HELP Us Beer Nerds! Were Going to GABF, What Should We Drink?

Ok, so it is no secret that Jim and I are going to GABF this weekend.  We were able to get brewers passes for Friday and Saturday so we will burn the hell out of those puppies.  What we haven’t figured out yet is a strategy.  Of course we want to drink beer that we can’t get.  That will be easier for me because I live in Idaho and can’t get a lot of beers.  Jim on the other hand might need to hunt around a little more to find brews that he doesn’t have a lot of access to because he lives in New Jersey, and Kevin from Liquor Outlet has made it his personal mission to get as many beers as possible.  Lets just say Jim is well cared for.

But I know that there are gems out there that neither of us have ever heard of.  These are the regional brews that many of you perhaps take for granted, but they should be available to us at GABF.  One I want to check out for sure is everything from Black Raven Brewery.  They are based in Washington State and I have heard nothing but positive stuff about their beers.  Black Raven is on the list.  What are some others?

Are there mind blowing beers that you have access to that we need to make sure we get a taste of while at GABF? I figure with over 450 breweries and over 2200 beers available at this years festival, there are bound to be great brews we have no clue exist, but someone does and that is where we need your help.  Guide us.  Tell us where we should concentrate.  We love all styles, but especially barrel aged brews.  Otherwise I’ll try anything.  Let us know in the comments we need your help!

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14 Comments on “HELP Us Beer Nerds! Were Going to GABF, What Should We Drink?”

  1. Rob Crozier
    September 15, 2010 at 10:43 am #

    I hear this really cool brewery has some beers you should seek out…I think they’re called Coors or something like that…NOT!

    Have a great time – can’t wait to hear about your adventure!

    • Don
      September 15, 2010 at 10:45 am #

      They are local to the GABF, but I’m pretty sure they would get booed out of the place if they dared to show their macro lovin faces!

    • September 15, 2010 at 10:45 am #

      Ha ha! I was gonna say the same thing. I hear there’s a Colorado brewery that makes this really refreshing light lager that comes in a silver can. It’s like a bullet.

  2. September 15, 2010 at 10:44 am #

    I think we need to find the hidden gems – the awesome stuff that few people know of, so I think this post is a good idea.

    Let others stand in a 30 minute line to taste Pliny. We’ll be drinking Knuckle Sandwich!

  3. phodog
    September 15, 2010 at 10:46 am #

    In the Pro-Am, a must try is Sully’s Belgian Blonde. A great brewer and a great guy, his pro partner is Dave Shaw from Sullivan’s Black Forrest in Frankenmuth Mi. and he is always spot on and perfect with his beers.

    • Don
      September 15, 2010 at 10:48 am #

      If we have access to the Pro-Am we will do just that Ray. We have Brewers passes so we aren’t completely sure if we can get into the Pro-Am with them or not. If not it is an extra $83 and will probably be tabled in favor of sleep. But if we can we’ll look for Sully’s Belgian Blonde. Thanks for the tip!

      • David
        September 15, 2010 at 5:46 pm #

        Everyone has access to several of the Pro-Am beers. The pro am booth is very large, and should not be missed. As for breweries to look out for, Shorts brewing in Michigan posted their list of beers they were brining online last week and they looked very interesting. My favorite brewery last year was Odell and i’m excited to see what they have on tap this year. Can’t wait, be there Friday night!

        By the way, there are booths for Coors, Bud, etc. They don’t get much traffic though. Don’t know why…..blech..

        • September 16, 2010 at 10:38 am #

          Thanks for the tip on Shorts. I’m not sure I’d look for them otherwise. Hope to see you there Friday night!

  4. mikemoriendi
    September 15, 2010 at 11:31 am #

    I’ll be at the AHA session on Saturday so I hope to see you guys.

    • Don
      September 15, 2010 at 11:44 am #

      If we can get in Mike, you can count on it! hope to see you otherwise too. 😉 Hope to be able to score some Cigar City brews while I’m there.

  5. Mark S.
    September 15, 2010 at 8:55 pm #

    Sounds like it is a far cry from when I went in ’95. Me and several buddies working in Denver at the time just kind of walked on in. We figured it would be a fun way to kill a Saturday afternoon. We were surprised that there was a swag bag included with the price of admission ($20, as I recall).

    For a laugh, I just checked out the list of winners for that year…

    http://www.greatamericanbeerfestival.com/the-competition/winners/past-winners/

    One thing I don’t understand about the GABF – how do Miller, Coors and their mainstream competitors keep winning the “American Lager” and “American Light Lager” type categories?

    Check out 2009 – they’re still up there! And it’s not like they’re the only entrants in those categories. Joke all you want, but I guess they’re still having the last laugh.

    • September 16, 2010 at 10:35 am #

      Wow – Red Dog took American Lager in 1995, and Schlitz won for best American Malt Liquor!!

  6. Mark S.
    September 15, 2010 at 8:58 pm #

    Inquiring minds want to know (see my above post). It might be a good line of inquiry to report on later. Or fodder for a podcast segment or some interviews. You guys will be interviewing people, right?

    😉

    Anyway, have a great time!

    • September 16, 2010 at 10:36 am #

      We’re planning on doing lots of stuff, Mark. We’re also planning on drinking a lot of beer, so those other plans might never come to fruition!

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