As everyone’s local beloved brewers make their way to Denver for GABF, this week stirs up a bit of excitement — and in that excitement: stress, hope and suspense – brewers waiting with bated breath for the judgement handed down. We live in a great country where beer is appreciated – and even though the market is becoming saturated, that’s not slowing anyone down.
That’s one of the tougher parts of being swept up in it all — there really is a lot of excellence out there. There was a time when single hop IPAs were a relic long sought – now, you can find one locally with ease (would you like that hazy, or non?) Esoteric styles (coffee blonde what?), and resurrected legends (can’t believe the barleywines! [in a good way]), all bring us together, for the most American of traditions. Well, two of them anyway: Beer and Freedom.
GABF is a bit like the American version of Oktoberfest – while our compatriots in Germany celebrate their great tradition of – well – brewing the best damn lagers the world has ever seen, we take a swing at it with the Great American Beer Festival (GABF). This festival, like its trans-Atlantic counterpart, brings together those who enjoy beer, celebrate it, and, hell, just want to have a good time.
The devil is really in the details.
Oktoberfest? It’s all on point – clean, light lagers, with a bite that acclimates you to the incipient autumn.
GABF? America AF. It’s about being excellent at tradition. And about being traditionally untraditional. It’s both an experimental space, where anything goes, and a tightly run ship, where nobody gets free passage.
You will be judged – by the best, by the worst – but mostly by beer lovers who have traveled from distant lands (or maybe just from like Utah or something).
There will be chatter, chamber whispers of who will be decorated – with medals (upon medals, upon medals…etc.), but, without doubt, all the hard work that brewers do across the country to provide us great American made craft beer cannot be sufficiently appreciated. May the beer gods be ever in your favor, Orange County entrants!
Here’s a brief list of what some OC breweries have entered into GABF 2017!
Tustin Brewing Company
– Old Town IPA
– 21st Anniversary DIPA
– Blimp Hangar Porter
– Oktoberfest Marzen
– Swearengen’s Cork-sucker (Irish Stout): Pro-Am entry brewed with friend and homebrewer Ryan Holt
Unsung Brewing Company (Anaheim)
– 30th Century Man, Syrah barrel aged Saison
– Chocolate Snowball, Imperial Blonde with cacao nibs
– Navajas, Mexican Lager
– Buzzman, American Light Ale
– Troglodyte, Belgian Special
– Propeller Head, Amber with Coffee
– MetaPlex, IPA
– Naturia, Double IPA
Artifex Brewing Company (San Clemente)
– Artifexican Mexican Lager
– No Name IPA
– Mystery Hazy IPA
– Irish Red
TAPS Fishouse & Brewery (Brea & Corona)
– Wood and Barrel Aged Strong Beer – Silent Warrior
– American-Style Pilsner – Amend This
– German-Style Pilsner – Das Booze
– Bohemian-Style Pilsner – Bohemian TAPSody
– Vienna Style Lager – TAPS Vienna Lager
– Dark Lager – TAPS Schwarzbier
– German-Style Doppelbock – Boppel Dock
– Irish-Style Red Ale – TAPS Irish Red
Barley Forge Brewing Company (Costa Mesa)
– The Patsy – Coconut Rye Stout
– Future Tripping – Double IPA
– Karl Hungus – Schwarzbier
– Harry Tuttle – Foeder aged Saison
– Silver Tongue (Belgian Dark Strong): Pro-Am entry brewed with Gabriel Adler of the OC Mashups *Available at the Pro Am booth at GABF*
Noble Ale Works (Anaheim)
– Irish I Was A Little Bit Taller – Irish Red
– Gosebusters – Contemporary Gose
– Big Whig – IPA
– Nobility – Imperial IPA
Let us know what other local breweries entered into GABF in our comment section below.