Ever seen a kid in a candy store? They're generally identifiable by vacant, glazed eyes juxtaposed against jittery bursts of energy. Other symptoms may include (but are not limited to) wildly pointing at every object in the room and occasional squealing. Now, envision 49,000 of these manic creatures ... only they're all grown up and pretty drunk. Welcome to the Great American Beer Festival, the largest collection of American beer ever served to the public.
See also: Beer of the Week: Green Flash Green Bullet
Beer of the Week: Drie Fonteinen Intense Red
Beer of the Week: New Belgium Coconut Curry Hefeweizen
Of course, the festival isn't defined by a carousing mob. Educational seminars abound, and our very own Chef Adam Dulye (of Abbot's Cellar) continues to shine at the Farm to Table Pavilion, where unique dishes are paired with world-class beers. For brewers, the judging portion of the event represents an opportunity for serious bragging rights. As usual, California was strongly represented on the awards podium. See below for your guide to an epic scavenger hunt of award winning beers from the Bay Area (and slightly beyond):
- Rye Beer, Silver Medal: Rye Smile, Triple Rock Brewery
- Session Beer, Silver Medal: MCA, 21st Amendment Brewery
- American-Belgo Style Ale, Silver Medal: Belgo Hoptologist, Knee Deep Brewing
- American-Style Brett Beer, Silver Medal: Sanctification, Russian River Brewing
- Wood and Barrel-Aged Strong Stout, Silver Medal: Barrel-Aged Narwhal, Sierra Nevada Brewing
- American or International-Style Pilsener, Bronze Medal: Gold Country Pilsner, Auburn Alehouse
- Golden or Blonde Ale, Silver Medal: Steelhead Extra Pale Ale, Mad River Brewing
- American-Style Amber/Red Ale, Gold Medal: Prohibition Ale, Speakeasy Ales & Lagers
- American-Style Amber/Red Ale, Bronze Medal: Red Rock, Triple Rock Brewery
- Imperial Red Ale, Bronze Medal: Bombay Rouge Red IPA, Third Street Aleworks
- Scottish-Style Ale, Gold Medal: Scottish Ale, Campbell Brewing Co.
- Belgian-Style Strong Specialty Ale, Bronze Medal: The Twelve, Black Diamond Brewing
- Robust Porter, Silver Medal: Black Robusto Porter, Drake's Brewing Co.
- Classic Irish-Style Dry Stout, Gold Medal: Blarney Sisters Dry Irish Stout, Third Street Aleworks
- Classic Irish-Style Dry Stout, Bronze Medal: Dragoon's Dry Irish Stout, Moylans Brewing
- Scotch Ale, Silver Medal: Loose Lucy Scotch Ale, Seabright Brewery
- Scotch Ale, Bronze Medal: Heritage, Bear Republic Brewing Co.
- Best Booth Award: Speakeasy Ales & Lagers