Great American Beer Festival CB Staff Picks for 2012
The liver is evil, and must be punished. At least, that’s what I kept telling myself as I briskly stumbled from craft beer booth to craft beer booth at this year’s Great American Beer Festival. It’s been a few days now and after reviewing an absurd amount of brew soaked and sloppily handwritten notes written by myself (or so I’m told); I’ve come up with a short list of some our top picks from the show. With over 4,400 craft beers making an appearance, even attempting to whittle down an appropriate list is a sisyphean task. Don’t believe me? You can take a look at the myriad of official winners here. In order to keep this reasonably short, and the text larger than 8 pt font, we’ve decided to briefly look at five of our favorites.
In no particular order:
Strange Brewing Company – Denver, CO -Cherry Bomb Stout – Nearly opaque and full bodied, this stout has an incredible sour cherry note from the Montmorency Tart cherries used during the brewing process, giving it a sharp and crisp tartness that tastes fresh and natural. It’s a dark and malty powerhouse stout with a tart twist.
Nebraska Brewing Company – Papillion, NE – Melange A Trois – We couldn’t stop talking about this one! This is truly a unique and inspired brew that has to be tried to be believed. It’s a Belgian style blonde ale that’s aged for six months in French Oak Chardonnay Wine Barrels, giving it a subdued and dry sweetness that is one-of-a-kind. It could easily be substituted for champagne or a sparkling wine at your next event.
Wits End Brewing Company – Denver, CO – Cibeertron – This is an interesting concoction that’s essentially a rustic apple ale. It’s an experimental brew that’s half Belgian yeast ale and half Gala Apple juice provided by the Colorado Cider Company. It may sound too sweet, but it’s perfectly balanced and incredibly drinkable. The perfect summer brew!
Great Divide Brewing Company – Denver, CO – Hibernation – If you haven’t tried any of this brewery’s Yeti inspired dark beers, you are missing out… BIGTIME!!! The Hibernation is chocked full of roasted fruit profiles like figs and raisons. It’s rounded out with a slight sweetness and finishes long and slightly bitter. If you’re into the darker stuff, this is a must try!
The Devil’s Backbone Brewery Company – Basecamp, Roseland VA – Danzig Baltic Porter – So here’s your chance to be “in the know” in the craft beer world. Devil’s Backbone had an incredible showing at this year’s GABF, dominating in several of the tougher categories, not to mention they won a Brewer of the year award. The Danzig has slightly sweetened coffee notes, with a rich tannic fruit and malt profile and finishes with a slight dryness. A perfect beer as winter approaches!