The members-only session is my favorite. It is one of the great benefits of being an AHA member. In fact, I know people who became AHA members just so they could buy tickets to this session of the GABF.
We got in line pretty early, but even still, we were about 3/4 of the way around the Convention Center. The line went really quick once the doors opened, though. We were in the festival before 15 after.
|Big crowd on the way in.
They let the line spread out sooner before the doors this year. I thought this was going to cause a nightmare mess, but it turned out very well.
I, of course, had a list of breweries I wanted to try. The Beer Model, though had her own big list of pumpkin beers, peanut butter beers, fruit beers, pecan beers, and other strange non-beer flavored beers to try. It actually works out pretty well to get some randomness along with my planned list. I didn't usually try the beers that my wife had targeted, but there was usually something at all the booths that I was interested in.
|Best Name of the Fest? "Punk'in Drublic"
|Had 3 Beer's from Jamil's brewery
One of the first things I did when I got into the session was renew my AHA Membership and get the free GABF hat.
|How often do you see no line at a women's bathroom?
|Pucker Up (levels 3, 4, 5, and 6 this weekend)
I had one IPA that I thought was absolutely horrible during the session. Other than that, most of the beers were good, excellent, or outstanding. There were a few that were just ok too, but for the most part, the beer quality was great.
|Searched out the sours
Triple Rock Brewery (E25) from California had a beer called Rye Smile. I wrote down that this was the best Rye IPA of the weekend. Nice hop and grain balance. Very pleasant and drinkable.
Moylan's Brewing Company (D32) from California had a sour called Lonely Tart's Club that I thought was excellent and a scotch ale called Tilt Lifter that was top notch. I wrote down "A+" by both in my notes.
Six Rivers Brewery (E4) out of California had a Chili Pepper Ale that was excellent. I wrote down "best pepper ale" in my notes, but I don't think I had any others during the weekend. Nevertheless, it had a nice pepper flavor with just the right amount of heat. At least I thought so.
There was a Lager / Cider mix from T.W. Pitchers called "Snake Bite". It was interesting to me. It probably is not something I would ever drink other than when at the GABF, but if you like cider, you might like this. It was sort of refreshing.
903 Brewers out of Texas had a beer called Sasquatch Chocolate Milk Stout, which I thought was excellent. I wrote A+ by it in my notes. It was a big beer at over 10%, but it didn't taste like it. It was just the right amount of sweet with stout. Wonderful.
Austin Beer Works had a Schwartz Bier that I thought was excellent. I wrote "best schwartz" by it in my notes.
Tomoka Brewery from Florida had a beer that was called "The King" Peanut Butter Banana Sandwich Imperial Brown Ale. This beer tasted exactly like a peanut butter and banana sandwich. This isn't necessarily what I would want in a beer, but it is remarkable how well the brewer captured that essence.
Round Guys Brewing Company (U8) from Pennsylvania has a Berliner Weisse called "The Berliner". I wrote down that it was my favorite Berliner Weisse of the festival, and I had a bunch of those, so that is saying something.
Former Future Brewing Company (G20) from Denver won a medal in the "Experimental" category for a beer they called Black Project #1. I got to try it soon after the medals were announced. It was an excellent sour beer.
|Random crowd shot
One weird thing is that I tried to visit Captain Lawrence Brewing Company. When I got to their spot, there was nothing there. The servers around that area just told me that "they never showed up". Weird, right?
|Random crowd shot
|The SheppyBrew Beer Model
There were many other great beers. As I mentioned above, you can look at Sheppy on Untappd to see other beers that I had. There are just too many to list everything in this blog.
|"You're not worthy!"
So, that was the beer festival for us this year. Did you go?
You can read about this and other GABF experiences at Sheppy's Blog: GABF.