The 2013 Great American Beer Festival is over, and a good time was had by all. I went into the weekend with some goals in mind, and achieved most of them. I had quite a list to drink and was still surprised by some stuff that I didn’t know about beforehand. Here are 12 top choices from the weekend with some notes, and a list of contenders that are all worth a taste if one is near you.
Destihl Sours (Bloomington, IL) – I had these guys on my list but was totally unprepared for the puckery goodness they were pouring.
To drink: St. Dekkera Sour Paw Paw, St. Dekkera Reserve: Strawberry Blonde & Raspberry, St. Dekkera Reserve: Forsaken Barrel Lambic.
Peekskill Brewing (Peeksill, NY) – A real gem if you love IPA’s, I was blown away by the offerings from Peekskill Brewing out of New York.
To drink: Amazeballs IPA, Dream Of The 90′s Coffee IPA and Awesomesauce.
Breakfast w/ The Bruery (Orange County, CA) – I attended this event on Saturday morning and I’m really glad I did. Not only did I have a delcious breakfast, but got to try some Bruery stuff that wasn’t being poured in the main hall.
To drink: Windowsill (Raspberry, rhubarb pie sour), OrXata (rice, cinnamon, and vanilla beans blonde), Grey Monday!
Funky Buddha Brewing (Boca Raton, FL): This Florida brewery was a big hit this year, and everything I had from them was fantastic. From No Crusts to the Maple Bacon Coffee Porter.
To drink: No Crusts (Peanut Butter & Jelly Porter), Maple Bacon Coffee Porter, Last Snow Porter.
Mexican Siberius Maximus (Wrecking Bar Brewing- Atlanta, GA): Thanks to a buddy who pointed me towards this gem in the brew pubs section of the main hall. It’s a legitimate Hunahpu contender!
Weyerbacher Riserva (Easton, Pennsylvania): Raspberry pureed sour? Yes please. This one stood out in a crowded sours field, excellent stuff.
Three Brothers Brewing (Harrisonburg, VA): Another surprise and a heavy hitter in the barrel aged category. T
Y’s Leopold (New Belgium Brewing Co.): What happens when you take the already amazing La Folie and age it in Leopold barrels? You get an even more unique and amazing sour, that’s what happens.
Beachwood Brewing Co. (Long Beach, CA): Beachwood could do no wrong for me this weekend.
To drink: Amalgamator IPA, Denver Jackhammer DIPA, Udder Love Milk Stout, System Of A Stout Coffee Stout.
Almanac Beer Co. (San Fransisco, CA): I came in to the festival a fan of the Almanac brand, and left an even bigger fan.
To drink: Dog Patch Sour, Farmers Reserve No. 4, Farmers Reserve No. 3.
Twisted Trace (Minneapolis Town Hall): MTH is great, and getting to try Twisted Trace was a real treat. Easily the best barleywine I had at GABF.
I’m sure I left out plenty, including lots of amazing stuff poured at Dr. Bill’s tasting on Saturday night, but overall the beers above were the ones I wanted to highlight. What did you try at GABF that blew you away?