GABF: What’s the Big Fuss?

If you happen to be at CVG in the next couple of days you may see an unusually high surge of travelers donning craft beer swag. Why are so many guys with epic beards suddenly popping up at the Cincinnati airport? Because it’s American Craft Beer’s high holiday – Great American Beer Festival!

GABF is arguably one of the greatest craft beer festivals and competitions in the world and is in it’s 37th year. Hosted annually in Denver, Colorado by the Brewers Association, 62,000 craft beer enthusiasts flock to the convention center for this four-day event. With over 800 breweries pouring over 4,000 beers, it is no wonder that this event lives at the top of the craft beer drinker’s bucket list.

Part festival, part competition, this event has it all.

The Festival:

Oh, what a glorious sight to behold. This efficient and brilliantly run beer festival is a damn good time. Who wouldn’t want to be surrounded by equally nerdy beer enthusiasts from around the world while sampling the best of the best in craft?! New this year to GABF, the Brewers Association has reorganized the convention center so that breweries are organized in alphabetical order. We think this decision is a major win – gone are the years when you had to memorize the map in order to track down your must try beers for the night.

Additionally, they’ve expanded the footprint of the festival by 100,000 square feet this year, which will hopefully help in moving around those epically long lines that pop up around big name breweries.

This year 62,000 lucky attendees will have their pick from over 4,000 beers representing 800 breweries.

A couple tips from us to help you maximize your experience:

  1. Study the list and make some top picks before the session begins.
  2. But don’t stay married to your list. If you walk past a booth and something catches your eye, TRY IT! Even if you’ve never heard of it before.
  3. You may be tempted to stick to breweries that don’t distribute in Ohio, but we say there is something super exciting about connecting with your local breweries during GABF. Even if it is just to say “Hi,” visit the Cincinnati brewery booths and show them some Cincinnati love. GABF is all about love for and pride in the craft – so share in that positive energy!
  4. Water, water, water. And then remember that you’re at a high altitude, so more water.
  5. If you’re a loyal Untappd user, consider pre-loading your beers into the app for quick access and on-the-spot beer reviewing. Or take your notes on paper and spend your flight home updating your account. Worried that walking around with a notepad will make you look nerdy? You’re at a beer festival. It comes with the territory.
  6. Pay attention to beer events hosted at local craft beer bars and breweries. GABF is not just about the festival itself, but is about the city-wide craft beer party that happens all week long. The tap takeovers and other special events happening in Denver surrounding the festival are unreal and are not to be missed.

The Competition:

All eyes are on this competition, so no pressure. With over 2,200 breweries submitting over 8,300 beers in 102 beer style categories, these judges have quite the challenge. Guidelines for judging are based on the Brewers Association Style Guidelines and World Beer Cup Styles.

Each year categories are added and changed to reflect the ever-evolving industry. This year, new categories include three juicy/hazy categories (shocking we know). New in 2018:

Juicy or Hazy Pale Ale

Juicy or Hazy IPA

Juicy or Hazy Double IPA

Contemporary American Style Pilsner

The constant evolution is very intentional on the part of the Brewers Association and adaptations to the categories are not taken lightly. There is a concerted effort to make sure that style categories are relevant and are a true reflection of the current beer landscape.

Winners of the annual competition are announced on Saturday, September 22nd in a massive hall with brewers from around the country filling the seats. The awards show is fun to watch, even from a distance. We’ll share out livestreaming details closer to the event.

Not able to make it to Denver but want to get in on the action? Join us for our GABF Preview with Fat Head’s on Thursday, September 20th. Cheers!

Brewery Feature: Decadent Ales

Since March, we’ve been geeking out anytime a beer delivery includes a new release from Decadent Ales, and last week was no exception. Last week’s huge drop of Decadent cans, featuring five new beers from this nanobrewery in Upstate New York, took our adoration for this brewery to a whole new level. We’ve spent a lot of time this week scrolling through Decadent’s social media feeds and getting excited about what’s next from this new up-and-coming brewery that is killing the game.

We were actually pretty shocked by the lack of information available online about this brewery and so we decided to do some digging of our own. Here’s what we know about the guys at Decadent Ales, a brewery that keeps surprising us and hooking us with their exciting flavor profiles, quirky can art, and finger-on-the-pulse approach to craft beer.

Decadent Ales is still relatively new to the craft beer scene, founded in June of 2016 by Paul Pignataro, Jim LeRay, and Andrew LeRay. Located in Mamaroneck, NY, this Hudson Valley nanobrewery is already turning heads nationwide.

Initially located in an 1,800 square foot space underneath a chocolate shop, the guys brewed on a one-barrel system. Focusing on New England style IPAs and dessert-inspired pastry stouts, their proximity to a chocolate shop seems pretty fitting to us. No surprise, they quickly outgrew their space and started conversations with Half Time Beverage to develop on-site brewing facilities and a tap room at the New York mega-retail shop. Decadent closed their initial location and moved to contract brewing, working with Thimble Island Brewing Company and Dorchester Brewing Company.

The conversations and planning with Half Time Beverage continued, and in 2017 plans to build and move into the space began. Fast forward to Summer of 2018– the tanks are installed, and Decadent Ales is in their final stages of opening their tap room and new location. The current word on the street is that they’ll open in September, which means it’s time for everyone to start planning their next beercations to Upstate New York.

What’s on the docket in terms of new beers from Decadent? It looks like they’re returning to some of their popular pastry stouts this Fall, are launching more milkshake IPAs, and have a few collaborations  with Evil Twin in the works.

Interested in trying out some beers from Decadent Ales? We’re trying to get our hands on as many of their beers as possible. At time of publication, Cappy’s currently had the following beers in stock:

French Toast

Pacific Punch

Pog Nog

Strawberry Creamsicle

Tropical Smoothie

Wild Berry Smoothie

Prost! A Guide to Oktoberfests, Festbiers, and Märzens

As the humidity breaks (we hope), and we begin to look towards Fall, a surge of Oktoberfest beers are unloaded from trucks and appear on our shelves and in our coolers. As crushable as this style of beer is, however, these beers tend to bring with them a plethora of questions from our customers. So, crack open a cold one and settle in as we attempt to answer some of your Oktoberfest FAQs and explain a bit more about the brews that do this beer-focused celebration justice.

How did Oktoberfest come to be?

Oktoberfest was originally a massive, city-wide wedding celebration. In October of 1810, Crown Prince Ludwig married Princess Teresa of Sassonia-Hildburghausen. All of Munich was invited to feast and join in celebration of the newlywed couple. The evening closed with a horse race. A year later, the city of Munich decided to organize yet another horse race and the rest is history. The event itself has since been lengthened to a multi-day celebration and the festivities have moved up in the calendar to September.

What exactly is a märzen?

Märzen, which means March in German, was traditionally brewed in March, towards the end of the brewing season. Before the invention of refrigeration, brewing was limited to the cooler months, allowing beers to go through the proper fermentation process without risking bacterial infection. March was considered the final month in brewing season and this bottom-fermented lager was then stored in cellars until ready for consumption in late Summer and early Fall. Rich, full-bodied, and generally a bit higher in ABV, this German-style lager ranges anywhere from pale gold to amber in color. Expect bold, malty flavors and a clean, dry finish.

What’s the difference between an Oktoberfest beer, a festbier and a märzen?

In Germany, technically, a beer can only be called an Oktoberfest beer if it is brewed in Munich and served during Oktoberfest. That means just six beers in the world are considered Oktoberfest beers: Augustiner-Bräu, Hacker-Pschorr-Bräu, Löwenbräu, Paulaner, Spatenbrä, and Staatliches Hofbräu-München. Pretty limiting, right? The official Oktoberfest beers tend to be a märzen style-lager, but in the 1970s, attempts were made to brew a beer similar in style, but lighter: enter the festbier – think of it as a seasonal dortmunder.

Which Oktoberfest beer do you recommend?

We each have our own personal favorites at Cappy’s, and so we’ve opted to give you the chance to determine the best local interpretation for yourself. Hesitant about committing to an entire six pack of a single märzen or festbier? Pick up our mixed six-pack of Ohio(ish) Oktoberfest Beers– perfect for an at-home blind taste test. Prost!

Cappy’s Oktoberfest Six Pack is available while supplies last. Each six pack includes one can of the following six beers:

  • Braxton Brewing’s Oktober Fuel (hence the “Ohio-ish”)
  • North High’s Norden Hoch
  • Rhinegeist’s Franz
  • Sibling Revelry’s Fest
  • Taft’s Oktubberfest
  • West Side Brewing’s Oktoberfest

What’s that Ruckus?! Melvin Brewing Company Comes to Ohio

Nothing excites us more at Cappy’s than when we get to introduce a new brewery, beer, or style to our customers. This week we are beyond thrilled to share some phenomenal beers from Melvin Brewing Company out of Wyoming with the great state of Ohio.

These guys have built a bit of a reputation for themselves over the years – their commitment to partying is just as strong as their commitment to wracking up as many medals as they possibly can in the brewing industry. Quite honestly, their list of hardware is too lengthy to share, but here are a few recent highlights from these bad boys of beer:

GABF 2017 Brewing Group of the Year

GABF 2017 Gold Medals for Hubert MPA and Fresh Hop IPA

American Canned Craft Beer Festival 2017 Gold Medal for Hubert MPA

GABF 2016 Gold Medal for Melvin IPA

US Open Beer Championship 2016 #2 Brewery of the Year, Gold Medals for Ch Ch Cherry Bomb, Uncle Ruckus, and D’Artagnan

American Canned Craft Beer Festival 2016 Gold Medals for Hubert MPA, Melvin IPA, Best of Show for Hubert IPA

North American Beer Awards 2016 Gold Medal for Morris IPA, Silver Medal for Clinic ISA

If you have an eye for trends, you may be picking up that Melvin Brewing is truly a master of all things hops and we have to agree. We’re tapping nine of their beers, including five hop forward beers at 5pm on Tuesday, 8/28 so that you can try them, too!

Melvin has exploded in recent years, largely due to the reputation they’ve built through beer festivals and awards. But back in 2009, Melvin existed under another name, Thai Me Up. Originally a small Thai restaurant, Jeremy Tofte, an employee of the restaurant, purchased the store, began playing kung fu movies on the TVs, blasting hip hop over the speakers, and pushing out beers on a 20 gallon brew system. They started to emerge on the beer scene in 2012 when they won Gold at GABF for Melvin IPA and 2×4 IPA.

True to their “we do what we want” attitude, when the brewery was shut out of entering GABF in 2013 after slots sold out in just two hours, Tofte blew off the event altogether and spent the week surfing in Baja, Mexico. Since they couldn’t submit their IPAs to defend their 2012 title, they brewed a new beer, Asterisk, which we assume is a reference to Kurt Vonnegut and a subtle “fuck you” to GABF in the form of a delicious IIPA.

But to be clear, while Melvin is named after both a ninja and a wedgie (from the front), and while they’re known for throwing massive parties, including their annual 2×4 Day, an event which includes setting a massive statue made out of 2x4s on fire (a la Burning Man), these guys actually do care and try to do some good, all while brewing killer beers.

Enter Your IPA. Each year, Melvin donates a portion of all proceeds from the beer to benefit a non-profit. In 2018 Melvin is supporting RIP Medical Debt, a national non-profit that provides support to Americans with oppressive medical debt by buying and forgiving defaulted debt.

So join us in welcoming Melvin Brewing Company to Ohio. Cappy’s currently carries:

In cans: Hubert MPA, Melvin IPA, Killer Bees, Asterisk

On draft beginning 5pm on 8/28: 2×4, Hubert MPA, Your IPA, Melvin IPA, RIIPA Hop Shocker, Killer Bees (Blonde Ale), Scenario Porter, Ruckus Imperial Stout, Hezeus (Mexican Lager)

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NEW ITEMS IN THIS WEEK!

Come check out these awesome beers we just got in this week!

 

Beer Me by OddSide Ales: American Lager

 

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Only two left! In the Flesh by Two Brothers: Pomegranate sour

 

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Epic Brewing Lupulin Burst: New England style IPA

 

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Nimble Giant by Troegs: Double IPA released ONCE A YEAR!

 

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Strawberry fruitsicle by Oddside: their newest of the fruitsicle collection done with strawberries

 

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Shadynasty’s by Oddside: IPA

 

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Mad Pils by Madtree: Pilsner

 

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Idolatrous by Stone: IPA

 

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New Growth by Jackie O’s: IPA

Email Newsletter!

Since Cappy’s is always having awesome events planed specifically for YOU, we wanted to make sure everyone was in the loop on #WhatsCappening down on our patio! Cappy’s is going to start an email list so we can get in better touch will all you amazing people and interact on more of a personal level!! Shoot us a personal message or stop in Cappy’s to sign up and grab some weekend essentials! We have some awesome things planned for the summer, let us be the first to let you know #WhatsCappening #CAF 🙂

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RECAP!! Wine Wednesday with special guest

In case you missed it! Yesterday we have the privilege of welcoming Maeva Pelletier for one of our wonderful wine Wednesday’s! We are always pleased to have brewery owners and Wine makers grace us with their presence on our patio and share their knowledge and love for everything we stand for at Cappy’s (great beers and delicious wines). Joining us on the patio all the way from Califonia, Maeva shared with us some of her favorite wines and the processing of making them!

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New Arrivals! Tuesday- June 5th

Check out the New arrivals we got in this week!!

 

 

Bikini Season- This is a gose from Erie Brewing Co. that is light and easy drinking for summer time!

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Stone Brewing’s Fear. Movie. Lions Double IPA comes in a 6-pack and will also be tapped this Friday, June 8th!

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Berliner Weisse done with strawberries and vanilla! Comes in a 4-pack!

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Sour watermelon Ale by 21st Amendment Brewing! Super refreshing!

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Avery’s latest “bug zapper” is a sour ale done with lime zest, ginger, and mint!

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An unfiltered IPA done by Stone!

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Sour Monkey REMIX! by Victory Brewing is aged in Chardonnay barrels!

New Arrivals 5/8-5/19

Nickelbrook Ceres- “A sour beer with sea salt, cucumber and lime juice; sounds insane, right?  Nope, this thirst-quenching Gose (pronounced Gose-Uh) is a perfect balance between tart, refreshing and citric, like a well-crafted cocktail. Named for the Roman goddess of agriculture and crops, Ceres is our tribute to the importance of fresh, natural ingredients. Wheat and barley, cucumbers and limes, Himalayan sea salt and a hit of Lactobaccilus combine for the perfect summer brew. The gods were smiling on our brewers the day they came up with this beauty.  Tart, crisp and fresh, this Gose will soon be gone.”  ABV: 4%.

 

Nickelbrook Raspberry Uber- “Our brewers decided to have some fun and took one of our most scientific creations and made it even more amazing!  Our Berliner Style Weisse uses our refreshing sour style of wheat beer, which has then been aged on fresh Canadian raspberries.  The result is a massive raspberry flavour explosion that still maintains the incredibly unique qualities of our Berliner Style Weisse.  You’re going to love it- it’s a scientific fact!”  ABV: 3.8%.

 

 

Madtree Sol Drifter- “A refreshing blonde ale made for extended periods of drinking during summer days well into the evening. With copious amounts of New Zealand Motueka hops lending lemon and lime notes, Sol Drifter ends with a crisp and tart strawberry finish.”  ABV: 4.3%.

 

 

Avery Perzik- “A classic saison—dry, crisp, fruity, spicy and refreshing with a dose of summer—peaches!”  ABV: 6.4%.

 

 

 

Clown Shoes Baked Goods- “Baked Goods is a sessionable hoppy pale ale dry hopped with Mosaic, Azacca, Idaho 7 and Centennial hops, which add tropical fruit flavors and aroma.”  ABV: 5.5%.

 

 

Maui Pueo- “A West-coast style Pale Ale with balanced malt profile, kettle and dry-hopped for hop intensity.”  ABV: 5.6%.

 

 

 

Jackie O’s Chiron’s Flame- “An imperial red that was aged in bourbon barrels for 16 months. A rich barleywine style ale that exhibits strong notes of caramel, dark sweet cherry, and vanilla.”  ABV: 11.1%

 

 

 

Rhinegeist Sabertooth- “Saber Tooth Tiger is a Prehistoric IPA that attacks the senses with potent notes of Papaya, Mango and Peach yet finishes it’s prey (your palate) with a crisp clean citrus bitterness.”  ABV: 8.5%.

 

 

Zaftig Juicy Lucy- “Juicy Lucy is a lighter IPA made to become your everyday beer. This delicious IPA delivers citrusy punch full of fruity flavors, namely papaya, apricot, and guava. This lovely lady was double dry hopped with Citra and Rakau hops.”  ABV: 7%.

 

 

Bell’s Pooltime- “A refreshing Belgian-inspired Wheat Ale with light clove notes. The truly distinguishing feature is the use of 100% Montmorency tart cherries grown in the Traverse City region of Michigan. These cherries add a subtle tartness and bright counterpoint to the other flavors, enhancing Pooltime’s fruity character and making it the perfect beer for all summer activities.”  ABV: 5.2%.

 

 

Ommegang Brunetta- “Brunetta is a mild, clean Oud Bruin, well-balanced and with a touch of caramel sweetness from the specialty malts.”  ABV: 5%.

 

 

 

Ommegang Bend The Knee- “Brewed with pils malt and flaked oats and hopped with Saaz, Bravo, and Styrian Golding hops. It pours a golden hue with a large, frothy head. Both the aroma and flavor mix maltiness and citrus from the hops, while Ommegang’s signature house yeast produces prominent fruitiness. Wildflower honey added during fermentation provides light sweetness to the beer, which finishes dry and with firm hop bitterness.”  ABV: 9%.

 

 

Hi-Wire Citra Gose- “This gose-style ale is dry-hopped with Citra hops and the beer hits 4.2% ABV”

 

 

 

Warped Wing Mr. Mean- “This Mean ass IPA is pale orange with copper highlights and has a funk load of Amarillo and Centennial hops providing citrus and fruity aromas and a very bitter finish. The malt character is slightly bready/nutty with a dry finish. At 9% ABV and 96 IBU’s this beer will keep your inner soul groovin’ with every sip!”

 

 

Great Lakes Hop Madness- “Beware, drinker! Hop hysteria could happen to you! Especially after indulging in our dry-hopped Double IPA’s shockingly intense tropical aromas and hair-raising bitterness.  Maniacally dry-hopped, with a frenzy of juicy aromas and formidable pine finish.”  ABV: 8%.

 

 

Deschutes Pacific Wonderland Lager- “We’ve always believed the best way to respect tradition is to brew the unexpected. So when we set out to create a sessionable lager befitting of the Pacific Northwest, our sense of exploration led us to this dry-hopped wonder befitting of everyday adventure. Citrusy Tettnang Mandarina hops combine with the crisp, bright character of a traditional lager to deliver a beer that is truly refreshing, and undoubtedly worth sharing.”  ABV: 5.5%.

 

 

 

Braxton Summertip- “This kettle soured German style ale features 50% wheat malt and is balanced with the use of lactobacillus. Very little to no hop presence allow the bready/biscuit characteristics to come through, with a nice tart Passion Fruit finish.”  ABV: 4.2%.

 

 

Sierra Nevada Hoptimum- “Our brewers selected the finest, most flavorful hops, pushed them beyond their limits and forged them into this all-new triple IPA. This reimagined Hoptimum is our hoppiest beer yet, providing a blend of tropical and citrus hop aroma that delivers a refined yet aggressive character.”  ABV: 9.6%.

 

 

So many tasty beers in this week, plus tons of fun events!  Here are this week’s events:

Thursday: Perrin Pint Night with food available from the Quite Frankly food truck 5-10pm.

Friday: Free New Holland Sampling with live music and food available from Caveman Crepes 5-10pm.

Saturday: Revolution Tap Takeover with food available from The Beerded Pig 2-10, and live music from The Four Measures of Funk 6-9pm.

Sunday: Sunday Funday; 3 Floyd’s Edition!  Zombie Dust and more on tap, plus food available from The Beerded Pig 1-8pm!

 

We’ll see you soon, cheers!!