Sunday, November 1, 2009

GABF 2009

The Great American Beer Festival was over a month ago, but I can still taste it like it was yesterday. Here's some of the great stuff I came across:

  • I had somehow never tried a brew by Shmaltz Brewing despite the fact that I've passed it by at more than one local liquor store. What a mistake! The Bar Mitzvah 13th Anniversary Ale was great--built like a barley wine with lots of extra hops, very balanced. They also put out a rye IPA that I will definitely be looking for again.
  • I finally got to try Stone's Sublimely Self-Righteous Ale and it didn't disappoint. It had a sweet maple syrup nose with herby, peppery undertones. Complexity can be good.
  • I once drank an awful green chili beer in New Mexico that I thought had ruined me on the concept forever, but CooperSmith's green chili beer won me back. Reminiscent of Twisted Pine's Billy's Chilies, maybe even a tad more flavorful.
  • Dogfish Head always brings some crazy stuff to the GABF, but they topped themselves this year with a beer they call Chicha. This selection was brewed in a traditional South American method which apparently involves chewing and spitting out the maize that goes into the beer in order to break down the starches. Brewer saliva? I couldn't pass that up! It was very sweet and floral, heavily dominated by the flavor of strawberries (not sure if the strawberries they used made it into any mouths or not). One of the most interesting beers I've had the pleasure of drinking, at least in terms of back-story.
  • I got another taste of Sam Adam's Utopias this year (I somehow missed it last year), which I already wrote about in 2007 so I'm not sure why I'm bringing it up again. Oh right, because it's frickin' epic! Everyone needs to try this stuff. Seriously.

I'll be there again next year, and you should be too. Hurray beer!


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