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2018 GABF Route Preview | Big Beers Route

GABF Route Preview 2018

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.


2018 GABF Routes:


We kick things off 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.


(READ: 2018 GABF Pour List Preview)

Molly's Spirits
Be sure to visit Molly’s Spirits for your GABF week special bottle and can releases.

Big Beers Route


Abnormal Beer Company

Barrel-Aged All of the Lights – Coffee Nutella Imperial Milk Porter made in collaboration with J. Wakefield Brewing and Mostra Coffee (Barrel Aged). – 13.6%

Avery Brewing

Fimbulvvinter – Rum Barrel-Aged Belgian-Style Quintuple – 16.9%

Rumpkin –  Imperial Rum Barrel-Aged Pumpkin Ale – 16.2%

Bell’s Brewery

Black Note – Black Note Stout blends the complex aromatics of Expedition Stout with the velvety smooth texture of Double Cream Stout and ages the combination in freshly retired oak bourbon barrels for months. 11.2%

Black Shirt Brewing

Red Evelyn – Imperial Red Rye IPA – 9.5%

Boneyard Brewing

Barrel-Aged Suge Knite – Suge Knite Imperial Stout aged in St. Croix Rum Barrels. – 13%

Bottle Logic

Fundamental Observation – Bourbon Barrel Aged Imperial Vanilla Stout: Our chart-topping ”liquid brownie batter” was aged in a medley of Buffalo Trace, WL Weller, Heaven Hill, and Four Roses bourbon barrels with multiple additions of Madagascar vanilla beans. – 13.2%

Number Crunch – Imperial stout aged in Bourbon Barrels, finished with a Variety of Cacao nibs & Vanilla. – 13.6%

The Bruery

Black Tuesday – Imperial stout aged in Bourbon Barrels, finished with a Variety of Cacao nibs & Vanilla. – 19.5%

Central Waters Brewing

Cassian Sunset – A bourbon barrel aged imperial stout with local Emy J’s coffee, whole vanilla beans, and cinnamon. The flavor profile of this wonderful beer boasts a lush mouthfeel, with just the right amount of creamy spice character to meld with the rich malt and barrel-aged profile. – 11.2%

Peruvian Morning – A Bourbon Barrel aged Imperial Stout made with freshly roasted Emy J’s Coffee. This beer is as complex as it gets. Flavors of vanilla, tannins, and coffee meld together to create a flavor as deep as the ravines of the Peruvian Andes – 11.2%

Cigar City Brewing

Hunahpu’s Imperial Stout – An Imperial Stout Aged On Cacao Nibs, Madagascar Vanilla Beans, Ancho Chilis, Pasilla Chilis and Cinnamon. – 10%

Copper Kettle Brewing

2017 Snowed In: Mocha – An imperial oatmeal stout aged in Breckenridge bourbon barrels with coffee and chocolate. – 12.7%


The Abyss 2014 – A deep, dark Imperial Stout, The Abyss has almost immeasurable depth and complexity. Hints of molasses, licorice and other alluring flavors make it something not just to quaff, but contemplate. – 11%

Dogfish Head

Bourbon Barrel-Aged Fruit-Full Fort – First we took our beloved Fort and brewed it with a boatload of even MORE berries – raspberries, blackberries, boysenberries and elderberries – to create Fruit-Full Fort. Then, as if Fruit-Full Fort wasn’t awesome enough … we took it one step further! To add even more complexity to this intricate brew, we aged it for four months in freshly-dumped bourbon barrels. – 17%

Epic Brewing

Triple Barrel Big Bad Baptist – Imperial stout aged in Whiskey & Rum barrels with cocao nibs, barrel aged coffee, & barrel aged coconut added. – 11%

Fiction Beer

Laws Whiskey Bourbon Barrel Aged Coconut Vanilla Russian Imperial Stout – 14%

Firestone Walker

Coconut Parabola – The legendary immensity of Parabola meets the refinement of rye whiskey in this righteously spicy barrel-aged brew. A year later, we toasted shaved coconut over coals of rum barrel wood, then comingled it with the rye-aged Parabola for a period of one month. – 12.2%


(READ: The Complete 2018 GABF Week Events Guide)

Forager Brewing

Pudding Goggles – Smooth as silk and perfectly spiced, this dessert beer will remind you of drinking the milk out of a bowl of Cinnamon Toast Crunch, mixed with cocoa pebbles. – 10.3%

Fort George Brewery

Matryoshka with Vanilla Beans – Russian imperial aged with vanilla. – 12.75%

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

Fremont Brewing

Bourbon Barrel Aged Dark Star: Coffee Edition – This year’s release is a blend of 18, 12, and 8-month Bourbon Barrel-Aged Dark Star in 12-year old Kentucky bourbon barrels, blended with coffee. – 13.1%

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 aged on cinnamon bark. She becomes the Rusty Nail after spending 15 months in 12-year old bourbon barrels. – 13.2%

Great Notion

Double Stack – Double Stack is our Imperial Breakfast Stout fermented with an irresponsible amount of maple syrup & aged on whole bean Sumatra from our friends at Clutch Coffee. – 11%

Guinness Open Gate Brewery

Barrel Aged Cascara Tripel – Made from Nicaraguan cascara and Brazilian coffee beans from Vent Coffee Roasters – 10.7%

J Wakefield

BA Bout It Bout It – Barrel aged version of our Imperial Stout brewed in collaboration with 3 Chiefs Brewery and features house toasted Cocoa Nibs, Tahitian Vanilla Bean, and Maple Syrup. – 18%

Kane Brewing

A Night to End All Dawns – Imperial dark ale aged in Bourbon barrels. – 12.4%

Picture in Reverse – Picture In Reverse is our 13.2% bourbon barrel aged Old Ale. We brewed this beer with a simple malt bill of almost entirely British Golden Promise then boiled it down for three hours to reduce and concentrate the wort. After fermentation with our house ale yeast we aged this beer for over a year in bourbon barrels to develop its dark color and maltiness with notes of caramel, vanilla and dark fruit. – 13.2%

Liquid Mechanics Brewing

Barrel Aged Awesomeness – Beer description kept secret until first session. – 13%

Modern Times Beer

Devil’s Teeth Aged in Bourbon Barrels w/ NOLA-style Coffee – This outrageously delicious imperial stout was aged in bourbon barrels and meticulously dosed with coffee, vanilla, almond, and chicory to create a face-meltingly tasty, nitrogenated homage to the Big Easy. 12.9%

Fellowship of Zuul – Barrel-aged dessert stout blend w/ cocoa nibs, coconut, almonds, vanilla, & peanut butter. – 13.7%

Suggestion of Mass – This Imperial Stout consists of Maris Otter base, with lots of specialty malts. 10 lbs/bbl Coconut, 2 lbs/bbl Black House Coffee, and a hint of Vanilla we added post fermentation and makes this beer taste like you just took a bite out of a Samoa cookie. – 11.3%

Moody Tongue

Bourbon Barrel Aged Chocolate Barleywine – This 13.1% full-bodied Barleywine carries the flavors of toffee, caramel and dark Oaxacan chocolate alongside notes of vanilla and oak, aged in Woodford Reserve bourbon barrels. – 13.1%

More Brewing

Barrel Aged Henna (Karma) – Karma – Imperial Stout with cocoa nibs, toasted coconut and cinnamon. – 14.3%

Henna: Swirl – Chocolate/vanilla Imperial Stout. 11.8%

Mehndi – Imperial Stout aged in a Weller Barrel for 13 months


2018 GABF Routes:


Molly's Spirits
Be sure to visit Molly’s Spirits for your GABF week special bottle and can releases.

Nebraska Brewing

Melange a Trois – 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. – 11.3%

New Glarus

25th Anniversary Ale – Twenty-five years of survival demands celebration! This quarter century Belgian Quadruple is a bold combination of German and English malted barley. Rich luxurious caramel and raisin notes rule the party. Aussie hops and Belgian yeast rested in brandy barrels. 11.5%

New Holland

Dragon’s Milk – (Every Variant… yes, all 8 of them) 11%

Orpheus Brewing

Chaos, Night, and Darkness – Blend of spontaneous and wild ales aged 2 years in barrels and refermented with merlot and old vine zinfandel grape must, blackberries, and blueberries. 10.85%

Oskar Blues Brewery

JAHvanilla Barrel Aged Ten FIDY Imperial Stout – Bourbon barrel aged Ten FIDY got rolled up in a barrel with Hotbox Roasters’ cold brew coffee and Madagascar vanilla beans until the flavors came together in a blaze of glory. Blue Mountain Jamaican coffee beans were used in the super concentrated cold brew which was added in an intense 2 pounds of coffee to 1 bbl of beer ratio. 12.9%

Revolution Brewing

Deth by Cherries – Unfermented tart cherries add mild acidity and subtly rounded sweetness to our Deth\u2019s Tar Barrel-Aged Imperial Oatmeal Stout. Flavors and aromas of bourbon and oak meld harmoniously with the fruit for a balanced experience. – 13.1%


Double Oaked Mastodon – Aged 10 months in bourbon barrels and another 3 months in red wine barrels, this Belgian Style Dark Ale is rich with complexities of dark fruit, milk chocolate, vanilla and wood. 12.7%

Strange Craft Beer

Barrel-Aged Dr. Strangelove – 2016 Vintage Barleywine aged 13 months in Colorado whiskey barrels. – 12%

Sun King Brewing

Rum Barrel Touched By An Angel – Rum Barrel-Aged Touched By An Angel is an effervescent Belgian-Style Tripel with hints of peach cobbler rounded out with flavors of molasses and orange peel from rum barrel-aging. – 12.7%

surly darkness vertical image

Surly Brewing

Barrel Aged Darkness – This massive Russian Imperial Stout brings waves of flavors; chocolate, cherries, raisins, coffee, and toffee. Barrel-Aged Darkness is a limited edition variant that spent over three months aging in Woodford Reserve Rye Whiskey barrels. – 12%

Taxman Brewing

Cocoa Vanilla Evasion 2018 – Bourbon-barrel aged Imperial Belgian-style Stout, special release variant aged on Cocoa Nibs and Vanilla. – 13%

Verboten Brewing

Little Nonsense – Imperial Oatmeal Stout aged in Bourbon barrels. 11%

weldwerks coconut medianoche

WeldWerks Brewing

Coconut Medianoche – Imperial Stout aged in 7-year Breckenridge Distillery bourbon barrels for 18 months, then aged on nearly 25lbs per barrel of toasted coconut. – 13.9%

Medianoche – Imperial Stout aged in 7-year Breckenridge Distillery bourbon barrels for 18 months.14.2%

Mexican Medianoche – Imperial Stout aged in Woodford Reserve Rye Whiskey barrels, with vanilla beans, cinnamon sticks and Ghanan cacoa nibs. 14.8%

Single Barrel Peanut Butter Cup Medianoche – Imperial Stout aged in 10-year Breckenridge Distillery bourbon barrels for 19 months, then aged on Reese’s peanut butter cups, peanut flour, milk chocolate, and cacao nibs.14.3%

Zaftig Brewing

Big Barleywine – 2018 U.S. Open Beer Championship Gold Medalist. Flavored with Target and Fuggle hops, this is an American style barely wine that exemplifies the Zaftig spirit. – 13.5%


2018 GABF Routes:


Molly's Spirits
Be sure to visit Molly’s Spirits for your GABF week special bottle and can releases.

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