Last year was my first Great American Beer Festival. What's the most important thing I learned? Get yourself a strategy.
I THOUGHT I had a strategy last year – “Yea I'll check out Dogfish, maybe see what Pizza Port is serving, yada yada yada….”
Didn't work. After a few beers and being caught up in the excitement, my plan went down the shitter and I was playing GABF whack a mole.
This year will be different.
With 460 breweries pouring 2,400 beers, how do you decide which beers to drink? You need a hit list.
My Beer Hit List
You might choose your hit list by other reasons, but most of mine fall into one of these three categories:
- Breweries: I'll visit these tables not so much for any specific beer, but more for the brewery. These are usually the more well known craft breweries.
- Specific Beers: These are beers that I've heard of and really want to try. The brewery and the rest of the lineup isn't as important as this one beer.
- Beer Styles: One of my favorite things about GABF is the chance to try new or unusual styles. If I learn that these are being poured, I will seek them out.
- New Glarus
- Cigar City
- Dogfish Head
- Terrapin Beer Co.
- Specific Beers
- Deschutes Black Butte XXIII
- The Legend of the Liquid Brain
- The Bruery Oude Tart
- Allagash Coolship Returnum
- Founders All Day IPA
- Sun King Osiris Pale Ale
- Troegs Flying Mouflan
- Pizza Port Doheny Double IPA
- Beer Styles
- Portsmouth Brewing Gose
- Portsmouth Brewing Fruit Gruit
- Devil's Backbone Baltic Coffee
- The Bruery Hottenroth
- Black Market Brewing Rye IPA
- Willoughby Peanut Butter Cup Coffee Porter
- Odd Side Ales Peanut Butter Cup Stout (Ok so I love peanut butter)
Saturday is the big test. Will I stick to my game plan, or fail miserably? Either way it's going to be fun to try.