PB&J lagers and free chicken wings: Our memories from GABF
We are the luckiest journalists on the planet because we got to cover the 2018 Great American Beer Festival in Denver last weekend. It was a hoppy, slightly foggy good time, full of saisons and sour mashes and one EFFING DELICIOUS Oreo beer. There were weirdos dressed as beer steins, a bunch of very sweaty dudes from Alaska dressed as furry versions of wildlife, and so much cheese we had to throw in the towel mid-way through a pairing.
But it wasn’t just a killer time for us. Steamworks Brewing and Ska Brewing, our resident brewery badasses, both took home a gold medal from GABF – Ska for Oktoberfest, their Vienna-style lager, and Steamworks for their Colorado Kölsch – and we can’t help but feel slightly responsible for the win, because what good is a brewery without a very loud group of (two) fans in tow. Just kidding – Ska and Steamworks clearly did all the work while we did all the play. And for that, we are thankful.
Here are the greatest memories and the weirdest shit from this year’s GABF. Only 349 days til the next one.
Favorite new beers
Amanda: “Only a couple beers into our first day at Beer Fest, I tried the most delicious peanut butter and jelly lager. Unfortunately, caught up in the excitement of running from booth to booth, I forgot to make a note of where I found this delicious brew and I’m so upset at myself. Even though I hate PB&J sandwiches, the taste was so comparable I couldn’t help but take an instant liking to it. If you’re reading this, PB&J beer, you’re forever in my heart. Maybe next year, bae.”
Angelica: “All of them, except for that one heinous beer that had the aftertaste of a Band-Aid. I really liked Sippin’ Pretty, a sour fruit beer from Odell Brewing Co., but I’m not sure if that counts cause I had it on a brewery tour and not at GABF. I don’t know, man. I drank a lot of beers but only hated one, and only put a note about the Pina Colada Kolsch from Liquid Mechanics Brewing Company into my phone. It warranted a nod, but then I got lazy. I have been searching like hell to figure out who made the beer brewed with Oreos, and I was super excited to see Revolver Brewing had Blood & Honey in tow, because that beer legit kept me sane while living (briefly) in Dallas.”
Amanda: “Discovering that Buffalo Wild Wings was serving free wings at their booth and you could get in line AS MANY TIMES AS YOU WANTED. Which we totally took advantage of. Too bad we kept forgetting how spicy the wings were and basically cried over our plates as we tore into our chicken. It took us a hot minute to recover from those suckers and by the time we did, we were hungry enough to get in line again.”
Angelica: “When Amanda dropped one of her free wings on the floor. Misery makes me giggle.”Strangest moment
Amanda: “Because getting a ride from the convention center is such a shit show, I mistook a ticket scalper for our Lyft driver. I practically ran in front of traffic to get to him and upon meeting him he told me he’d give them to us for $50. Confused, it took us a moment to realize he wasn’t trying to drive us four miles across town for a ridiculous amount of money. Horrified, we apologized and told him we didn’t need the tickets and laughed idiotically as we ran back across the street.”
Angelica: “I found out on this trip that Amanda, who should be cooler than this, had no idea what the Fork in the Garbage Disposal dance is. I don’t even understand how that’s possible, but it is. I remedied that shit, though, by making her watch the YouTube video at least 15 times.”Biggest disappointment
Amanda: “It took us two days to find where they were hiding the cheese. Fortunately, we discovered the beer/chocolate/cheese pairing session on Friday night and wasted no time in pushing our way to the front of the line so we could sit at the back of the room. Unfortunately, at that point we were so ravenous we ate too much cheese and made ourselves sick. No ragrets, though.”
Angelica: “We didn’t get to dance at the Silent Dance Party, which was utter trash. Maybe next year we’ll actually wait in line for it.”The best things we overheard at GABF“You dropped your ass paper, Steve.”
“This is NOT how the alphabet works.”
“I don’t want this to be the spot (in line) where people cut through.”
“Hold on. Some girl just threw her gross water at me.”
“What do you want to do?” “Not wait in that line.”
“That guy with the handlebar mustache just watched me mad dog that guy who cut me off.”
“I don’t think we’re in a line.” “Well, now we just created a line.”
“What is this, amateur hour? You’re cute.”
“I’m on my second agent. Hate is a strong word, but...”
Regrets, regards, and famous last words
Amanda: “I lost count of the number of shirts and jeans I dumped beer all over and had to either change out of or just suck it up and sit in my shame. Surprisingly, I did not drop my beer cup once, but if you did, you were met with the jeers of your fellow beer drinkers, to which you had to quickly pick up your glass and run away without making eye contact. Beer Fest is not kind to the clumsy.”
Angelica: “There is such a thing as too much beer, and we reached that point on Friday night. It was right after we abandoned our cheese for greener, hoppier pastures. Going from the Sam Adams brunch to a brewery tour to a convention center full of beer was a bad(ass) idea.”Amanda Push and Angelica Leicht