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Old 05-17-2012, 04:36 PM   #1
Mar 2011
Rice Lake, Wi
Posts: 41
Liked 1 Times on 1 Posts

This is the first year I'm planning on going to the GABF! Seeing as how I don't know what goes on at the GABF I'm looking for suggestions of what sessions to go to. I've heard that the members only session Saturday morning is the best to go to, but what else is there that goes on? Any suggestions?
The Dude abides.....

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Old 05-17-2012, 04:43 PM   #2
AmandaK's Avatar
Feb 2010
Posts: 1,498
Liked 144 Times on 107 Posts

This is my first year too! I'm super pumped, so I'm just signing on for updates.
BJCP Master Beer Judge

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Old 05-17-2012, 06:14 PM   #3
Aug 2009
Lancater, PA
Posts: 82

i moved to denver 2 years ago and haven't gone...partially b/c it sounds like a s**t show. so i'm subscribed to find the best session as well for this year.

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Old 05-17-2012, 06:16 PM   #4
Sep 2010
Posts: 94
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Thursday night and Saturday member session are where it's at.
Brewing Blog:

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Old 05-17-2012, 08:25 PM   #5
Jan 2008
Houston, TX
Posts: 577
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Originally Posted by RosewaterFoundation View Post
Thursday night and Saturday member session are where it's at.
That's what I heard as well. Those are the only two sessions I plan on attending.

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Old 05-17-2012, 08:39 PM   #6
bwarbiany's Avatar
Jul 2011
Mission Viejo, CA
Posts: 2,995
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Definitely Saturday members-only. That's where more of the "special" pours will happen. I remember having my Cuvee de Tomme actually poured by Tomme Arthur while there :-)

And make sure to check out the Falling Rock Tap House while you're in town. It's a short cab ride (or medium-length walk) from the convention center, but it's excellent. Probably my favorite beer bar I've ever been to.

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Old 05-18-2012, 01:44 AM   #7
Dec 2010
Olympia, WA
Posts: 465
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last year was my first GABF, and i thought it was a lot of fun. I can't recommend one session over another as i only went to the general saturday night one, but i learned a couple of things for future ventures.

if you're going to a regular session, my pointers would be to 1, pick out which breweries and which beers you want to sample, and hit those first. 2nd, i didnt see any necessity in getting there early to wait in line for like 2 hours before the joint opens. 30-45 minutes after opening, the line was completely gone. None of the brews were tapped out at that point, and i was s-faced (which i normally try to avoid) in like 2 hours. I didnt even make it 2/3 of the way through the timeframe of the night before i was ready to go back to the hotel. 3rd, bring lots of pretzels. 4th, the line for the bathroom gets STUPID long. whatever zen techniques you can learn to avoid having your bladder fill up before you go will serve you well.

My favorite part wasnt the beer festival itself, though. I really liked eating out at the various bars and brew-pubs that had one-off beers from the local breweries, or limited quantity releases. Theres some good food and drink to be had in the area, which i greatly enjoyed.

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Old 05-18-2012, 06:14 AM   #8
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microbusbrewery's Avatar
Jan 2011
West Jordan, UT
Posts: 1,927
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+1 for the Thursday and Saturday member's sessions. I actually saw more of the brewers in their booths at the Thursday session than the Saturday members session, but there's no guarantee and it can be really hit and miss. One recommendation, go in with a plan including a list of the breweries that you really want to visit. For some of the real popular ones like New Glarus, go straight to their booth as soon as you get your tasting glass. Last year I waited too long and I think they ran out of everything halfway through the session. If you like cheese, be sure to check out the American Cheese Society booth. It's pretty awesome for cheese lovers but the line gets long really quick.

Another +1 for Falling Rock Tap House, definitely my favorite bar. You don't even have to take a cab to get there from the convention center, just jump on the free 16th Street Mall bus and take it to Blake Street, then walk a couple blocks. The beer selection is awesome and they have some of the best wings I've ever had anywhere. A lot of the brewers hang out there and they often bring special one-off brews with them. Speaking of special brews, Falling Rock does a kill-a-keg event with Sierra Nevada Harvest Release. They basically see how fast they can drain an entire keg. It's kinda cool and it comes in a special Sierra Nevada pint glass that you get to keep.

Another cool thing that I heard about but haven't had a chance to attend yet is the Rare Beer Tasting. From what I hear it's awesome and you'll get to taste beers that you can't find anywhere else. It costs extra and tickets go fast but I'd recommend checking it out if time and budget permits.

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Old 06-22-2012, 03:27 PM   #9
Catch-22's Avatar
Apr 2009
Stansbury Park, Utah
Posts: 279

This is my first year too, used up all my honors points for four nights at the Curtis across the street. So excited!

Dwight Schrute: In an ideal world I would have all ten fingers on my left hand so my right hand could just be a fist for punching.

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Old 06-22-2012, 03:37 PM   #10
rwinzing's Avatar
Jun 2009
Bordentown, NJ
Posts: 453
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I went to GABF last year and to tell you the best stuff going on that weekend are the one offs the session it self was a crowded drunk fest. I got tickets to the rare beer tasting and it was off the hook. I am going back for that this year more then GABF. Also most craft bars and the tons f breweries in Denver area have take the tap over by the major players and the breweries have their best stuff on display. I am not saying don't attend GABF but be sure to do your research and attend the one offs
Friendly Acres Brewing

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