Thursday, October 24, 2013

a weekend at gabf - day 2

By Matt Abendschein

Day 2

I woke up at 7 am refreshed and ready for the day. Unfortunately, nothing opened until 9 am. A long and drawn out morning coffee suited me just fine until Marlowe's, a brunch place right downtown, opened for business. Knowing all too well that a long day of debauchery and drinking was ahead of me, I went ahead and ordered a little hair of the dog that bit me, a spicy bloody mary with steak and eggs. This was a damn good breakfast to start the day off if I say so myself. The guys finally woke up and met up with me as I was finishing my bloody mary. They'll tell you I ordered a sangria next, but I'm going to just deny that right now (even though it's true). At 10 am now, it was time for a beer. My first beer of the day was an Odell 90 Schilling (a beer my uncle from Colorado introduced me to), something I hadn't had for quite some time. Damn I had forgotten how good it was. So crisp, so incredibly malty.

After another beer at Marlowe's it was time for another GABF session. This was the 'Member's Session' where members of the American Homebrewers or Brewers Association get a pre-sale ability to buy tickets. Also, you get a glass sampling cup instead of plastic. It's amazing how many fewer people dropped the glass this time around. Color me disappointed.

The Member's Session went until 4pm, which was a lot of time to sample more beer. We got to sample a lot of great beer we didn't get to sample on Friday so I'm glad we stayed the whole time. The Member's Session wasn't the only thing happening on Saturday. Texas was kicking ass at the awards ceremony as well, bringing back 10 medals among 9 breweries. America is really starting to take notice the amount of great breweries Texas has, bringing back so many medals each year.

Cedar Creek Belgian Style Dubbel - Cedar Creek Brewery - Belgian Style Abbey Ale

Atrial Rubicite - Jester King Brewery - Belgian Style Lambic or Sour Ale

Blind Jake  - Pinthouse Pizza - Brown Porter

Public Ale  - Community Beer Co. - Extra Special Bitter

Brewers Cut Altbier - Real Ale Brewing Co. - German-Style Altbier

Black Thunder - Austin Beerworks - German-Style Schwarzbier

Saint Arnold Weedwacker - Saint Arnold Brewing Co. - German Style Wheat Ale

Bitterama - Namaste Brewing at the Whip In - Herb and Spice Beer

Elba - Black Star Co-op Pub and Brewery - Herb and Spice Beer

Saint Arnold - Summer Pils - Saint Arnold Brewing Co. - Munich-Style Helles

Look at all that gold huh!? Newbies like Community Beer Co. out of Dallas bringing home the gold for their Public Ale ESB makes me very proud to be living in Dallas right now. I'm surprised they didn't get anything for their Mosaic IPA though, easily their best in my opinion. Pinthouse Pizza isn't even a year old and they're already winning medals. Another medal for the cool cats over at Austin Beerworks sporting their glamorous (dare I say sexy?) jumpsuits.

The standout for me, however, was the legendary Austin based Whip in store, recently established brewpub, winning a gold medal for their Bitterama under the name 'Namaste Brewing at the Whip in.' Namaste that Dogfish!

Once the session was done, I was famished and needed substance. There was only one place that could properly deliver for me and that was the famous Euclid Hall, a popular gastropub that reminded me of Meddlesome Moth with its delivery of quality food and quality craft beer. An hour and half wait gave us ample time to walk over to Wynkoop Brewing brewpub (brewpub #1) for some more beer. Wynkoop is a brewpub institution for Denver so I was anxious to try their beer. I got a flight including their delicious Belgian IPA and two others.

Onto Euclid Hall with Daniel for an epic pig out including the most delicious dinosaur sized bone marrow I've ever had. I could have eaten that meat jelly, with an intense beef flavor, fresh thyme and demi glace, all night. In fact, I should have taken the leftover bone home for a midnight snack. Honestly, I didn't even care about the beer here. I had some barleywine that really caught up to me eventually, but really it was all about the pig out including oysters, mussels, pig ears and poutin. Easily one of the better meals I've had in awhile. Kudos to you Euclid Hall.

At this point, we had no idea where Carlos was so Daniel and I decided to walk over to Prost Brewing (brewpub #2). This is where the night really took off. Prost was about 1.5 miles away so we walked off our big ass meal. To our surprise, the folks from Austin Beerworks (sporting their gold medal) and Rogness Brewing were there. The night became quite foggy after liters of beer were ordered, but I do know the guys from Infamous Brewing eventually came and hung out, as well as Davis Tucker from NXNW. We had a blast hanging out with everyone (Will of ABW was as funny as I've ever seen him) but of course the night was young and Denver Beer Co. (brewpub #3) was a short walk away. Honestly, at this point, I don't remember much. Daniel said I drank a beer here so I'll take his word for it.

After brewpub #3, it was time to go to yet another place, the Cheeky Monk. When we got there, I decided to go home since I was about to pass out at the table. I left Daniel high and dry to finish off a 22 oz bomber of some vintage beer to himself. The next thing I remember is waking up to Carlos yelling at Daniel in our room. Supposedly Daniel had passed out under the bed looking for an outlet for his phone charger. Classic.

The next morning was a hangover of epic proportions, and I had a plane to catch. Daniel and Carlos capped off the day at a couple more brewpubs (read their adventures soon!) before their plane took off. Thank you GABF for such a wonderful time. In the immortal words of Arnold Schwarzenegger: I'll be back.

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