Friday, October 7, 2011

The Hop - Day 3

Amazingly we weren’t doing too bad when we woke up the morning of Day 3 though we did have to wake up a little earlier than I probably would have liked :) We had an event to get to!

Ladies of Craft Beer sponsored a brunch called Beer for Boobs at Freshcraft to raise money for Breast Cancer Awareness & Research. With the cost of the ticket you got some breakfast as well as the opportunity to buy some interesting beers to try. 

The food was quite good – chicken & waffles, breakfast burritos and potatoes – and was perfect for the morning after a night at GABF! I tried the Beermosa from a Nevada brewery as well as a special Oskar Blues beer which I can’t remember the name of. But settled on a Left Hand Nitro Milk Stout because as far as I am concerned this could be breakfast!!! This event was fantastic and I wish Komen Houston would see how a “cheeky” event like this can be so good for the cause. Unfortunately my experience has been that the Houston office is a little too square for out of the box ideas like this. Here’s to hoping that the DC Chapter will be more open to these kinds of ideas!

~~~~~~~~~~~BEER COUNT: 56 +/- 30!! ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

After the brunch we decided to continue our Denver Beer tour. We headed to Great Divide Brewery just a few blocks away but the taproom was beyond packed with a hell of a line (the tap room is quite small) but they had an outdoor area set-up where you could go and buy beer and sit and enjoy. That worked for us! We each had some beer and enjoyed the beautiful weather! Ken saved a bug from drowning in his beer and made friends with him... it was a very drunk bug! 

I look forward to going back to Colorado at a non-GABF time so I can check out their taproom!

~~~~~~~~~~~BEER COUNT: 58 +/- 30!! ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Just around the corner was Breckenridge and I needed at least a snack to eat because I was hungry again. J You know I had to order the beer sampler and with that I got 2220 Red, 471 IPA, Ballpark Brown, Regal Pilsner, Thunder Stout and their seasonal Autumn Ale. I also asked if they could add on the Vanilla Porter and they were kind enough to indulge me J All the beers were good (I drank them all except the IPA which I naturally gave to Ken) but the most noteworthy to me was the Vanilla Porter because it was different than the average beer you find. I highly recommend giving it a try if you get the chance. I didn’t order a full meal but the chips and guac were very tasty!

After this Kevin, Stacey and Scott were headed off for more Brewery hopping because they didn’t have evening plans for GABF. (They were going to the Homebrew Members only session on Saturday.) Since Ken and I were heading to GABF that night we decided that we needed to go and get in a nap!!

~~~~~~~~~~~BEER COUNT: 65 +/- 30!! ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

One thing that Ken and I learned from the first day of GABF was that it was really rather pointless to wait in the long line (even though it moved fast) because we could show up 25 minutes after door opening time and just waltz in. The difference of 10 minutes inside was worth not waiting in line for an hour or more. So we showed up a little after 6 and walked right in.  It was definitely a very different feel than Thursday night. Thursday was more actual beer fiends who love beer whereas Friday was more younger kids who just wanted to get wasted as opposed to actually experiencing the beers. We went in “normal people” clothes this day but I think if I go 2 days next time perhaps a second beer related outfit might be in order! We did both wear Saint Arnold shirts in support of our good buddies!

I went into Day 2 with a list of beers that were must trys for me – even if they had a line. (Most of these were recommendations from others from brunch that morning.)
  • ·      Banana Split Chocolate Stout from Thomas Creek – LOVED IT! It was dessert in a glass but not too overly sweet – just perfect!!!! I need to get me some more of this but can’t get it here!!! Grrrrrrrr!!
  • ·   Oatmeal Raisin Cookie from Cigar City – They did have a big line but Stacey said it was worth it to wait so we did. Ken of course got some sort of IPA and I got the Oatmeal Raisin Cookie which no kidding tasted just like the cookie!
  • ·      Bacon & Eggs Breakfast Coffee Imperial Porter from Pizza Port Ocean Beach – sadly they were out :(
  • ·      Hopitoulas IPA from NOLA Breweing – obviously for Ken and he loved it!
  • ·      Anything from Three Floyds in Munster – I tried the Munster Fest, a Marzen style beer, and was not over the moon about it. I found it average but apparently I don’t know what I am talking about because it won a medal in its category! Perhaps I just got a pour from a bad bottle….

Other breweries that I tried beers from included Hopworks Urban Brewery (Portland, OR), Pizza Port Ocean City (cracked me up their IPA is called “While the Wife’s Away), Shorts Brewing (Joyous Almond – a brown ale with lovely hints of almond, chocolate and coconut. It was a smooth well balanced beer that wasn’t too terribly sweet.), Snake River (again!), 512 (Austin) and FatHeads. I tried MANY MANY more than this but just didn’t take as many pictures this day so I don’t have documentation.

I also got into a very in-depth conversation with the guys from Goose Island. Being away from the area I did not realize that Goose Island had sold out to InBev until Kevin & Stacey told me. This infuriated me! How could a hometown brew sell out to the big evil conglomerate?!?! I was bound and determine to find out. So when Ken had to go to the bathroom (GABF is one of the only places I’ve been where the men’s line is soooooooo much longer than the women’s for the restrooms.) I headed to Goose Island to see what they had to say for themselves. I approached and there were 2 actual Goose Island guys there. (The reason I say this as if it’s noteworthy is frequently breweries have volunteers from the Denver area pouring beers.) I tried to be as nice as possible but flat out asked along the lines of “I no longer live in the area and sadly just found out that you sold out to InBev. What gives?!) The first guys was very confrontational and pissy. The second guy stepped in and was much more reasonable to talk to. Come to find out this guy is the head brewer. I won’t bore everyone with all the details (because many of you don’t give a rats rear about the evils of InBev and such) but if you want the full play-by-play let me know and I will be happy to share it with you. Bottom line is the guy admitted he was not happy about it. But he also said now he has more liberty (read money and ability to not be as efficient) to ply around and do “odd” and/or trendy things such as sours.  Oh heck… I’m going to write an entire blog entry on this Goose Island issue just as soon as I finish my trip reports because I am so bothered by the whole InBev – Goose Island thing! So hold on for that one and I’ll give you this whole story in its entirety plus some additional background on the issue.

On a happier note I got to meet Zane Lamprey and he is exactly like he is on his show J I do have to say I prefer “Three Sheets” to “Drinking Made Easy” though…

After GABF we decided that was all we had in us for the night so off to the hotel we went…. We had another day of brewery hopping ahead of us….

~~~~~~~~~~~BEER COUNT: 76 +/- 60!! ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

1 comment:

  1. You didn't miss anything with the Bacon and Eggs. I got some Saturday morning and it tasted like a cloyingly sweet stout to me (guess it was supposed to be maple bacon??). And I completely agree with you about Three Sheets being MUCH better than Drinking Made Easy. Enjoying reading your take on GABF - you virgin!! ;-)