Tuesday, October 16, 2012

I need a new liver

so while more serious athletes were battling it out in Kona, I was drinking beer with 5 of my closest friends. 

Beer week actually started before their arrival, as Will and I went to some rare beer tasting.  Highlights were a raspberry sour from AC Golden (what's wrong with me!?!?), an apple cider with lavender and rosemary, and many, many whisky/bourbon/brandy aged dark beers.  Lets just say that Thursday morning was a bit rougher than it should have been.

Friday was Day 1, which all in the Boulder area and included:
  • Oskar Blues Tasty Weasel - I just had sips of what others were drinking
  • Pumphouse Brewery and Grill - Ryetoberfest
  • Gravity - Will and I split a sampler
  • Upslope - pumpkin ale, so good
  • Avery - Salvation (9% Belgian Strong, because that's smart at the last stop of the day when you're driving home).  I also sampled some Rumpkin, Tweak (15%), and some other bottle of beer that was 18% ABV and cost $24.  for a 12 oz bottle.  Also: sweet potato tater tots with green chile.  Awesomeness.
yum.  and also dangerous
Saturday was Great American Beer Festival Day!  We had members only session tickets (Sat afternoon) and our friend was entered in the ProAm contest, so we had tickets to the awards ceremony.  The awards ceremony also included breakfast beer at 10:30 AM.  Awesome again.
note: this is not my hand
GABF had 580 breweries and 2,700 beers.  Wowzers.  Highlights included:
  • Cigar City Good Gourd Imperial Pumpkin.  I may or may not have gone back 3 times for this.  In a very long line.  It was my favorite of the day.
  • some random mid-west brewery's PB&J beer.  Weird, but it worked.
  • Shorts Brewery Bloody Mary beer.  I do not like bloody marys.  I have no idea why I liked this beer.
  • New Glarus Rasperry Tart.  so good.  I wish they distributed here.
  • And many, many others.
Part of the challenge with GABF is simply being overwhelmed by all the choices.  You can only drink so many beers, so you don't want to waste your opportunities with crappy beers.  However, the point is to try NEW beer, so you have to take a risk.  I know, first world problems.  My life is rough sometimes.  Fortunately, there are dump buckets at each table, so if you don't like your sample, its easy to get rid of it and move on.

Sunday was even more drinking:
  • Renegade brewing - Banana Split beer (chocolate hefeweisen) and some brunch from a food truck.  I'm still sad they didn't have their Sunday Morning coffee strong ale.  That would have been brilliant with bacon and french toast.
  • Prost Brewing - I got the sampler and an extra sample of the Tivoli beer (historic Denver beer that went out of production in the 1960's).  Then my friend got this brilliant creation - a Russian - consisting of a Hefeweisen and Italian Lemon Soda.  Amazing.  So I had to get one as well.  This will be my summer 2013 beverage, for sure.
  • Strange Brewing - Cherry Kreik (so good)
Russian at Prost.  Seriously delicious.
We wanted to also hit Wit's End, but it closed at 5 PM on Sunday.  We realized this at 5:20 PM.  Fail.

Monday (dear good lord) (after a 4 mile trail run) was:
  • Rockyard Grill and Brewery - lunch and a pumpkin beer
  • side trip to a liquor store for some Crooked Stave beer (hard to find sour beer)
  • Lone Tree Brewery - Ariadne Belgian Blonde (and an order of 3 x 1/6 kegs for my tri club party for next weekend)
  • Copper Kettle Brewery - I drank water and had sips of other people's beers.
  • More beer from our personal stash.
And now my liver needs about a month's detox.  Definitely fun but not something I can do very often.

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