Friday, September 30, 2011

The Great American Beer Festival

The Great American Beer Fest started yesterday. Based in Denver, Colorado it is the biggest beer fest in the country. Over 450 craft breweries send their beer to the fest to be both sampled and judged. This year the expected attendance is 49,000 people.

The one and only time Ben and I went was in 2007. We decided to make the trip out there and turn the whole thing into a vacation since neither of us had been there before.

First I must say, Denver as a city is awesome, Denver during GABF is even better. The entire city caters to the fest. They schedule their “beer” week to coincide with the fest so restaurants have special beer based meals and there are meet and greets and tours all over the city. Colorado has a great beer scene as it is, so between the brewpubs and breweries all over town you can try something different and beer oriented for every meal.

The fest itself is held over three days with multiple sessions. The hall is divided up by region of the country and it takes all of the sessions to get through everything. The highlight of our first fest was the “members only” session. This is only open to members of the Brewer’s Association and is where they give out the awards for the year. While the awards are being given brewers and owners are walking around sampling their peer’s beer. Watching the brewers walk around wearing huge smiles and gleaming new medals is truly amazing.

Every brewery you might visit has their medals prominently displayed where any visitor can see. If you visit somewhere like Sam Adams they have hundreds hanging from the rafters. (Talk about inspiration!)

Every year since then the anticipation of having our beer there has grown. Our excitement over the 2012 fest is the reason we made our highest kickstarter level a trip to the GABF to have that experience with us. Now we have a whole year to get ready!

No comments:

Post a Comment