Friday, October 7, 2011

GABF, Part 2

They knew I was coming, and they baked me a cake. Me and I don't how many brewery people were treated to the great spread that Wynkoop Brewery put out for their annual Brewers' Gathering, a buffet both of food and hard to get beer. This year had the addition of a "Sours Suite" where they poured the Allagash/New Belgium Vrienden, Strange Brewing's Kriek, Nodding Head's Berliner Weisse, and Black Folie, a mix of La Folie and Black Raspberry Mead. Aside from that, the highlight was Three Floyds Marshmallow Handji: Dark Lord RIS aged in brandy barrels with vanilla beans. Rare.

I've never seen a harder keg to tap than a keg made from a pumpkin. The last stop of the night was to Falling Rock Tap House, where they were hosting an Elysian Brewery pumpkin takeover, with ten different Pumpkin beers to try- including a beer fermented inside a giant pumpkin. This was a beer you had to have a ticket for, which I did. This allowed me the privilege of being in a crush of people who waited for half an hour while organizers used a variety of power tools to try to get the darn thing tapped. You can see how happy Falling Rock owner Chris Black is after finally getting the beer flowing, but he wasn't nearly as happy as I was: I had left my beer at the table so I went without that whole time.

Here is poor Paul, a server who was stuck with the task of keeping track of all the Pumpkin beers we ordered. We were with Majin and Turtle of Goat Head Brewing and we kept Paul busy with all our orders, as we are all big fans of the Pumkin beer style. Just look at Turtle's face- she's about to snatch that whole tray from Paul. I think Paul was still recovering from our visit in February and all my Pliny the Younger orders, but he did a great job as always. We ended up getting The Great Pumpkin (Imperial Pumpkin Ale), a Ginger Pumpkin Pilsner (like drinking pureed ginger, which we don't do for a good reason), Mr. Yuck (Pumpkin Sour), Saison of the Witch (Pumpkin Saison- very good), Dark O' The Moon (a Pumpkin Stout), that beer poured from a pumpkin, which I'm glad I waited all that time for, and Coche De Medianoche (weird: guajillo chiles, cayenne pepper, cinnamon, pumpkin seeds, and cumin- lots of cumin. Like someone opened the wrong side of the spice container and poured way too much). Finally, a cask of a Stone/Bruery/Elysian concoction of yams, sugar pumpkins, fenugreek, and lemon verbana, which somehow came together to make a very good beer with a very long name: Le Citrueille Celest De Citricado.

And that was a whole day in the life of a beer fest trip without a beer fest written about yet. That's next.

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