Thursday, September 16, 2010

GABF Tour: Bold New Tastes

In past years, I've written the essential guide to beers at the GABF, a beginner's guide to the festival and even fun tours for hopheads or people who like beers with goofy names. This year, though, it seems that a tour of another sort is appropriate.

More and more, brewers are adding ingredients to beers that would have been unthinkable five years ago or are making hybrid styles for which there are no printed guidelines. And perusing the list of beers on display this year, it seems that these trends are peaking at the 2010 Great American Beer Festival.

What appears below is largely a blind list: Beers that one reads about, shakes their head and wonders how that's done. Some are old favorites that still stand out for their uniqueness. All are concoctions begging to be tried by those, like me, who appreciate brewers that push the art up to and over the edge.

So, then, here's a look at just a little of what is available, denoted by their booth numbers for 2010 and an explanation for those whose names don't tell the full story. Maybe I'll see you at one of them:
A4. Cambridge Brewing CaCow! (chocolate milk stout)
B26. Wasatch Brewpub Jalapeno Cream Ale
B31. (512) Whiskey Barrel-Aged Double Pecan Porter
C20. Dogfish Head Palo Santo Marron (vanilla-tinged 12% ABV brown ale aged in barrels of rare Paraguayan wood)
C28. Papago Brewing Orange Blossom (orange vanilla wheat)
E28. Six Rivers Brewery Smokey Joe's Spicy Porter
F14. Cigar City Brewing Guava Grove (saison with secondary fermentation on guava)
F23. Elysian Brewing Mr. Yuck (sour pumpkin ale)
G1. Odell Brewing Woodcut #4 (barrel-aged, vanilla-heavy double marzen style)
G20-21. Great Divide Brewing Rumble (IPA aged in American and French oak)
H8. Brooklyn Brewery Sorachi Ace (farmhouse ale made with a rare Japanese hop)
I15. Magnolia Gastropub Oysterhead Stout (brewed with real oysters)
I36. Russian River Brewing Supplication (barrel-aged brown ale with sour cherries)
K31. Pumphouse Brewery Sour Watermelon Wheat
J35. Flyers Restaurant Strange Brew Red Pepper Porter
M14. Upland Brewing Kiwi Lambic
P3. New Glarus Raspberry Tart (a classic)
P27. Short's Brewing Black Licorice Lager


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