The idea - we should try all six of the Ohio-brewed beers that placed in this year's Great American Beer Festival! - was one I stole from Twitter, but it eventually became an all-consuming personal quest.

The idea - we should try all six of the Ohio-brewed beers that placed in this year's Great American Beer Festival! - was one I stole from Twitter, but it eventually became an all-consuming personal quest.

At this year's GABF (Sept. 16-18 in Denver), 236 beers beat out more than 2,200 domestic brews to win medals. Six of them were from Ohio. That doesn't seem like a daunting number of beers to try, does it?

Most of our staff had already tried Columbus Brewing Company's fruity and delicious Summer Teeth (a bronze-winning kellerbier) when it was on tap during the warmer months, so that meant only five left!

I fired off e-mails to the breweries to see if they could send me some samples.

Things started off great - The Brew Kettle in Strongsville quickly mailed bombers of their winning beers, the Jack Hammer (a rich barley wine that took home a bronze medal) and the Red Eye PA (one of my favorites, a nice and hoppy Imperial Red Ale that came away with a silver).

Next up was the Anastasia Russian Imperial Stout, which Weasel Boy Brewing Co. kindly agreed to drive over to Columbus from Zanesville in a growler, meant to be shared among the staff.

Sadly, the keg blew, so they could only fill it halfway. And a half-full growler, I learned, goes flat quickly - this stuff needed to be drank in the next few hours. I was basically forced to head straight home and polish it off myself. Not that I minded. This was my favorite of the six, an inky black, chocolatey stout that earned a bronze in the Imperial Stout category.

From here on out, it was a solitary mission. And the Frog's Hollow Double Pumpkin Ale nearly did me in. Most Columbus beer stores stock Frog's Hollow bombers, but the buzz generated by its gold medal win meant most stores sold out of the stuff as soon as it hit the shelves.

I contacted the distributor, who confirmed: It was gone, all gone.

But! A week later, Scott from Cavalier Distributing e-mailed back, saying he'd spotted the elusive ale at the Kenny Road Market. "I thought everyone was sold out, but there it was!" he wrote.

It was a Halloween miracle, and some of the tastiest pumpkin ale I've had - spicy rather than sugary.

That left only the Head Hunter IPA from Fat Head's Brewery in North Olmsted, a silver-medal-winning American-style IPA. I called Matt, the brewer at Fat Head's, and filled him in. Matt was duly amused and said he'd figure out a way to make this happen.

Two days later, a Fed-Exed growler of Head Hunter arrived at my desk. Victory tasted great, like grapefruit.

Hiccup.