Last night was the first night of two for me at the Great American Beer Festival. The boss let me duck out early from work, grazie mille boss, so that I could get in line for the nights events. Arrived at the convention center around 3:45 p.m. which yielded a very good spot in line. By 5:35 p.m. my father and I were off to conquer the list I had made for us which I based off of Beer Advocate’s top fifty American beers, beers recommended by fellow beer lovers and beers/breweries that I am fond of. My first sampling was Dogfish Head’s Theobroma poured by Sam the owner (pictured above), a great choice which I’d love to drink an entire bottle of. From there we moved on to the Russian River Brewing Company and the Pacific region. Russian River’s Supplication and Temptation were as wonderful as I had hoped and could easily top my favorite barrel aged offerings.
As the event goes, it’s hard to remember everything and equally as difficult to keep consistent notes, thus providing any meaningful insight other than gathering a list of choices which I’d like to imbibe more upon is tough to do. By my unofficial count (stars and beers written in my chicken scratch on mangled pieces of paper) we stopped at around 26 breweries and sampled around 30-40 beers. With that said other highlights from the evening were:
Ballast Point Brewing Company: Sculpin IPA
The Brooklyn Brewery: Brooklyn Sorachi Ace and Brooklyn Local 2
Stone Brewing Company: Stone Double Dry-Hopped IPA and Stone 14th Anniversary Emperial IPA
Boulder Beer Company: Business Time Mild
Odell Brewing Company: Friek, Deconstruction Golden Ale and Myrcenary Double IPA
Obviously, looking forward to night two as well. I’ll either go as the wind takes me or stick to a specific style of beer or region, we’ll see. Sorry for the poor quality photo in this post, the SLR did not make last nights journey.