In the beer world, St. Patrick's Day means 2 things: Irish Stout and green beer. Getting in on the Stout thing is pretty easy. But, if you just ain't a dark beer drinker -- or you didn't have time to brew one up for the holiday this year -- never fear. It couldn't be easier to enjoy some festive green beer in honor of the ol' snake chaser. And the best part, you don't have to settle for the pale (green), watery lager that your local Irish Pub might have on tap. That said, the palest beers will work the best.
The GABF is, as you might imagine, a beer festival of epic proportions. It consists of 4 tasting "sessions" (which last about 5 hours each) over 3 days -- 1 session each on Thursday and Friday, with 2 sessions packed into Saturday. Sunday is the official GABF day of rest (or travel). When you purchase a ticket to one of the sessions (or all 4 if you are brave and strong of liver), you are entitled to walk into the great hall, where you are presented with a map and a 1-ounce tasting glass. The Brewers Association reports that approximately 49,000 pairs of feet carried their thirsty bosses to 462 brewery pouring stations, where attendees chose from 2,200 different beers. Mind boggling.