Friday, September 30, 2011

Beers to taste at the 2011 Great American Beer Festival

This brewing industry has come a long way to participate in this information age. To cut to the chase, GABF's website now has a listing (oh, was that my heart skipping a beat?) of all beers available to sample at this year's Festival, which is now underway after tucking Day 1 for the night.

If you lost count, the number is somewhere around 2,400 samples of beer on the festival floor.

As some of you are just hitting your R.E.M. sleep in Denver after Day 1, I've put together a list of personal recommendations that you might like to seek out when wandering the festival floor at the Convention Center during the next three sessions.

Here are a dozen from the Philadelphia region that I enthusiastically endorse for your tasting pleasure. If you're not from the northeast part of the country, there's a good chance you may not have heard of some of these gems. They're all brewed within roughly an hour's drive of Philadelphia.

~ Fegley's Blueberry Belch
~ Flying Fish Exit 4
~ Iron Hill The Cannibal
~ Lancaster Milk Stout
~ McKenzie Brew House Irma Extra
~ Nodding Head Ich Bin Ein Berliner Weisse
~ Sly Fox Saison Vos
~ Stewart's Dunkel Rico
~ Tröegs Perpetual IPA
~ Victory Summer Love
~ Weyerbacher Double Simcoe
~ Yards General Washington's Tavern Porter

And then, as you spread out around Festival's regional layout, here are an even 61 other beers from across the country that should, from my experience (because, really, is there anything worse than someone recommending something that they have not personally tasted?), be a delight if you've never had the pleasure.

~ (512) Pecan Porter
~ 21st Amendment Hell or High Watermelon Wheat
~ Alaskan Smoked Porter
~ AleSmith Speedway Stout
~ Allagash Coolship Resurgam
~ Anchor Liberty Ale
~ Bear Republic Racer 5 IPA
~ Bell's Kalamazoo Stout
~ Big River Grille Sweet Magnolia Brown
~ BJ's Jeremiah Red
~ Blind Tiger County Seat Wheat
~ Blue Point Toasted Lager
~ Boulevard Saison Brett
~ Breckenridge Oatmeal Stout
~ Brewer's Art Ozzy
~ Ommegang Abbey Ale
~ Brooklyn Sorachi Ace
~ Capital Autumnal Fire
~ Captain Lawrence Rosso e Marrone
~ Deschutes Black Butte Porter
~ Dogfish Head Red & White
~ Drake's Denogginizer
~ Fat Head's Head Hunter IPA
~ Firestone Walker Pale 31
~ Gella's American Wheat
~ Glenwood Canyon Vapor Cave
~ Goose Island Matilda
~ Great Lakes Edmund Fitzgerald Porter
~ Ithaca Le Bleu
~ Jolly Pumpkin Oro de Calabaza
~ Kona Longboard Lager
~ Lagunitas A Little Sumpin' Wild
~ Lazy Magnolia Southern Pecan
~ Live Oak Pilz
~ Lost Abbey Framboise de Amorosa
~ Magnolia Proving Ground IPA
~ Maui Father Damien Abbey Ale
~ Mountain Sun Colorado Kind
~ Moylan's Hopsickle Imperial IPA
~ New Belgium La Folie
~ New Glarus Raspberry Tart
~ New Holland Charkoota Rye
~ Odell 90 Shilling
~ Oskar Blues Mama's Little Yella Pils
~ Penn Kaiser Pils
~ Port Brewing Wipeout IPA
~ Rahr's Ugly Pug
~ Real Ale Rio Blanco Pale Ale
~ Russian River Sanctification
~ Saint Arnold Fancy Lawnmower Beer
~ Shmaltz He'brew Bittersweet Lenny's RIPA
~ Sierra Nevada Tumbler Autumn Brown Ale
~ Southampton Publick House Cuvee des Fleurs
~ Southern Star Buried Hatchet Stout
~ Spoetzel Shiner Black Lager
~ Sprecher Black Bavarian
~ Stone Levitation Ale
~ SweetWater IPA
~ Titletown Canadeo Gold
~ Triple Rock IIMAXX
~ Trumer Pils

BTW, special thanks to the increasingly valuable services of for the heads-up link.


Jim said...

I've enjoyed the 512 Pecan Porter when I accidentally stumbled upon it while on a business trip to Austin TX. Their IPA is also excellent. Too bad they don't (yet) distribute outside of the Austin area.

Bryan Kolesar said...

Hi Jim, I discovered 512 while in Dallas area. The Texas craft beer market has really exploded.

However, I've taken the other view and hope that they stay in Texas. In this ever-homogenizing world, I like to know that when I travel somewhere, I'll stand a good chance of feeling like I'm somewhere other than home....with unique people, stores/gifts, customs/cultures, food, and drink.

I've watched one brewery after another "follow me home" to Philly after I've visited somewhere and then my next trip there makes it a little less interesting to try the beer. Little St. Somewhere from Florida is just one of many examples like that.

Embarrassment of riches? Perhaps. We could have worse problems :)