-try beers are long gone (I’m looking at you, Cigar City!). And in three times at the annual festival, any strategy I’ve concocted in the lead up to the festival has fallen apart approximately eight seconds after I entered the doors. If you’ve attended GABF, you know exactly what I’m talking about. But don’t kid yourself, there’s still more than enough great beer to sample at the last session of the weekend. I discovered a bunch of beers and breweries I’d never heard of, and most of them weren’t even on my wish list. This year, I decided to snap a picture of the info label, bottle, or can of any beer that caught my attention. It worked, and here’s five beers (in order) that stood out for me at the 2014 Great American Beer Festival.
Holy shit! GABF 2014 Gold medal in the American-style Fruit Beer category, but don’t be fooled, this is a big ole stout with just the right hit if raspberry. Richmond, now I want to visit you for your metal scene AND your beer! Hardywood Park Craft Brewery, Richmond, VA
Local friends, Oskar Blues score a Bronze in the Chocolate Beer category. More importantly, they slide into 2nd place on my list! I hope this one makes it onto CO store shelves! So tasty, and I’m not even a big fan of Porters! Oskar Blues, Longmont, CO
A GABF 2014 Gold Medal winner, and the best Pumpkin beer I’ve ever tasted. 7.5% ABV, 10 IBU. Yeah, yeah, yeah, another “flavored”, “fruit”, non-traditional beer. Who cares, this one knocked my socks off! Any of my Midwest friends willing to get some of this to me?! Stevens Point Brewery, Stevens Point, WI.
Right up there with any of my favorites, and the best of the MANY IPAs and DIPAs I sampled this year. Columbus calls it a Double IPA, and at 8% ABV, I guess it could go either way, but it took Bronze in the very competitive American-style IPA category. Their Creeper DIPA took Gold in the equally, if not more competitive Imperial IPA category, so I think these guys know a bit about brewing IPAs! Columbus Brewing Company, Columbus, OH
Let’s face it, I could put damn near anything from Jolly Pumpkin on this list, but Ale Absurd topped all of them for me. Jolly Pumpkin Artisan Ales, Dexter, MI