Wednesday, September 14, 2011

My #GABF Game Plan

Over the weekend, I saw that the GABF Map has been posted. This means I can start designing my plan-of-attack for the festival. There are over 450 breweries and over 2000 beers. Obviously, I cannot try every one. I have my list of beer to attempt to sample. I know which breweries are going to be there but not which beers each brewery will serve. There are a few breweries I know for sure I want to hit in addition to my list. My buddy Diane from Mr. Beer told me to be on the lookout for "killer chile beer". I will, of course, be continually seeking sour beers as I wander.

Of course, the game plan needs to be flexible, but here are some elements I am pretty sure of (in no particular order):

  1. Thursday night, first thing after getting my sample cup, I am heading straight to D18 to hit New Glarus Brewing Company. Hopefully, they will have their Belgium Red for me to cross that off my list (tied for #16). Last year, New Glarus was extremely busy and ran out of beer real early, so this year I'm going to be one of the fist ones to track them down.
  2. At some point I need to drop by J3 Heretic Brewing Company and see my home-brewing idol Jamil Zainasheff. Perhaps I can get a picture with him. Perhaps I can even get him to sign my chest. Oh, and I also want to try his beers.
  3. This year, I would really like to attend some of the talks in the Brewers Studio Pavilion. The one I'm most interested in is the first one on Thursday night, "Celebrating 30 Years of the GABF". Hopefully I can get there after hitting New Glarus early.
  4. I want to make sure I sample the entries for the Pro-Am competition. At least, I think they are available to taste.
  5. Work on my list (see below)
5. Bell’s Hopslam (C3)
12. Sierra Nevada Bigfoot Barleywine (F1)
13. Goose Island Bourbon County Stout (C19)
T14. Great Lakes Edmund Fitzgerald Porter (G19)
T16. Dogfish Head 60 Minute IPA (B20)
T16. New Glarus Belgian Red (D18)
19. Bell’s Expedition Stout (C3)
T20. Deschutes The Abyss (G1)
T20. Samuel Adams Noble Pils (M1 & M2)
T20. Troegs Nugget Nectar (M6)
T29. Three Floyds Alpha King (H13)
T29. Three Floyds Dark Lord (H13)
T34. Avery Maharaja (N8)
T34. Dogfish Head Indian Brown (B20)
T34. Dogfish Head Palo Santo Marron (B20)
T34. Three Floyds Gumballhead (H13)
T38. Dogfish Head 120 Minute IPA (B20)
T38. Lost Abbey Angel’s Share (J30)
T43. Ballast Point Sculpin IPA (A7)
T43. Russian River Blind Pig (F36)
T48. Alesmith Speedway Stout (A4)
T48. Green Flash West Coast IPA (F17)
T48. Summit EPA (E30)
T48. Victory Prima Pils (D21)

So, there is the start of my plan for the GABF weekend. Maybe, I'll let you know as I fine-tune it. If not, I'll at least report back from the event.


And ... just today I got an email from GABF announcing that there will soon be an iPhone app for GABF. See iPhone App Available Soon on the GABF website. This happens to be the first time EVER that I've wished I have an iPhone. This sort of thing would be awesome to help me track down the beers I want to try.

I wish they would have had the fore-site to develop an Android application, so at least my wife could have it. Of course it would have been even better if instead of spending time developing an app for one type of device, they included all this functionality on a smart-phone optimized portion of their website so that every single mobile device could access the information.

Oh well, maybe next year. (did I sound like a Cub's fan just there??)


  1. There's going to be a lot of beers I'll want to try but may not end up getting to try, but still it's nice to have a game plan. It you try the chile beers be warned, you'll have a hard time getting your palate back in shape after that. I killed my palate quite early the 1st GABF I went to. I tried a chile beer early and it masked just about every beer I tried after that. Be sure to bring a palate cleanser of some kind with you. (Pretzel necklace may help a bit)

  2. I actually did not find that the one ounce sample of the chili beers I had last year ruined my pallet too much. I found that towards the end of each session my pallet was a bit dulled from the amount of alcohol I'd consumed, but I'm not sure there is much you can do about that.

    Actually, I think we only found one or two chili beers last year, and I those were consumed a bit later in the evening.

  3. As a Texas beer fan I'm gonna have to promote Austin Beerworks, Real Ale, and (512) Brewing. Good luck, I'm currently working on my list to try and came across your blog.