That groan you hear this Monday is the craft beer-loving world, back at work and dealing with its Great American Beer Fest hangover. Or maybe that’s just the CBB team. Anyway, I assume most of you were there to both promote your beer and to try a bunch of great beers you can’t normally try at home. I also assume that you only half remember everything that happened. Well, us too, but that’s what photos are for, right? Let’s scroll through some highlights and random photos to jog our memories and relive this year’s GABF.
The awards are getting more and more competitive with so many entries in every category – which means a lot of great beers that would have won in so many other years now leave empty-handed. Seriously, how could you possibly pick winners in some of those categories?
Possible or not, winners were picked, and because the competition is so insane, winning a medal is then all the more special – especially for those up-and-comers just now finding their way in the industry. And really, that’s the best part of the GABF – when the hard work of so many in the industry is rewarded and applauded by a room full of industry peers.
That’s the Central Coast Brewing team after winning gold in the American-style Pale Ale category, one of the most stacked categories with 160 entries. They were truly emotional and grateful after the win. Just a cool scene.
I also liked seeking Jackson, Wy.-based Melvin Brewing get some love as Small Brewpub of the Year. During this current weird moment in the beer industry, with the big guys looking for global control, and the upper echelon of the craft world merging and acquiring and jockeying for position, hanging around the GABF, talking with brewers from across the country that really comprise the meat of the 3,700+ craft brewing scene — and seeing their real passion and pride for their businesses and the industry — is pretty great.