#KnoxBeerCrew #GABF beercation day 2 recap

October 12, 2012
Friday morning started off with a couple of the crew nursing hangovers, but myself feeling completely refreshed. I got up and immediately started uploading pictures and updating this site while everyone got their things together. Eventually we got everyone motivated, hopped in the jeep and headed out on our adventure.



Hey Broncos, when you’re done can we have Peyton back?


2 of my favorite things, Hops and Pie

First food of the day after a quick stop at Mile High Wine and Spirits for more bottle shopping.

Big Magic caught me updating this website while waiting for Hops & Pie to open.

Draft list at Hops and Pie. Started the day off with a sample pour of DogFish Head Bitches Brew. It’s the first time I’ve had it on draft.
I wish I would have taken more pictures there. We ate and shared samples of all kinds of super great beer. The next batch of pictures is our trip over to Crooked Stave.

Crooked Stave is located in a little warehouse area. A lot of their beers are sours, wild yeast and barrel aged.


The list at Crooked Stave.

Big Magic strike a pose in front of a massive barrel

Barrel room at Crooked Stave

Matt and Jason chilling.

The next thing we did was drive to Downtown Denver and stash the car in a parking garage. We’re leaving it and taking a can home tonight. Then we walked a few blocks away to go somewhere I’ve wanted to visit for years, Great Divide Brewing Company in Denver Colorado.


The entrance & outside fermenters

The tap list at Great Divide.

The inside bar. This place was packed with people in town for GABF.

Drinking outside in the fermenter farm. Must take a lot of glycol to keep these cool in the sun.


One of the grain augers attached to the silos

Inside brewing equipment at Great Divide

The bottling area at Great Divide

Another view of the boil kettles and mash tun inside Great Divide

The Line was way too long, so we just walked on by

Freshcraft, where we we’re able to slip in for a quick drink

The Bar at Freshcraft

I know you can’t see it in this blury picture, the the beer menu at Freshcraft is on video screens. What an awesome idea.

Flight at Freshcraft, from right to left: Oskar Blues Richard Lifter, Ska Brewing’s Hoperation Ivy, Denver Beer Company’s Pueblo Chile, Great Divide Espresso Yeti.

We were slowly making our way towards the Convention Center for the Friday Night GABF session, so we didn’t stay at any one place for long. After sharing my sample size beers, we headed off to the next stop.

Task master Matt keeping us on track. He said “no pictures.” so I snapped one because my phone was in my hand and I could.

The last place we stopped at before going to the convention center was Euclid Hall. We had one more beer because we all knew we’d have a long wait to get in to GABF.

Euclid Hall. Someone in our crew remarked “It’s the Suttree’s of Denver.”

Inside walking into Euclid Hall

The upstairs bar at Euclid Hall

The Road to GABF poster at Euclid Hall

It was time to get in line. The closer we got to the convention center, the craziier the energy got. People were trying to scalp tickets, and there was a big crowd forming. The air was thick with anticipation. At this point, the battery for my iPhone was almost dead, so I didn’t take a lot of pictures. Here’s a few.

The member entrance line

They came through the Members line, scanned our tickets and gave us our wristbands! Time to drink!

Well they let the Members line go in 15 minutes early. They wouldn’t pour beer for that time. It was such a tease. Instead I sought out the superstar booths to get some pictures.

Myself with the world famous Greg Koch of Stone Brewing Company. The first real beer celebrity I met.

Well, at this point I looked all around the convention center for a backpack to purchase to carry all my stuff. I was upset that they didn’t allow outside bags. Seemed like a stupid rule to me. I finally bought a cool bottle opener for $5 just so I could get the canvas bag to carry stuff in. I also found a a place to charge my phone and left it there for almost the whole event. Most of the following pictures are from near the end. I plan on taking more on Saturday.

Myself and Billy, one of the owners of Catabwa Brewing Company. He’s a really nice guy and we chatted for a few minutes near the end of the session.

Myself with my buddy and fellow TN Valley Homebrew club member Paul Hethmon. Paul is pouring his Pro-am entry at The Smoky Mountain brewery booth. Here’s to wishing they get a medal.

Giant banner

This is one of the booths I drank the most at.

Random guy pouring beer photo

Great slogan that I can get behind

shut up and take my money

“We want you to leave here broke”

Well this is all for now. Hopefully I’ll get better pictures Saturday.

Remember you can follow along on twitter and untappd.


Blogging #KnoxBeerCrew #GABF #Denver #Boulder #CraftBeer Day 1

October 11, 2012

Thursday morning couldn’t come soon enough. After months of waiting and anticipation, my Beercation to Denver and the GABF had finally arrived. I couldn’t sleep to well the night before. I kept waking up every 45 minutes or so to stare at the clock to see it was time to get up yet. At 4:45 am, I got up and got ready. I drove over to Matt Crowell’s house where Nick and Mark were. We had to go pick up Jason and head to the airport. Before we left, we thought it only appropriate to kick off our trip with a toast. This crrepy little guy is what we drank:

Creepiest bottle label I’ve ever seen. Le Petite Prince Farmhouse table beer by Jester King.

Well we picked up Jason in and headed to the airport where Beverly dropped us off. Here’s a picture we snapped before we went in.

Knox Beer Crew ready to fly. From left to right, Mark, Matt, Jason, Nick and Ratchet. #GABF is the twitter hashtag for this event.


Getting on the plane in Knoxville


After a long flight in tiny, uncomfortable seats, we arrived at the terminal. Kevin LA was there to greet us with a proper sign.

It was so good to see Kevin LA waiting for us. He was holding a beer sign and also wearing an old faded shirt for a store I owned and ran briefly in 2001. I had completely forgotten about those shirts, and don’t even own one myself!

Kevin had this tasty treat waiting for us at his Jeep. Our first official beer of our Colorado Beercation. Thanks bro!

The ride to Kevin’s. Cheers!

Well 1st thing we did was go to Kevin’s place and drop off our stuff. Kevin’s house is absolutely amazing. Once we seen his basement bar, each member of the crew remarked how if they lived there, they’d never want to leave the downstairs. His house has enough guest bed rooms, so we walked through the house calling dibs on each one. I got a very comfortable one right next to a restroom on the main foor. The rest of the guys are downstairs and Kevin is upstairs. It’s a really great set up, and I can’t thank Kevin and his wife, Brit enough for their hospitality.


After getting situated it was off to Boulder and Southern Sun for lunch and beer.




A flight of really tasty beers at Southern Sun in Boulder, CO

Flight time! Check it out on Untappd


Oh yeah. That hits the spot. Check it out, I’m representing for Knoxville with a Saw Works shirt.

Beer menu at Southern Sun


You can’t drink all day on an empty stomach. I had to get my grub on with a tasty avocado and cheese sammich.


When we were done, I went and had a min-tour with the brewer. I’m always trying to learn something new. Southern Sun brews on a 10 barrel system (that’s 310 gallons per brew) and has 7 fermentors. They also have 2 other locations called Mountain Sun.

The next place we went to was a great little craft beer spot called Back Country Pizza and Tap House. I have heard about this place way on the other side of the country because they are known for their incredible beer selection.


The storage room at Back Country Pizz and Tap


The bar at Back Country Pizza and Tap House

Kevin looking over the beer menu at Back Country.


I got the last of the 2 year old aged keg of Ommegang’s Aphrodite. A brettanomyces finished fruit beer. It was unbelieveably good.

The best part of this adventure so far is hanging out with my Knox Beer Crew homies Mark Baggett, Nick “Big Magic” Walsh, Jason “Animal” Anderson, Matt “Google Matt” Crowell, and Kevin LA and sharing different beers.


Some rare Crooked Stave Brett beer shared by Big Magic and Mark (in background)

Nick photo bombing me.

After Back Country we headed to a place I’ve been wanting to go to for awhile. One of the most popular beer spots in Colorado: AVERY BREWING!!!!


Avery tap list in the front room

The barrel room at Avery

The crew in front of the barrels at Avery

Chilling with the best Coffee beer I have EVER had. Avery’s Tweak, bourbon barrel edition.

I had so many great beers at Avery. I could have stayed there all night.

Avery’s so corporate.

After an hour or so at Avery, we went up the road to a brand new nano-brewery that had just been open for 3 weeks. It’s called Wild Woods Brewery. We went in checked out the list and ordered 2 flights so we could sample everything. For a place that hasn’t been open long, they have a pretty solid line up. I took a look around and realized that they are brewing on a 2 barrle system! That’s only 1 more barrel then me! When I see places like this that are making it, it gives me hope. If they can do it, surely so can I.

Entance to Wild Woods Brewery

Tap list at Wild Woods

Wild Wood’s tasty brews

Wild Wood’s 2 barrel system. We were pressed for time so I didn’t get to meet the brewer to ask questions about the set up.

We didn’t stay long at wild woods, so we headed over to Twisted Pine. A lot of people have heard about this brewery and their famous Ghost Face Killa pepper beer. I had no intentions of getting anywhere near something like that. Instead I opted for some of the other yummy beers they offered. I really liked this place and met some really cool people there.

Twisted Pine

Tap list at Twisted Pine

Nick’s got a little tree growing out of his head.

Packing room at Twisted Pine. Didn’t think to ask for a tour.


Some info on GHOST…FACE….KILLA!!!

The Bar at Twisted Pine

When ever I have a few, I get fearless. Here’s me laughing in the face of Death.

We still had a few more places to visit, so off we went. Next on the list was Hazel’s Beverage World, a giant liquor store with a great selection of Craft Beer. I picked up a few things to ship back home.

Hazel- Boulder, CO alcohol and craft beer superstore.

The selection went on and on.

Whoa! There’s a plane coming right for me! Cool decorations at Hazel’s

After loading up our haul at Hazel’s we headed to the last stop of the night. World Famous oskar Blues Liquids and Solids. Time for some dinner and one more round.

We saw this sign from a mile or so away.

The bar ar Oskar Blues


Well, it was time to head back to kevin’s place and enjoy his massive cellar list. At this point, I was done and opted to go to sleep instead. Especially when I saw that Big Magic busted out with these bad boys:

Well, that was day one. Day 2 begins, so tune in later if I can keep my iPhone charged.