Next stop, I went with my cousin and his roommate over to the Walnut Room for pizza and a Fat Tire, the classic amber ale from Colorado's own New Belgium Brewing Company. It was nice to get away from the GABF hot zone for a bit to see part of the "real" Denver, which turned out to be a theme that carried on through the weekend and made for a unique experience.
After dinner, I played it safe and got some much needed rest for the days ahead.
The adventure began with a bike ride into downtown Denver. My cousin lives right on the Cherry Creek Trail, which runs diagonally across the city and right past the convention center. A gorgeous start to the day.
I couldn't resist the waitress's suggestion for one more beer, so I finished the meal with a Cigar City Guava Grove Farmhouse Ale. Ever heard of too much of good thing? Me neither.
GABF: Thursday Session
As swarms of beer fans descended on the Colorado Convention Center, I collected the NC Brewers Guild banners and swag and joined the crowd. I'm not gonna lie, the sheer magnitude of this event was a little overwhelming. Nearly 50,000 people over four sessions attended GABF, sampling over 2,700 beers from 578 breweries! I found the NC Brewers Guild Booth amidst the ruckus and got to serving the Guild's two beers of the day:
- Carver Sweet Potato Lager - Fullsteam Brewery, Durham, NC - North Carolina is the #1 producer of the Sweet Potato in the US. With that in mind, and as a tribute to George Washington Carver (he wasn't just into peanuts), Fullsteam's Sweet Potato Lager uses the sweet spud to provide one-third of this beer's fermentables. 4.8% ABV.
- Milk Stout - The Duck-Rabbit Craft Brewery, Farmville, NC - Is it a duck or a rabbit? "The Dark Beer Specialist," Duck-Rabbit is a small brewery in a small town, but they make some awesome beers! The Milk Stout uses lactose sugar to balance out the bitterness from roasted grains.
I got to explore a bit, but mostly I was just in awe of the sheer size of the event.
Feel free to check out the Local Beer Blog on Facebook for more photos from GABF 2012 and stay tuned for notes from the rest of the weekend in Denver! (or just read on to Part 2)