Gallery: Snapshots from the Great American Beer Festival 2011

Deschutes The Stoic
Deschutes The Stoic

The festival is a great chance to try beers that aren't distributed nationwide. I was looking forward to trying brews from Deschutes Brewery in Oregon, and The Stoic did not disappoint. It's a quad style ale with a slight tartness and fruity finish.

Alaskan Smoked Porter
Alaskan Smoked Porter

Alaskan Brewing Company poured three different vintages of their amazing Smoked Porter—2000, 2008, and 2010. While the 2000 version was interesting to try, the 2010 retained the best smoky flavor was therefore my favorite of the three.

Lost Abbey Veritas 008
Lost Abbey Veritas 008

This was one of the standout beers of the festival. It drank almost like a white wine with a sour tart finish. Lost Abbey’s other offerings, like Framboise de Amorosa and the Carnevale were also remarkable.

Great Divide
Great Divide

This Colorado favorite had a wide range of brews to try, including three different versions of the delicious Yeti Imperial Stout: Chocolate Oak Aged Yeti, Espresso Oak Aged Yeti, and Belgian Style Yeti.

The Hall
The Hall

While there was quite a sizeable crowd, the fest never really felt overcrowded, and everything seemed quite well organized.

Odd Side Ales Peanut Butter Cup Stout
Odd Side Ales Peanut Butter Cup Stout

Part of the fun of the festival is sampling the wares of breweries you've never heard of before. Odd Side Ales out of Grand Haven, Michigan was a great discovery. Their Peanut Butter Cup Stout and Dutch Chocolate Coffee Stout were both extremely complex in flavor.

Three Floyds
Three Floyds

The brewery most known for its yearly Dark Lord release party brought its Behemoth barleywine and Arctic Panzer Wolf Imperial IPA. No Dark Lord here, but still some fantastic entries.

So many beers to keep track of
So many beers to keep track of

Trying to furiously scribble down notes about beer after beer when there are over 2400 to try is quite the task.

Hop Head
Hop Head

Costumes are part of the fun of attending GABF.

Green Flash Little Freak Barrel Aged Ale
Green Flash Little Freak Barrel Aged Ale

The aroma of this beer was remarkably tart, but the flavor balanced malt with sourness. The finish leaves you with a lingering green apple flavor.

Sun King Grapefruit Jungle
Sun King Grapefruit Jungle

Canned craft beer is all the rage these days. The Grapefruit Jungle, a West Coast-style IPA, is a new entry into Sun King’s lineup.

Sierra Nevada Foam Pilsner
Sierra Nevada Foam Pilsner

This was a beer I had been anxious to try ever since its debut at Phish’s Festival 8 in California in 2010. It's a good, straightforward Pilsner, but the Phish fan in me had to have it.

Official taster
Official taster

These glasses were filled and emptied many times over.