Screams and hollers, fist pumps and high fives, and an extraordinary amount of excitement made up the 2015 Great American Beer Festival Awards Ceremony. It felt like the oscars but better!
This past weekend was the Great American Beer Festival which did turn out to be bigger, beerier, and better! Though I said I would be prepared this year, walking into the large festival hall, I felt lost in the wealth of energy put into this event.
The addition of 90,000 square feet meant getting lost a couple times 🙂 It also meant lots of new things to check out. The Meet the Brewers section was great because there were representatives from the brewery at their station at all times so you were able to get answers about the beer straight from the source.
The Art of Craft Beer was a new addition this year that had local artists painting their depiction of a particular craft beer. This painting inspired by the Escape to Colorado IPA from Epic Brewing was looking pretty cool on Friday!
Hop the Vote took place at the Colorado Brewers Guild booth where you could vote on the best beer: Senate Shout Out Stout brewed by the CO State Senate and Cannonball Creek Brewing or The Ayes Have it Aye-PA brewed by the CO House of Representatives and Big Choice Brewing. My vote, as well as apparently the majority vote, was for the Senate Shout Out Stout, a mocha stout with dark chocolate and locally roasted coffee!! 😀
I did not make it to any of the Sit & Sip or You Be the Judge sessions but as far as I saw, there was definitely people dribbling in to either join in these sessions or check out the artists.
Though I felt out of sorts a couple times, I do not think I ever looked this out of place…lol. Many festival goers come in their best costumes, which is always entertaining!
The Awards Ceremony was definitely something to see! I am glad my new friends Casey and Conner over at Brewski Reviewski encouraged me to go. It was hard to keep track of all the awards being given while taking photos but here is a full list of winners. The breweries to get the most awards were Firestone (CA), Sun King (IN), Port City (VA), and our very own Left Hand (CO)!
A “Few” of the Tasty Beers I tried at GABF:
–Tart of Darkness by the Bruery
–Feral One and Sour Opal by Firestone
–Black Widow Russian Imperial by Coachella Brewing
–Verrückt Weizen by LadyFace Ale
–Don Vanuchi Imperial Stout by Barley Browns
–Pinedrops IPA by Deschutes
–Bacon & Eggs Coffee Imperial Porter by Port Brewing
–Bam Biere Farmhouse Ale and Biere de Mars French Style Stock Ale by Jolly Pumpkin
–Flanders Drive by Green Flash
–Return of Sassy IPA by Three Weav3rs
–Fayston Maple Imperial Stout and Sip of Sunshine IPA by Lawson’s
–Columbus Creeper Imperial IPA by Columbus Brewing
–Utopias by Samuel Adams
Overall this year’s GABF was a ton of fun! The additional space allowed for easier maneuvering but it definitely still got crowded towards the end. I love that they brought in the new aspect of local artists inspired by craft beer. Craft beer is definitely an art and that includes the brewing of the beer, the clever name, and label art. The Meet the Brewers was the best new addition. This will help to bring back craft beer enthusiasts who may have steered away from GABF due to the lack of personal interaction with breweries.
Though it was a crazy busy week, I am already feeling excited for next year! I may never be fully prepared for this huge annual event but I can continue to get better! 🙂
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