Saturday, September 26, 2009

Notes from Day Two of the Great American Beer Festival

I've been going with my buddy Eric to the GABF since I pulled into Colorado in 2001. His comment after last night's session was that this was the best festival he can remember. I think that testifies well to the depth and variety of beer being served.

*While hitting Colorado booths is not always high on Coloradans' list of things to do, stopping by the Odell and New Belgium booths in particular is well advised this year. Odell is serving rarities like a Bourbon Barrel Stout and a phenomenally balanced Brett Barrel Brown, and New Belgium reached into its vault to crack out La Terroir, possibly the most sour beer ever brewed.

*I confess that the hype over Blue Moon's saison was a bit of hype; it's decent but not a genre-definer. But one of the most fascinating beers of the festival was Blue Moon's Peanut Butter Ale, which really approximated a glass of Jiffy that is tasty and smooth. Get it while you can: I asked a pourer when this would be out in stores, and she laughed.

*The Midwest, once the breeding grounds for water American lagers, seems to be serving better beer every year. Fat Head's Brewery is offering some eye-openers, Bell's is getting even more of a cult following (and running out more quickly) and the variety of offerings is becoming impressive.

*This is the year to go home with free schwag - and good stuff. Filmmaker Anat Baron was handing out copies of her "Beer Wars" to people attending her talk, and the only qualifications for winning free Simpsons DVDs, at least late in the night, seemed to be showing up to the booth and attempting to listen to a TV in the loud crowd. You could furnish a bar and an entertainment collection with everything that's going out free this year.


I love how the notes mysteriously stop at Day 2. I think I can guess why :) Same reason I downed four ibuprofen this morning.
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