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2017 GABF Route Preview | Big Beers Route

2017 GABF Route Preview | Big Beers Route

For the past month and a half our staff has been reaching out to every brewery attending the Great American Beer Festival to try to preview what they’ll be bringing to the fest. As part of that research, we’ve sifted through that list of beers to bring you a series of themed routes to help you plan for your GABF based on various styles and flavors.

We kick things off this Monday in a BIG way, with a preview of the Big Beers Route. These beers are all 9% or higher and will knock you on your kiester. We’re showcasing the best that we’ve tried as well as those we’re most intrigued about, and our Big Beers route definitely brings out some serious whales in the form of barrel-aged wonders, Barleywines, Braggots, Strong Ales and more. It’s not recommended to try all of these, especially not during one session. Accordingly as always, please be responsible with your consumption.

(More: 2017 GABF Pour List Preview)

Fremont Brewing Rusty Nail
Photo by Dustin Hall, The Brewtography Project


Big Beers Route

Adroit Theory

Therapy Sessions – A huge stout with the addition of Coffee, Chocolate and Macadamia Nuts to create a sweet, but balance, full bodied beer. 15.5%


AleSmith Brewing

Nibs & Beans Speedway Stout – Features vanilla beans from Madagascar and Papua New Guinea, cocoa nibs from Brazil and Madagascar, and locally roasted Colombian coffee from Swell Coffee Co. 12%


Avery Brewing

Old Preserverance – Bourbon barrel-aged ale with maple syrup and dark muscovado sugar. 18.5%


Ballast Point

Barrel-Aged Red Wine Navigator – Navigator Doppelbock aged 17 months in neutral red wine barrels. 11.6%


Bell’s Brewery

Blackbeard’s Bear Hug Imperial Stout – Bear Hug stout aged in Rum barrels with vanilla beans, toasted coconut & Saigon cinnamon. 13%


Black Project Spontaneous & Wild Ales

Covert – 100% Barrel Fermented Spontaneous Super Braggot with Cherries, Raspberries, and Black Currant. 18%


(More: 2017 GABF Route Guide | Funk, Sours & Wilds)


Boston Beer

Utopias – Each release is a blend of batches, some having been aged up to 16 years in the barrel room of our Boston Brewery, in a variety of woods. We aged a portion of the beer in hand-selected, single-use bourbon casks from the award-winning Buffalo Trace Distillery. 27%


Boulevard Brewing

Whiskey Barrel Stout – This twist on the classic style starts with several types of malted barley, rye, oats and wheat. Robust flavors of vanilla, espresso, whiskey, chocolate and roasted grain are balanced by hints of date and plum, with just enough hops to round it all out. – 11.8%

Brooklyn Brewery

Black-Ops – Aged for months in bourbon barrels, bottled flat & re-fermented w/ Champagne yeast. Presumably such a beer would raise a rich, fluffy dark brown head & it would combine chocolate & coffee flavors w/ a rich underpinning of vanilla-like bourbon notes. 11.5%

The Bruery

Black Tuesday – Bourbon Barrel Aged Imperial Stout. 20.3%

White Chocolate w/ Cherries – Bourbon Barrel Aged Wheat Wine-Style Ale with cacao nibs, vanilla beans, and tart cherries. 14.2%


Bull & Bush Brewery

Royal Oil – Bourbon Barrel aged for 2.0 years English Strong Ale. 13%


Cascade Brewing

Bourbonic Plague – Spiced double Porters aged in bourbon barrels for up to two years with dates, vanilla beans and cinnamon. Flavors of bourbon, roasted malts, dried dark fruits, vanilla and spice. 12.1%


Cellarmaker Brewing

Manhattan Barrel Vastness of Space – 14 months ago we were fortunate to procure these High West Whiskey Barrels that further aged the same rye whiskey in addition to vermouth & bitters to form a barrel aged Manhattan cocktail. We filled these barrels with our traditional Imperial Stout. 11.5%


Central Waters Brewing

Brewer’s Reserve Bourbon Barrel Barleywine – An American Barleywine Ale aged in used oak bourbon barrels This beer develops rich flavors of dark fruits and wood that deepen over time. 14.3%


Cigar City Brewing

Cognac Barrel-aged Marshal Zhukov – Imperial stout aged in cognac barrels. 12%

Hunahpu’s – Imperial Stout with ancho and pasilla peppers, cinnamon, vanilla and cacao. 12%


City Star Brewing

Outlaw – 2017 vintage of this imperial stout was aged 14-18 months in Kentucky bourbon whiskey oak barrels. Flavors of rich chocolate, toffee, dark dried fruit, oak, vanilla and of course American whiskey. 12.75%


(More: 2017 GABF Route Guide | Hoppy Beers)


Copper Kettle Brewing

Snowed In Mocha – This bourbon barrel-aged Imperial Oatmeal Stout is taken to a whole new level by adding chocolate and coffee. Rich and complex, this beer is a prime candidate for extended aging. 13.2%


Destihl Brewery

Dosvidanya Vanilla Rye – Barrel-aged Russian-style imperial stout with vanilla. 12.5%


Dogfish Head

Oak-aged Vanilla World Wide Stout – A dark, roasty stout aged in oak barrels on vanilla beans. 16%


Epic Brewing

Big Bad Baptista – Imperial Stout aged in whiskey barrels with vanilla, cinnamon, mexican coffee and cacao nibs added. 12.3%


Firestone Walker

XX Anniversary Ale – A blend of barrel aged beers to commemorate our 20th anniversary: 40% Parabola – Russian Imperial Oatmeal Stout 20% Stickee Monkee – Central Coast Quad 17.5% Velvet Merkin – Traditional Oatmeal Stout 12.5% Bravo – Imperial Brown Ale 10% Helldorado – Blonde. 13%


Founders Brewing

KBS – What we’ve got here is an imperial stout brewed with a massive amount of coffee and chocolates, then cave-aged in oak bourbon barrels for an entire year to make sure wonderful bourbon undertones come through in the finish. 11.8%


Fremont Brewing

The Rusty Nail – The Rusty Nail begins life as The First Nail, an oatmeal stout of epic proportions with brewer’s licorice, smoked barley, and pale malt and is then aged on cinnamon bark. She becomes The Rusty Nail after spending 15 months in 12-year old bourbon barrels. 12.7%


Great Divide Brewing

Barrel-Aged Yeti Imperial Stout– This unique version of our monstrous Yeti Imperial Stout is aged for at least 12 months in whiskey barrels. 12.5%


Great Notion

Double Stack – A NW breakfast stout loaded with local PDX Clutch coffee and ridiculous amounts of maple syrup. 10%


Half Acre Beer

Benthic – Bourbon barrel aged stout with Coffee and Coconut. 12.3%

JDub’s Brewing

Siesta Key Rum Barrel Aged Imperial Stout – Not to be confused with our on-going collaboration with Siesta Key Rum (Drumcircle Distillery), these rum barrels were fresh and should give all their flavor to our Imperial Stout. 11%


Kuhnhenn Brewing

Raspberry Eisbock – After a very very long boil, followed by a freezing and aging period, fresh raspberries and raspberry juice is infused into this intense lager, bringing about bright berry notes with a hint of chocolate, like a chocolate truffle. Found in the MI Guild section. 15.5%


Modern Times Beer

Monster’s Park aged in Bourbon Barrels w/ Vanilla – We took this batch of Monster’s Park to a new tier of decadence by loading it up with a whole bunch of delicious vanilla beans, which meld magnificently with the barrel character and giant, roasty profile to create a uniquely majestic beer experience. 14.6%

Monsters’ Park Aged in Bourbon Barrels: Mexican Hot Chocolate Edition – We loaded this massively flavorful, barrel-aged imperial stout with cinnamon, cocoa nibs, chilis, and vanilla, yielding a Mexican hot chocolate party of staggeringly delicious proportions. 14.6%

Monsters’ Park Aged in Spanish Brandy Barrels – This is Monsters’ Park, our hulking, cantankerous imperial stout, aged in Spanish brandy barrels, which begin their life as sherry casks. The fruit-forward barrel character is immediately evident on the nose and only grows more intense in the flavor. 13.3%


Mountain Sun Brewery

Barrel-Aged Chocolate Thunder Imperial Chocolate Milk Stout – Chocolate Thunder is full-bodied with a soft, velvety texture from additions of milk chocolate, dark chocolate and milk sugar. It has assertive flavors of chocolate, vanilla and oak from several months aging in Four Roses Bourbon barrels. 10.4%


Nebraska Brewing

Mélange A Trois – Mélange A Trois begins with a wonderfully big Strong Belgian-Style Blonde Ale and moves into the extraordinary category through an additional 6 month French Oak Chardonnay Wine Barrel maturation. The essence of Chardonnay permeates while a subtle sweetness. 11.3%

New Holland

Dragon’s Milk A stout with roasty malt character intermingled with deep vanilla tones, all dancing in an oak bath. 11%

Oakshire Brewing

Brunch in Hell – Russian Imperial Stout aged in oak brandy barrels. Conditioned on maple syrup and single origin Brazilian Conquesta coffee. 14%


Odell Brewing

Effing Teamwork Stout Collab w/ Avery Brewing – On-site blended beer only for GABF! One white stout from Odell’s and one dark stout from Avery come together in synergistic harmony as our two teams combine to create a big, delicious stout with notes of coffee, oak, and bourbon. 11%

Whiskey Barrel-Aged Lugene – An imperial stout brewed with dark chocolate and lactose, then aged for six months in freshly emptied Woody Creek Rye Whiskey barrels, resulting in a rich, chewy stout with hints of molasses, chocolate, bourbon and oak. 10.5%

Oskar Blues Brewery

Barrel-Aged Death by Coconut – Barrel Aged intense pure liquid cacao flavors swirl with popping coconut aromas, all supported by a semi-sweet porter made from loads of our dark chocolate and extra dark caramel malt. 10.84%

Barrel-Aged Ten Fidy – Aged through four seasons & from a blend of the top Bourbons around, this Ten Fidy has morphed into a monster of cranked up flavor. Espresso, burnt sugar, rich chocolate, caramel notes are now driving alongside the vanilla, oak & bourbon from the barrel. 12.9%


Perrin Brewing

No Rules – This 15% Vietnamese Imperial Porter was made with coconut & turbinado sugar then laid down & aged in bourbon barrels for several months. 15%


Prison City Brewing

Lights Out at 11 – Bourbon BBL Aged Imperial Stout with Vanilla Bean. 11%


Revolution Brewing

Working Mom – Our Winter Woman Imperial Brown aged in Old Forester barrels for 9 months. Wonderfully complex notes of bourbon married with chocolate, toffee, fruit & vanilla with a lingering hop bitterness & alcohol warmth that you would expect from a beer this big! 11%


Scofflaw Brewing

Vanilla Absentium – Aged in bourbon barrels that were then used by a spice company to age a batch of its vanilla extract. A smooth imperial stout with deliciously inviting flavor notes. No vanilla was harmed in the making of this beer. 13.9%


Shmaltz Brewing

Jewbelation 20 – 10 malts, 10 hops, 20th-anniversary strong ale. 16.8%


Short’s Brewing

Bourbon Barrel Aged Black Cherry Porter – Aged in bourbon barrels for 9 months, fermented w/ Northern Michigan sweet black cherries & 8 different malts. A slight purple lace from the fruit puree enticingly leads into smooth soft hints of roasted chocolate & pleasurable black cherry & bourbon. 11.3%


Sierra Nevada Brewing

Trip in the Woods Barrel-Aged Cocoa Coconut Narwhal – Our cult classic Narwhal Imperial Stout brewed with cocoa and coconut and aged in bourbon barrels. Rich and decadent. 11.8%


Ska Brewing

Rye Barrel-Aged Russian Imperial Stout – Aged on Woodford Rye Barrels, this Russian Imperial Stout is nothing short of remarkable. With barrel derived notes of coconut, vanilla, huge roasted chocolate and burnt malt flavors. 13.1%


Southern Tier Brewing

Monstrosus – Part of our Barrel Works Series, this bourbon barrel aged imperial stout features black malt, chocolate malt and roasted barley on the grain bill. The beer then ages for 12 months in bourbon barrels. 14.7%


Strange Craft Beer

Dr. Strangelove – Hoppy, malty award-winning barleywine. 11.5%


Sun King Brewing

One Bad D – One Bad G is a Strong Ale malt showcase, with flavors of dark chocolate and fruit, rounded out by vanilla and oak from bourbon barrel-aging. 10.9%


The Wrecking Bar Brewpub

Bourbon Barrel-Aged Siberius Maximus – A thick, viscous, and incredibly complex Imperial Stout aged for 13 months in Buffalo Trace bourbon barrels. 12.5%


Toppling Goliath

Mornin’ Delight – A huge Imperial Stout with an explosive espresso aroma followed by strong notes of maple syrup and vanilla. 12%


Verboten Brewing

Grow Old With You – English Barleywine aged in bourbon barrels. 13%


WeldWerks Brewing

Medianoche – Imperial Stout aged in Bourbon barrels for 17 months. 13.9%


West Sixth Brewing

Snake Cake – Our snake eyes imperial stout aged in bourbon barrels with the vanilla beans and cocoa nibs added, creating a rich beer with a striking resemblance to chocolate cake. 13%


Weyerbacher Brewing

Sunday Morning Stout – Aromas of roasted coffee and bourbon awaken your senses while their flavors blend with hints of chocolate, roasted malt, vanilla and caramel. 12.7%


GABF Routes: Funk, Sours & Wilds | Hoppy Beers


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