Five years ago was my first GABF and finally BrewDad returns to the land of beer. Landed inDenverlate Wednesday and it was non stop brewery tours, festival attending and tons of bull shit sessions. Hops, water, malt and brewers we BS’d and saw it all. Checked out a lot of local breweries and had a blast. Thursday night session started I was like a kid on Christmas day. There was Garret Oliver looking dapper. Oh I just saw Jim Koch walk by. I heard people say not many brewers where there I for one saw a ton. Oh wait there goes Sam Calaigone from DogFish head. Not to mention all the local guys I saw. Don Webb fromNakedCityand the boys from Berryessa Brewing out ofCaliforniawhere hanging out. Had a blast you the brewers broken up by region and it is hard to leave your own region due to you know them all. But then it is a blast to check out the brewers from all over this great land.
It was fun to see places like New Glarus – Stone Brewing and CigarCitywith the large lines with over 50+ waiting for their highly coveted beer. When the first night ended I was on such a high I knew this is going to be impossible to make every brewery in the next few days.
Friday comes and it all starts with tours and more breweries to check out while we wait for the night session to start. NewBelgium puts on a tour to add to any beer geek’s bucket list. Great Divide was also great and I loved visiting Pints Pub. The English IPA poured from a real beer engine was very tasty. Then add a few hours at the GABF this time seeking breweries from regions I don’t have usual access to like Texas, North Carolina, Virginia and many more.
East, West, North and South they all came dreaming of winning a GABF medals. Sure it is fun and they all are getting great exposure but every brewer wants that coveted GABF medal. When a few of your regions brewing peeps win medals it makes for one hell of a great day. Saturday starts with a large hall filed with beer brewing people all on the edge of their seats as they wonder did they measure up and win an award. So glad to be able to say great breweries like American Brewing, Full Sail, HUB, Columbia River Brewing, Red Hook, Rogue and 10 Barrel Brewing all won medals. I know I am forgetting a few but it such a treat to see it all unfold. The passion for great beer comes out.
Finally it is time to hit the connoisseur session it is loaded with thousands of beer geeks and they all are treated to some terrific beer. The brewers are all amp’d up the winners are walking around and or helping pour their newly award winning brews. This is the one session one must not miss.
Here are some pics of the weekend. Enjoy and until next year. Cheers…