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  1. #1
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    Great American Beer Festival

    The countdown is starting....in less then 1 month I will be heading out to Denver for the GABF.

    Not just attending the event but actually working it with a couple co-workers. We will be working 3 shifts and then on the last day after our shift we get to be the "customer".

    I'm pretty excited to see/sample all the different beers from around the country.

    Anyone else going or have been to one in the past??

  2. #2
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    Sounds like fun

  3. #3
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    Where do you work row-z?

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    Quote Originally Posted by Carl Hungus View Post
    Where do you work row-z?
    I work for a used College Textbook wholesaler....we are able to work at the festival because one of my co-workers is good friends with a person that is in charge of the workers for the event and they asked us to help, so my current job had nothing to do with me getting into the event other than knowing someone who knew someone else...lol.....I'd love to have a job in the beer industry

  5. #5
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    I'll be there. Tenth year in a row this year!

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by bipolarbear View Post
    I'll be there. Tenth year in a row this year!
    What day are you going...and how is it? I know we are working Thursday, Friday and Saturday morning and the will attend after our morning shift.

  7. #7
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    I will be there Thursday evening. What booth are you working that day row-z? do you know?

    This will be my second attendance, and I hope it will be better than the first.
    "Any wheel size is better than sitting at a computer all day." -Myself

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by Guerdonian View Post
    I will be there Thursday evening. What booth are you working that day row-z? do you know?

    This will be my second attendance, and I hope it will be better than the first.
    As of now we just got the shifts that we are working and I know we are working pouring the samples, but as of now I think it will be one of 3 regions, either the Pacific Northwest, The Colorado area, and one more (thinking it might be Hawaii etc)
    Last edited by row-z; 09-14-2012 at 09:32 AM.

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by row-z View Post
    As of now we just got the shifts that we are working and I know we are working puring the samples, but as of now I think it will be one of 3 regions, either the Pacific Northwest, The Colorado area, and one more (thinking it might be Hawaii etc)
    One of my major complaints from 2 years ago, was many of the pourers had no idea what they were serving. Please Please Please, try the beers that your serving, and try to at least learn enough about them to know style, basic flavors, etc...

    1/2 of the time i asked a server something basic like "is this a porter or a stout?" or "is there orange peel in this, it tastes just like it?" i was met with a deer in headlights look.

    My first experience was on a Sat. night, which was when the drinking crowd comes out, and its chaos inside, so i don't blame the servers, and I am going to give the experience another try on a milder night.
    "Any wheel size is better than sitting at a computer all day." -Myself

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by Guerdonian View Post
    One of my major complaints from 2 years ago, was many of the pourers had no idea what they were serving. Please Please Please, try the beers that your serving, and try to at least learn enough about them to know style, basic flavors, etc...

    1/2 of the time i asked a server something basic like "is this a porter or a stout?" or "is there orange peel in this, it tastes just like it?" i was met with a deer in headlights look.

    My first experience was on a Sat. night, which was when the drinking crowd comes out, and its chaos inside, so i don't blame the servers, and I am going to give the experience another try on a milder night.
    Great advice for the GABF, or any beer festival volunteer for that matter!
    A fanatic is one who can't change his mind and won't change the subject. - Winston Churchill

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by Guerdonian View Post
    One of my major complaints from 2 years ago, was many of the pourers had no idea what they were serving. Please Please Please, try the beers that your serving, and try to at least learn enough about them to know style, basic flavors, etc...

    1/2 of the time i asked a server something basic like "is this a porter or a stout?" or "is there orange peel in this, it tastes just like it?" i was met with a deer in headlights look.

    My first experience was on a Sat. night, which was when the drinking crowd comes out, and its chaos inside, so i don't blame the servers, and I am going to give the experience another try on a milder night.
    Awesome info right there....I know a little about beers but will admit I don't know a ton, but I think the good part is they have us working the same booth all three days and you get a little crash course before your first shift and hopefully as the event goes on I will learn more

  12. #12
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    They are actually encouraging brewery reps to occupy their tents and educate their vollys this year because that was one of the #1 complaints in a survey.

    I'll be there for all sessions. It's my yearly marathon for my liver. Gotta get it in shape for ski season.

  13. #13
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    ^^^ Good to hear,

    Bipolar are you working? or just there for the booze and revelry.
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  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by Guerdonian View Post
    ^^^ Good to hear,

    Bipolar are you working? or just there for the booze and revelry.
    Both actually.
    Last edited by bipolarbear; 10-02-2012 at 08:35 AM.

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    I will be there its my 15th year going and first time with Schooners Grille and Brewery wish us luck we are in the competition. Come by our booth for a taste I will be in the pacific section.

  16. #16
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    We're in for Thur eve.

    I can bring NM brews if you get your orders in:

    La Cumbre Brewing Co
    Marble Breweing Co
    Santa Fe Brewing Co
    Last edited by MTBNate; 09-18-2012 at 06:02 PM.
    "Someone must have put alcohol in my beer last night." ~ Mr. Richard Baty, Esq.


  17. #17
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    We'll also be at Falling Rock a bit as well.

    Can't miss this Falling Rock Special Tap:
    Oskar Blues (Longmont, CO) - Come try out a trio of barrel aged Beers from Oskar Blues, Ten-Fidy aged in a Beam Barrel, Gubna aged in a Wild Turkey Barrel, & Chub Aged in an Austin Nichols Barrel

    **edit**

    and in for these:
    Cigar City (Tampa, FL) - Oatmeal Raisin Cookie, Humidor IPA, Good Gourd, Apple Brandy Barrel Aged Hunahpu’s, Cucumber Saison
    Last edited by MTBNate; 09-19-2012 at 10:41 AM.
    "Someone must have put alcohol in my beer last night." ~ Mr. Richard Baty, Esq.


  18. #18
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    Just downloaded the GABF app. Greatly improved over last year. Can't wait for next Thur!
    "Someone must have put alcohol in my beer last night." ~ Mr. Richard Baty, Esq.


  19. #19
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    I've been in FL for ~ 5 months. What a culture/climate shock. Recently finished up a brewery tour of Cigar City.

    They make pretty good beers. Oatmeal raisin cookie is worth a taste just for it's uniqueness. Tastes just like the cookie. Good Gourd is a quality pumpkin-spice ale - if you can get it on nitro it almost tastes like pumpkin pie with a dollop of whipped cream. The barrel aged Hanahpu should be the first one you try - it gets rave reviews. I would pass on the cucumber saison and IPA - they are OK, but not top examples.

    I'll be back in NM ~ Aug '13. I am already planning on the 2013 GABF.


    Quote Originally Posted by MTBNate View Post
    We'll also be at Falling Rock a bit as well.

    Can't miss this Falling Rock Special Tap:
    Oskar Blues (Longmont, CO) - Come try out a trio of barrel aged Beers from Oskar Blues, Ten-Fidy aged in a Beam Barrel, Gubna aged in a Wild Turkey Barrel, & Chub Aged in an Austin Nichols Barrel

    **edit**

    and in for these:
    Cigar City (Tampa, FL) - Oatmeal Raisin Cookie, Humidor IPA, Good Gourd, Apple Brandy Barrel Aged Hunahpu’s, Cucumber Saison

  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by MTBNate View Post
    Just downloaded the GABF app. Greatly improved over last year. Can't wait for next Thur!
    Where did you find the app? Do they have a DROID app?

  21. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by bipolarbear View Post
    Where did you find the app? Do they have a DROID app?
    It's in the Apple App Store, donno if its android friendly
    "Someone must have put alcohol in my beer last night." ~ Mr. Richard Baty, Esq.


  22. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by MTBNate View Post
    It's in the Apple App Store, donno if its android friendly
    I downloaded it a week or so ago and it is a really cool app. It will make it easy to track the beers that you try and also the map of the floor showing where each region is located is a nice feature....since I will be working the first 3 shifts I'm hoping I can scope out the ones I really want to hit.

    I did find out me and my friends will be working at one of the Rocky Mtn booths.

  23. #23
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    Edit:

    Cheers!
    Last edited by MTBNate; 10-04-2012 at 04:52 PM.
    "Someone must have put alcohol in my beer last night." ~ Mr. Richard Baty, Esq.


  24. #24
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    Here's a link for anyone interested in the app for Iphone or Android:
    Mobile App Back and Better Than Ever « Great American Beer Festival

    Now let's just see how it works in the dead zone that is the convention center.

  25. #25
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    Heading down to Denver in 30min, Ill be wearing a khaki New Belgium driving cap, jeans, beard, glasses, and the eye patch (well not the eye patch). Maybe see a couple of you there. I respond to the following names:

    Jon
    Guerdonian
    Sexy Pants
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  26. #26
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    2 of my friends are there, I am quite jealous.
    Ride Bikes, Drink Craft Beer, Repeat.

  27. #27
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    We just arrived at our hotel in downtown. A short 7 min walk to the CC!

    I'll have a brown La Cumbre work shirt on.
    "Someone must have put alcohol in my beer last night." ~ Mr. Richard Baty, Esq.


  28. #28
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    Quote Originally Posted by MTBNate View Post
    We just arrived at our hotel in downtown. A short 7 min walk to the CC!

    I'll have a brown La Cumbre work shirt on.
    Sweet, I will keep my eyes pealed. I would have said bearded guy with a flannel pattern shirt, but i think that covers about 50% of the attendees
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  29. #29
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    All you guys have fun, drink lots, and take loads of pictures/notes!
    I'll be attending vicariously through each of you
    A fanatic is one who can't change his mind and won't change the subject. - Winston Churchill

  30. #30
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    Waiting in the HBA members line..

    15 min & counting down
    "Someone must have put alcohol in my beer last night." ~ Mr. Richard Baty, Esq.


  31. #31
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    Survived last night and at Avery this afternoon after a 4-wheeling trip up Left Hand Canyon above Boulder, CO.

    Meet "Tweak" a 16% Belgian Imperial Stout.

    Great American Beer Festival-imageuploadedbytapatalk1350075602.074836.jpg
    "Someone must have put alcohol in my beer last night." ~ Mr. Richard Baty, Esq.


  32. #32
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    Great diversity in the winners, which is awesome to see!

    Overall 2012 Awards:

    Large Brewing Company & Brewer Of The Year: Pabst
    Mid-Sized Brewing Company & Brewer Of The Year: Troegs
    Small Brewing Company & Brewer Of The Year: Funkwerks
    Brewpub Group Of The Year: Great Dane Pub
    Large Brepub & Brewer Of The Year: The Church Brew Works
    Small Brewpub & Brewer of the Year: Devil’s Backbone

    Festival Flair Awards:

    Best Decorated Inline Booth: Swamphead
    Best End Cap Booth: Stone

    Distributors:

    2012 Craft Beer Distributor of the Year: Tryon Distributors, NC
    2012 Distributor of the Year: Brown Distributing, FL

    Nancy Johnson Brewers Association Event Director: Trade Show Manager of the Year

    GABF Pro-Am: GOLD: More Fun Blonde New Belgium & Jay Shambo

    Beer Awards: 4338 Beers Entered

    American-Style Wheat Beer GOLD Blacktooth brewing Wagon Box Wheat
    American-Style Wheat Beer With Yeast GOLD Montana MBC Wheat
    Fruit Beer GOLD Dry Dock Apricot Blonde
    Fruit Wheat Beer GOLD Mad Anthony Ruby Raspberry
    Field Beer or Pumpkin Beer GOLD Stevens Point Whole Hog Pumpkin
    Herb and Spice Beer GOLD Burnside Brewing Sweet Heat
    Chocolate Beer GOLD Chicago Brewing Co Co for Coconuts
    Coffee Beer GOLD Smog City Groundwork
    Specialty Beer GOLD Rogue Hazelnut Brown Nectar
    Rye Beer GOLD Heretic Gramarye
    Specialty Honey Beer GOLD Twisted Pine Westbound Braggot
    Session Beer GOLD Pizza Port Twirp
    Other Strong Beer GOLD Boulevard Reverb Imperial Pilsner
    Experimental Beer GOLD Red Rock Brewing Parledon
    (NEW) Fresh Hop Ale GOLD Sierra Nevada Estate
    Indigenous Beer GOLD BJ’s Got Beer
    Gluten-Free Beer GOLD Rock Bottom Nikki’s Gluten Free Honey pale Ale
    American-Belgo-Style Ale GOLD Green Flash Le Freak
    American-Style Sour Ale GOLD Capt. Lawrence Barrel Select
    American-Style Brett Ale GOLD Logdson Farmhouse Ales Saison Bretta
    Wood- and Barrel-Aged Beer GOLD BJ’s Jerry Maker
    Wood- and Barrel-Aged Strong Beer GOLD Beer Co Manhattan Project
    Wood- and Barrel-Aged Strong Stout GOLD Central Waters 1414
    Wood- and Barrel-Aged Sour Beer GOLD Cisco Lady of the Woods
    Aged Beer GOLD Silver Moon Brewing 2010 Old Train Wreck
    Kellerbier or Zwickelbier GOLD Uncle Billy’s Brewing Bottle Rocket
    Smoke Beer GOLD Fort Collins Bombastic
    American-Style or International-Style Pilsener GOLD Auburn Ale House Gold Country Pilsner
    German-Style Pilsener GOLD Troegs Sunshine Pils
    Bohemian-Style Pilsener GOLD New Glarus Hometown Blonde
    Munich-Style Helles GOLD CB Potts 6x Helles
    Dortmunder or German-Style Oktoberfest GOLD The Sandlot Move Back
    American-Style Lager, Light Lager or Premium Lager GOLD Pabst Blue Ribbon
    American-Style Specialty Lager or Cream Ale or Lager GOLD Henry Winehards Blueboar Pale Ale
    Vienna-Style Lager GOLD Devils Backbone Vienna Lager
    German-Style Märzen GOLD Shiner Oktoberfest
    American-Style Amber Lager GOLD Stevens Point Pointoberfest
    European-Style Dunkel GOLD Equinox Knightrider Munich Dunkel
    American-Style Dark Lager GOLD Shiner Bock
    German-Style Schwarzbier GOLD Shiner Bohemian Black lager
    Bock GOLD Tommyknocker Butthead Bock
    German-Style Doppelbock or Eisbock GOLD Harpoon Uberbock
    Baltic-Style Porter GOLD Rock Bottom KOP The Hammer
    Golden or Blonde Ale GOLD Mad River Steelhead Xtra Pale Ale
    German-Style Kölsch GOLD Blind Tiger Capital City Kolsch
    English-Style Summer Ale GOLD Revolution Cross of Gold
    Classic English-Style Pale Ale GOLD Pericola’s Pale Ale
    English-Style India Pale Ale GOLD Goose Island IPA
    International-Style Pale Ale GOLD Eddyline River Runners Pale Ale
    American-Style Pale Ale GOLD Brickstone APA
    American-Style Strong Pale Ale GOLD Tie Me Up brewery Melvin
    (203 entries) American-Style India Pale Ale GOLD Tappet IPYay
    Imperial India Pale Ale GOLD Tie Me Up 2x4 (Jackson WY)
    American-Style Amber/Red Ale GOLD Troegs Hopback Amber
    Imperial Red Ale GOLD Laurelwood Organic Deranger Imperial Red
    English-Style Mild Ale GOLD Unita Bristlecone
    Ordinary or Special Bitter GOLD Firestone Walker DBA
    Extra Special Bitter GOLD No-Li Crystal Bitter Ale
    Scottish-Style Ale GOLD Maui Brewing Wee-Heavy
    Irish-Style Red Ale GOLD Glenwood Canyon Brewing Irish Red
    English-Style Brown Ale GOLD Sierra Blanca Nutbrown Ale
    American-Style Brown Ale GOLD Telluride Brewing Face Down Brown
    American-Style Black Ale GOLD Firestone Walker Wookie Jack
    German-Style Altbier GOLD Union Craft Balt Altbier
    German-Style Sour Ale GOLD Devils Backbone Berlinner Metroweiss
    South German-Style Hefeweizen GOLD Troegs Dreamweaver Wheat
    German-Style Wheat Ale GOLD Sandlot Wild Pitch
    Belgian-Style Witbier GOLD Boulevard Zon
    French- and Belgian-Style Saison GOLD Funkwerks Saison
    Belgian and French-Style Ale GOLD Lost Abbey Saints Devotion
    Belgian-Style Lambic or Sour Ale GOLD Upland Sour Reserve
    Belgian-Style Abbey Ale GOLD Green Flash Tripel
    Belgian-Style Strong Specialty Ale GOLD Funkwerks Deceit
    Brown Porter GOLD Holy City Brewing Pluff Mud
    Robust Porter NO GOLD Awarded
    Classic Irish-Style Dry Stout GOLD--Pizza Port Seaside Stout
    Foreign-Style Stout GOLD Island Brewing Starry Night Stout
    American-Style Stout GOLD Pizza Port Order In The Port
    Sweet Stout GOLD Beachwood Udder Madness
    Oatmeal Stout GOLD Pizza Port Oats
    Imperial Stout GOLD Weasel Boy Anastasia RIS
    Scotch Ale GOLD Pizza Port Way Heavy
    Old Ale or Strong Ale GOLD The Church Brew Works Heinie’s Hooch
    Barley Wine-Style Ale GOLD Sun King Johan The Barleywine
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  33. #33
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    So i didn't take any pictures, sorry

    Thursday night was a lot of fun though, much better than the Saturday night events I have attended in the past. More mellow, less crowded, less pass out drunken debochery. I probably taisted over 35 beers this time, but had a much more relaxed aproach of wandering the isles and asking people "whats good". I mostly got a lot of the predictable "dogfish bla bla" or "russian river this that" but sometimes I would get a local from out of state who would inform me of their watering hole that I had to try, those were the answers I was looking for. We also did the beer-food pairing event which was informative, and gave a nice break from the masses for an hour.

    My highlights were the following:

    Most surprisingly good beer (best in show IMO): Indra Kunindra from ballast Point.
    This beer was epic, and a total surprise. My wife handed it to me and said "YOU HAVE TO TRY THIS!" i read the description of "coconut, kaffir lime leaf, cumin and curry" and must admit i was very sceptical. It was spectacular, and the best beer surprise of the evening.

    Biggest Disappointment: Founders Carmidgeon
    Maybe it wasn't my thing, but i made a point to try this beer, and was not pleased.

    Honorable mention: 3 Floyds Zombie Dust
    B-lined it to 3 Floyds first, and made this my first beer of the night. Great DIPA, quite good.

    Best Brewery I knew about: Shorts Brewery
    Thanks to Jfryauff i have been able to try a few of their beers, but this event allowed me to try a few more. Solid brewery, solid selection, solid beers, very pleased.

    Best Brewery I didn't know about: Destihl
    A friend of ours pointed us toward this brewery and it was my favorite of the night. The only one where I tried their entire line up. All of which was amazing, particularly their sours.
    "Any wheel size is better than sitting at a computer all day." -Myself

  34. #34
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    Did my 3 sessions of pouring beers for the Rocky Mountains area, at first we wanted to jump around and pour for as many different places as possible, but in the end we figured it was better to stay with the same breweries each shift we worked which helped to learn more about the beers we were pouring.

    I worked mainly for 2 smaller breweries, one was Shades Of Pale out of Park City Utah...this was a small little brewery with 3 beers that they brought with them. In utah they are a little more limited in what they can do, for example they guys told me that anything that they bottle can only be 4%...a few people turned their noses up at that number but I've got to tell you these guys brew some damn good beer, They had a Porter called 4-Play, an IPA called Publican Pale Ale, and a wheat beer called Jack Wagon Wheat....Great beers and great guys.

    Other times I poured for San Luis Valley Brewing out of Alamosa Colorado....They had a few more beers with them, but still hand bottled and hand labeled all the beer they made. A few of my favorites here were a Java Chocolate Stout, a Alamosa Amber...but by far my favorite from these guys was Valle Caliente...this was a Green Chili Lager and man it was good. I've had some other chili beers in my time and the chili was so overpowering that you couldn't even enjoy it (or at least I couldn't) this beer they had had a nice pepper smell and when you drank it you got the hint of the chili flavor but it wasn't too much....almost everyone that tried this beer took a second and sometime third or fourth taste and all made a comment of how good it was...we heard comments like "This makes me want to go order some mexican food" and one guy said it reminded him of the breakfast burrito he had that morning

    All said and done it was a great time with 3 of my friends....we got to sample some great beers (problem is most of them I can't get in my area) we had some good food and I think from my time walking around the Beer Festival I got enough bottle openers to last me a while

  35. #35
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    Quote Originally Posted by Guerdonian View Post
    Most surprisingly good beer (best in show IMO): Indra Kunindra from ballast Point.
    This beer was epic, and a total surprise. My wife handed it to me and said "YOU HAVE TO TRY THIS!" i read the description of "coconut, kaffir lime leaf, cumin and curry" and must admit i was very sceptical. It was spectacular, and the best beer surprise of the evening.

    That is surprising, I think that beer is gross. I don't want curry flavor in my beer.
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  36. #36
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    Quote Originally Posted by Guerdonian View Post
    Most surprisingly good beer (best in show IMO): Indra Kunindra from ballast Point.
    This beer was epic, and a total surprise. My wife handed it to me and said "YOU HAVE TO TRY THIS!" i read the description of "coconut, kaffir lime leaf, cumin and curry" and must admit i was very sceptical. It was spectacular, and the best beer surprise of the evening.
    I f*cking love that beer. And they are bottling it now too! I'm going shopping this weekend

    Seriously, some people hate it, some people like it. They also make a Thai Chili Lime Wahoo Wheat, Habanero Sculpin, and a Jalapeno Abandon Ship Smoked Lager. I think those beers are fun and pretty damn exciting.

    Quote Originally Posted by Guerdonian View Post
    Honorable mention: 3 Floyds Zombie Dust
    B-lined it to 3 Floyds first, and made this my first beer of the night. Great DIPA, quite good.
    ZD is a Pale Ale! That's what makes it even more awesome.

  37. #37
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    Quote Originally Posted by jtmartino View Post
    I f*cking love that beer. And they are bottling it now too! I'm going shopping this weekend

    Seriously, some people hate it, some people like it. They also make a Thai Chili Lime Wahoo Wheat, Habanero Sculpin, and a Jalapeno Abandon Ship Smoked Lager. I think those beers are fun and pretty damn exciting.
    .
    They actually started bottling it last year as an anniversary beer for Holiday Wine Cellar in Escondido before they decided to mass market it.

    I am gonna have to agree to disagree with you on this one.
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  38. #38
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    Quote Originally Posted by Guerdonian View Post
    One of my major complaints from 2 years ago, was many of the pourers had no idea what they were serving. Please Please Please, try the beers that your serving, and try to at least learn enough about them to know style, basic flavors, etc...

    1/2 of the time i asked a server something basic like "is this a porter or a stout?" or "is there orange peel in this, it tastes just like it?" i was met with a deer in headlights look.

    My first experience was on a Sat. night, which was when the drinking crowd comes out, and its chaos inside, so i don't blame the servers, and I am going to give the experience another try on a milder night.
    You get what you pay for. The volunteers are just that.

    I was one of them, I volunteered for the last two GABF but missed this year. I happen to know quite a bit about beer, I homebrew, and was actually a little frustrated that you aren't encouraged to sample the beer you are pouring until official game time. Not a huge deal, there is plenty of time once the festival starts to get to know the beers and the brewers.

    A bigger challenge - why did I volunteer? Why to drink free beer of course. So the bigger challenge was trying NOT to get drunk, so I could have decent conversations with the attendees.

    Keep in mind volunteers are intermingled among an island of breweries, as breaks are ongoing throughout the event, so at times a pourer may have just shown up at the spot you requested a drink.

    If the brewers care about the impression their beers have, they should stay parked. Many of the smaller brewers would actually do much of the pouring themselves, so they could interact with the drinkers.

    Hope you enjoyed it this year, it is a good time.

  39. #39
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    Quote Originally Posted by Klurejr View Post
    They actually started bottling it last year as an anniversary beer for Holiday Wine Cellar in Escondido before they decided to mass market it.

    I am gonna have to agree to disagree with you on this one.
    When you've tried as many beers as I have, sometimes you just need something new and fun. But I definitely get your point - I'm the same way with the Stone Belgo Anise Stout. I think that beer is terrible, but many people love it.

  40. #40
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    Quote Originally Posted by jtmartino View Post
    When you've tried as many beers as I have, sometimes you just need something new and fun. But I definitely get your point - I'm the same way with the Stone Belgo Anise Stout. I think that beer is terrible, but many people love it.
    So weird you mention that, I like the Belgo Anise, and I am not a Anise/black licorice type person.
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