Day 3 of GABF I attended the earlier AHA Members session before heading over to First Draft for the Tavour VIP party. I did not have a bad beer this day! The highlights of the GABF tasting was J. Wakefield’s Miami Madness Berliner Weisse. It absolutely bursted with tropical fruit flavor in a way I didn’t know was possible for a beer!
After sampling a dozen brews I caught the end of Scratch Brewing’s session about “foraged brews” and enjoyed their Black Trumpet Biere de Mars. The beer is brewed with black trumpet mushrooms. That’s just one of many unusual ingredients this very rural brewery forages for and uses in their unique beers.
Next up I attended the Spontaneous Fermentation panel hosted by Justin from The Brewing Network. Jeff from Jester King and Chase from American Solera discussed their breweries and answered questions while we sampled their beer. These guys sounded like mad scientists discussing their use of spontaneous fermentation and aged hops. As a homebrewer I couldn’t imagine how they could seemingly break all the rules and still come up with good beer. Then they passed around samples and beer spoke for itself. Rather, it sang out loudly for itself. Their beers are amazing! The Jester King Spontaneous Blend 3 was particularly mind blowing. Jester King has quite the reputation for great beer, and I now know that it is entirely deserved.
Below are most of the beers I tried between GABF and the Tavour party, although I know I’m missing a couple beers from each.
|Left Hand Nitro Milk Stout||Yep|
|Pelican Silverspot IPA||Yep|
|Karbach Hopadillo IPA||Very Good|
|Wicked Weed Golden Angel||Very Good|
|Hop Nosh Tangerine||Very Good|
|J. Wakefield Miami Madness||Probably my favorite of GABF!|
|Device Pale As Night||Yep|
|Fair State Roselle||Yep|
|MadTree Levanto with Chamomile, Hibiscus, and Raspberries||Very Good|
|J. Wakefield Café||Very Good|
|Foothills Torch Pilsner||Very Good|
|Scratch Black Trumpet Biere De Mars||Yep|
|Jester King Spontaneous Blend 3||Wow! So good!|
|American Solera Western Culture||Yep|
|Tavour Pour @ First Draft|
|Cantillon Fou’ Foune||Very Good|
|Ale Apothecary Therapy Ferret||Very Good|
|Fremont The Rusty Nail||Very Good|
|Lawson’s Finest Sip of Sunshine||Very Good|
|Jester King Foudreweizen||Very Good|
After the Spontaneous Fermentation panel I headed over to the Tavour VIP party where they literally rolled out a red carpet for their guests and filled us with rare beers.
I got to meet the crew from Tavour, including founders Philip and Sethu, and the Megans who are in charge of finding beers for Tavour to sell and community outreach.
We sampled some amazing beers, including a couple different Cantillons, and mingled with other guests including folks from FoodSportsBeer, FeerNoBeer, and CraftBeerBabes. Then in walked Jeff from Jester King to pour some of his beer! I also got to chat with Chris Morris, a writer on assignment with CNBC for the festival.
That was it for me and GABF 2016. The Great American Beer Festival lives up to its name and reputation. With 780 breweries pouring more than 3,800 it was overwhelming in the best possible way. I hope to return soon. Next time I might only do one or two GABF sessions and set aside a couple days to explore Colorado and its many breweries.
Huge thanks to Tavour for inviting me to their party! I had a great time meeting everyone and, as usual, the beer was fantastic!