Sunday, October 30, 2011

Being There Part II

Well, I need to empty my brain for Part II. If this was in time and in sequence, then I'm a bit buzzed already, but with the excitement and adrenalin, I'm going strong.

Among the second half highlights were the Dogfish Head end cap, which had many offerings, and we all tried different ones and shared due to the long lines. None were memorable, but all good.

My brother and I took time to attend the You be the Judge area. There we had a ticket along with 25 or so others. The session was led by two experienced beer judges. They took us through their process of judging, with actual scorecards and samples of the beers within known styles.

The first was Sierra Nevada's Pale Ale, a standard for it's style. We agreed before it was revealed that it did fit the profile nicely. Some people found weird tastes, but all that proved was that their palates were off. The other tasting was an IPA, again solid if only on the boundaries of some of the factors (color, nose, taste, body, etc.).

We located one of my targets - Funkworks, a Saison-only brewer in Colorado, and they had Imperial version of their standard Saison (higher in both abv and flavor), both of which were excellent. We also hit Boulevard, Cigar City (which really has some unusual tries), and The Bruery, the latter had limited selections based on timed releases. One might check there first to see the timings from this excellent Belgian style brewer.

At the end I essayed the Store, with a mere 15 minutes til close. It was a massive wall of tee shirts, hats, and such. Each buyer had a dedicated rep, who was served by the wall people, I got my few items and zinged out.

We walked about 5 blocks after release in a moderately cool night to a ritual burrito joint, and managed to navigate the bus system home.

In all the GABF remains the quintessential beer tasting. With stamina and perseverance you can sample upwards of 60 one oz. samples in your 4 hours, all beer lovers should try it at least once.

It's most fun to share and compare with friends, and in my case family - I'm lucky to have such a caring brother. Thanks Dave!

No comments: