Dallas has few diversions other than eating, drinking and shopping.....and shopping does not interest us.
So we spend our time hopping from restaurant to restaurant and to every pub that we can find in search of the perfect meal and the perfect beer.

We randomly review restaurants and bars, dishes and beers at whim and give our brutally honest opinions of our findings. And while we concentrate on Dallas, we travel far and wide to sample cuisine from all regions of the country and beyond.

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Beer Review - Great American Beer Festival

The Great American Beer Festival 2010

For the Beer Snob, there is a no greater thrill than a beer festival.  The ability to bounce from beer to beer, smelling, tasting, enjoying all of the differences that water, yeast, hops and malt can give.  At the GABF, the biggest beer festival in the world,  there were over 2,200 different beers to sample.  Did you get that?  Over 2,200 different beers! 

The festival has 4 sessions spread over 3 days beginning on Thursday and ending on Saturday evening and because of a loaded work schedule, we were only able to attend the last session on the last evening.  That means we had 5 hours to find the perfect beer.  Beer snobs take our beer sampling seriously, observing color, clarity, smell, taste...these things take time.  So, you have to be selective, choosing a few of your favorite types, medal winners, interesting sounding or rare beers one ounce at a time. 

UNFORTUNATELY, by the last session, the Saturday evening session, many of those are gone...RATS!  We also found that Saturday evening is when the idiots appear.  Lots and lots of idiots, wearing matching 'drinking team' shirts, swilling everything that they can get their hands on with no regard whatsoever of quality or type.  Pushing, shoving, yelling, flatulent idiots, all between me and liquid joy. 

I hope that I have not made is sound as if there were no great beers left.  No, no my friends, there were plenty, just many of those that I was really looking forward to sampling were long gone.  So here is a synopsis of the suds that I tried before I tired of stupidity and bailed.

Sprecker Brewery - This Glendale, Wisconsin  brewery was the only booth where I loved every beer that I sampled.  The Abbey Triple, Black Bavarian and Smoked Ale were all world class brews and worthy of road trip.

Barrel Aged TempT - Red Eye Brewing, Wausau, Wisconsin.  A golden belgian style ale.... yummy.

Wee Heavy scottish style ale and the O'Fallon Smoke ale were two fine entries from the O'Fallon Brewery in O'Fallon, Missouri.  Where?  Yeah, me too.

Dirty Bastard Scottish Ale - Founders Brewing Company in Grand Rapids, Michigan.  High Octane, peaty, smokey goodness.

The Capital Brewing Company in Washington D.C. had a Weizen Dopplebock that would make a German brewer proud.

The Black Lager from the Great Northern Brewing Company in Whitefish, Montana was more like a porter in flavor.  Call it what you will, I call it delicious.

The Grand Lake Brewing Company from Grand Lake, Colorado brews only small batches of artisan beers.  The Plaid Bastard strong scotch ale was full bodied, potent and magnificent.

Funkwerks may be the dumbest frigging name for a brewery I have ever heard.  Started by an award winning homebrewer in Fort Collins, Colorado, Funkwerks will be producing their Belgian style Saison for the general public in December.  It is as good a saison as I have ever tasted, and I have tasted a lot.

Horseheads Brewing in Horseheads, NY produced our biggest surprise of the evening.  Surprised by the ingredients and surprised that we liked it.  Hot-Jala-Heim uses Jalepeno and Anaheim peppers.  Smells like peppers, tastes like beer...with a kick.  Good wintertime treat.

Great Adirondack Brewing Company in Lake Placid, NY is part of the Great Adirondack Steak and Seafood Company.  If their food is as good as their Abbey Ale I will happily visit on our next trip to upstate.

I love bourbon...I love Stout....Bourbon Barrel Stout by the Green Flash Brewing Company in Vista California gave me wood.

By this time, we had samped beer from about 60% of the breweries on the floor in about 3 hours.  Perfect timing.  But the moron meter had reached 11 and we were forced to leave.  But much like the Pilgrams crawling on their hands and knees to the shrine at Lourdes in an attempt to be healed, we will come crawling back to Denver on September 29, 2011 to find our perfect beer.

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