Friday, October 17, 2008

GABF Days 1 & 2

Hi all,

I am sure you all have read some GABF reviews so I am going to keep it short and sweet and give you some suggestions based on my first time experience. Let's start out by saying I had a blast. I can't wait to get back and I am already trying to get the family to meet up there for our weekly vacation. I got there on Thursday about 2 hours before the opening session. I was so psyched so I go there about 45 minutes early thinking the line would be starting but it was already real long. I just walked to the end and with in minutes I was talking with fellow beer drinks. Well we finally got in a then the "WOW!!!" it was beautiful a whole convention centerfull of beer. I didn't know where to start. So I just went to the closest station and grabbed a sample and started walking around to get the lay of the land. I didn't plan too much cause I was going for 3 out of the 4 sessions so i figured I would get what I missed the next day. I basically wandered around for 4 hours sampling with no plan in the world. The only place I made sure I hit was New Glarus becasue all the blogs said to go there quickly becasue they run out fast. There stuff was amazing. I highly recommend if you are ever in Wisconsin that you try to get to there brewery you won't be disappointed. While at one of the brewery's (I don't rembember which one) towards the end of the night I started talking to some people and the invited me to Falling Rock. So I went even though I had to get up early to volunteer with set up. It was a great decisions as I got to check out one of the coolest beer bars I had ever been to and sence it was GABF week they busted out some very unique beers. It was a blast. Next time you are in Denver hit the Falling Rock.

Lets just say the next morning came very quickly. I got to bed around 1am and got up at 7. It sounds like a good amout but when you have been brinking for the last 6 hours it comes quickly. I say you need 2 hours of sleep for every one of drinking. Well I got to the convention center thinking I had a 4 hour shift of setting up for the Friday night session. Well that 4 hours turned into 8.5. I didn't have anything to do and they need more help in the afternoon. I was thinking that set up would be easy but this was work. We did everything from cleaning to moving kegs and ice. I was exausted and I still had the session to attend. Don't get me wrong I would do it again in a heart beat it was actually kind of fun to see how everything runs. I met up with my friend who lives in Denver and we basically did the same thing as I did the day before wander around and sample. This was the day I got to try the famous Sam Adams "Utopias" I was really glad I got to try it and not buy it. I was pretty good but not worth $150 a bottle. I'll stick with the samples. By the end of the night I could barely standup I was so tired but my stomach always takes precident over sleep. I went with my friend, his wife, and friend to a bar/resteraunt called McCormicks. If you ever want a decent cheeseburger and fries for $2 bucks go here during happy hour. There is nothing like cheap greasy food after some good beers. After dinner about 1 again I got back to the hotel and just crashed. I couldn't wait to get my shoes off after 13 hours walking around the convention center. I hit the pillow and I was off to dream land.

I really have no clue all the beers I tried so i will just list my top 5 from each day.

1. Raspberry Tart - New Glarus
2. Vertical Epic 08-08-08 - Stone
3. Smoked Porter - Alaskan
4. Midas Touch - Dogfish Head
5. Hazelnut Brown Ale - Rogue

1. Utopias - Sam Adams
2. Belgian Red - New Glarus
3. 15th Aniversary Ale - Avery
4. Rare Vos - Brewery Ommegang
5. I can't remember the beer name but it was an IPA from Empire Brewing in Buffalo NY.

Stay tuned for days 3-4 of the trip,

Matt C.

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