Wednesday, October 08, 2008

A Few Tour Ideas to Get You Through the GABF

There are as many different sets of taste buds as there are beer drinkers at the Great American Beer Festival. Some people (like me) love to pour the full spectrum of flavors into their mouths. Some like to clamp onto their favorite style and ride it for the night. Most people just go where they want on a whim.

Thus, the following lists serve not as any complete tour or definitive guide (because, yes, I realize they're pretty short lists) but just as suggestions of a few booths to stop by if you like a certain kind of brew. Some are well-known treats that shouldn't be missed even when you're surrounded by more than 1,900 beers. Some are hidden gems that I keep going back to over the years. Take it for what you will, but make sure you stop long enough to enjoy whatever you're drinking.

Remember that the booths are grouped by their region of the country inside the convention center and lined up alphabetically within those regions.

Hop Heaven
Avery Maharaja (Colorado)
Bear Republic Apex Ale (California)
Breckenridge 471 IPA (Colorado)
Cambridge House Brewpub IPA (Massachusetts)
Firestone Walker Pale Ale (California)
Great Divide Hercules IPA (Colorado)
Iron Hill Brewery Ironbound Ale (Delaware)
Lagunitas Hop Stoopid (California)
Odell IPA (Colorado)
Pizza Port Solana Beach Shark Attack (California)
Rogue Old Crustacean (Oregon)
Stone Ruination IPA (California)

Belgian Goodies
Allagash Tripel (Maine)
Big Dog's Belgian White (Nevada)
Brewery Ommegang Three Philosophers (New York)
Flying Fish Abbey Dubbel (New Jersey)
Michigan Brewing Celis White (Michigan)

Sour Belgian Goodies
Bristol Skull 'N Bones Cuvee (Colorado)
New Belgium Eric's Ale (Colorado)
New Glarus Belgian Red (Wisconsin)
Russian River Supplication (California)

Dark and Lovely
Alaskan Smoked Porter (Alaska . . . duh)
Bison Brewing Bison Chocolate Stout (California)
Brooklyn Brewery Black Chocolate Stout (New York)
Butte Creek Blue Marble Organic Porter (California)
Great Divide Oak Aged Yeti Imperial Stout (Colorado)
Snake River Zonker Stout (Wyoming)

Smooth and Easy (Lagers, Hefes, lighter ales)
Flying Dog In-Heat Wheat (Maryland)
Great American Restaurants Crazy Jackass Ale (Virginia)
Live Oak Oaktoberfest (Texas)
Sandlot Brewery Pinch Hit Pils (Colorado)
Steamworks Steam Engine Lager (Colorado)

Style Benders
21st Amendment Watermelon Wheat (California)
Elysian Brewing The Great Pumpkin (Washington)
New Glarus Raspberry Tart (Wisconsin)
Papago Orange Blossom (Arizona)
Six Rivers Chile Beer (California)

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Nice list! I'm going to scope out as much as possible on Thursday night at the GABF. I'm pouring beers in the MID ATLANTIC section. Hope to pour for Dogfish Head, Brooklyn Brewery and even Flying Dog. Hope to see you there on Saturday @ 1:30pm.
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