Tomm Carroll’s 2010 Great American Beer Festival Adventures (Part 2)

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Beer Festival Denver

Through September 18, beer writer Tomm Carroll is filing quick-hitting dispatches from the Great American Beer Festival on his iPhone. Read his reports from the Super Bowl of beer.

Pre-GABF Party (Thurs)

For the beer industry folks in Denver there is the traditional GABF Pre-Party at Great Divide Brewing. Open taps, free food and, not surprisingly, the largest collection of LA/OC beer scene folks you won’t see again ’til L.A. Beer Week next month!

In no particular order: Ryan, Brandon and Skipp from Verdugo/Surly Goat, Gabe and Julian from Beachwood Brewing, Graham from Wally’s Wines, Martin from Naja’s with wife Lauren, Cambria and Stan from eatdrinktravel, Jace from Firestone, Andrew and Josh, with wife Serena of Pacific Gravity, Jeremy, Steve and Pat from Eagle Rock Brewery, Dave from Tony’s Darts Away, Tom from Library Alehouse and Patrick from The Bruery with most of his Brue crew. At least those are the ones I can recall.

Beers sampled included the Samurai rice ale (a nice light one to start off the day), Belgica (Belgian Golden), Claymore Scottish Ale (chocolately), Rumble (one of the few wood-aged IPA that works), and a taste of Pat Morse’s oak-aged Yeti Imperial Stout (the first keg to blow).

I join Martin, Lauren and Tom for some solid sustenance, and, of course, more beer, some of it new stuff that was being tapped for the first time while we were there.

Beers sampled include Odell’s Sabateur (more bretty than the bottled version), Strange Brewing’s Farmhouse Ale (eh), the citrusy Hopfather (yet ANOTHER hop bomb from Russian River), and three rich, tasty stouts: Boulevard Dark Truth (roasty), Left Hand Bourbon Imperial Stout (nice vanilla notes) and Rogue’s Double Chocolate Stout (like drinking Hershey’s syrup from the can!).

Okay, now we’re ready for…more Beer! So we head over to the Denver Convention Center as GABF 2010 is about to get underway…

Beer Festival Denver

Thu, Sep 16, 2010 at 4:44 PM

Cigar City Brewing Guava Grove is fruity and bretty.

Marshal Zhukov’s a rich imperial stout.

Final Push is the Zhukov with Kopi Luwak coffee beans and is delicious beyond belief.

Jai Alai IPA is ok.

Oatmeal Raisin Cookie is exactly what it says. With the accent on raisin. One of the premiere cookie dessert beers. Do not miss this one.

Okay, off to discover more stuff.

Beer Festival Denver

GABF First Session (9/16)

Okay, WAY too many beers from the first session to describe, but following are some of the real faves, aside from the aforementioned Cigar City beers.

Duck Rabbit Milk Stout (tastes imperial)
Lost Abbey Cable Car (scrumptiously sour)
Founders Canadian Breakfast Stout (one of the best; aged in bourbon barrels that once aged maple syrup!)
Goose Island Bourbon County Coffe Stout (for those who thought this beer couldn’t get any better)
Hoppin’ Frog’s Boris Imperial Coffee Stout (to continue the java theme)
Hoppin’ Frog’s Double Pumpkin (one of the best of the style; let’s see how it does in the competition as the style has been added this year as an official category)
Kuhnhenn Solar Eclipse (dangerously drinkable for an 18% Stout)
Kuhnhenn Creme Brulee Java Stout (it’s all in the name)
Fathead’s Collaborative Evil (subtlely bourbony)
Fathead’s Koko Head Coconut Chocolate Stout (subtle but nice)
Deschutes Black Butte XXII (seemed tamer than last year, but as it will NOT be bottled this year, get it while you can)
The Bruery’s Black Tuesday (awesome as usual, altho no endless lines this year for some reason)
Maui Brewing’s Smokestack Lager (one of the best smoke beers I’ve had this year; this brewery keeps surprising us)
Terrapin Hopsecutioner American IPA (nice East Coast version 7.2%)
Terrapin HopIll 2 IPA (even better; 10.8%)
Tustin Portola Coffee Blonde (lightest great coffee beer i’ve ever had)

Yeah, not many IPAs on the list — not because they weren’t very good, but because I didn’t try many of them in the first session.

Look for reports from the next sessions…

Tomm Carroll is a feature writer and the L.A. correspondent for the Celebrator Beer News, the oldest beeriodical in the United States. He has also written about beer for the Ale Street News, Los Angeles Times and Entertainment Today, and is an experienced Beer Judge in homebrew and commercial competitions. An avid beer drinker, enthusiast, collector, writer and traveler, he drinks locally and globally. He can be reached at [email protected].

Blog Comments

Duck Rabbit is one of my favorite breweries that I need to try more beers from. Glad to see Maui has another winner too. Kuhnenn is one of my white whales. Can’t wait to drink my first.

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