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2008 GABF wrapup

It’s hard to imagine not wanting to drink a beer. But, that’s exactly how I felt yesterday. AND, it was the first day in a VERY long time that I didn’t “want” a beer. Denver has a way of doing that to you. 6 days of marathon like consumption has a way of beating you down. Yes it was an amazing week of beer and I am thankful that it is over (at least the consumption part).

On Saturday afternoon, our Hop 15 earned a bronze medal. That’s it. We were hoping for a few more beers to be awarded medals but it was not to be. Am I bummed? Sure thing. It’s called expectations. We have more than a few. Did I cry about it? Nope. Did I say that it’s just a “crapshoot?” Nope. Why? Because at the end of the day, it remains the best judged competition in the world. AND, if the judges (even the bone headed ones) figure there are better beers on the table (than ours), then that’s the way it works.

This year some of the biggest players in the industry got shut out. It happens every year. We HOPE that it doesn’t happen to us but we were one bronze medal away from joining their frustrations. It sucks (being shut out). But it doesn’t mean we go all chicken little and revert to the “sky is falling” speech patterns.

One medal is nice. More is always appreciated. Yet, if you stood at our booth during any of the first three sessions, you would know that our beer was certainly appreciated. So much so, that we ran out before the end of the third session. Considering that we shipped extra beer for the event, this came as a surprise. We may not have added numerous new medals to our collection but that’s okay. We continue to find consumers eager to embrace our beers.

San Diego wracked up another 13 GABF medals and AleSmith won the Small Brewery of the Year Award. Congratulations to Peter and Company for their acheivement. This means a San Diego based brewery has now won a Small Brewing or Brewpub award at the GABF 4 times since 2003. That says A LOT! Our Pizza Port brothers in Carlsbad won 5 awards which pretty much means they kicked more ass than most states. All told, this is an amazing place to brew and drink beer.

Yes, we may have fell short by our standards of excellence. Not everyone can be Firestone Walker. Mad props to Matt, Freckles and the crew. Their Passion for Pale is obvious. Another GABF is in the books. We’ll have to wait until late September of next year to find out who comes out on top. If I was a betting man, I would have to put some money on the breweries of San Diego coming out ahead of the pack. It seems like old hat but it’s true.

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