A Few Words on the Great American Beer Festival

(Note: I've attended several more GABFs since I wrote this, some on the "fun" side of the table, and a couple on the "work" side. One of these days I'll get around to writing about my experiences as a brewer as well as an attendee.)

Every October, the Brewers Association hosts the Great American Beer Festival at Currigan Hall in Denver, Colorado. It's a mighty affair; more than 22,000 people sampled 1345 beers from 335 breweries at GABF XIV in 1995.

I attended GABF XIII in 1994, which was only slightly smaller in terms of beers and breweries. It was a good time - it's always fun to have a large number of beers under one roof - but the crush and pace of the crowd made it very difficult to actually taste any of the beers. That combined with the EXTREMELY MISERLY* one-ounce pours explains why my notes are so sketchy for the 81 beers that I sampled at the Festival.

Having said that, I encourage everyone to attend at least one GABF. It's like going on a Major Pub Crawl without leaving the building, and Colorado has a number of breweries that mustn't be missed! That trip was worth every minute of the twenty-one-hour non-stop drive from Castro Valley CA, but that's another story...


*Now that I've been to a couple more GABFs, I fully understand and accept the reasoning behind the one-ounce pour. Even an ounce-at-a-time, it's completely feasible to get stumbling drunk sampling hundreds of beers!