The Great American Beer Festival, known affectionately as GABF, began in 1982. Leave it to a nuclear engineer, Charlie Papazian, to create such a life-altering event. GABF is considered the largest ticketed beer festival in the United States and it is taking place October 10-12 in Denver. Great american beer festival = beer.
“According to the Guinness Book of World Records®, there is no other place on earth where a beer aficionado can find more beers on tap.” So says the GABF website. It’s definitely the only place that offers 2,800 one-ounce samples of beer from 600 American craft breweries. That’s why the tasting sessions are only four hours long: there’s no way to get a sample from each brewery. That would be like drinking 175 pints. Not going to happen.
Besides being an amazing tasting event, GABF is also a competition. Industry professionals from around the world to sit together in small groups and, without knowing a beer’s brand name, taste beers in each specified style category. The Judge Panels are charged with choosing the three beers that exemplify each style. Gold, Silver and Bronze medals are awarded for those that excel. So, what’s the most-entered beer category? American-style IPA’s.*
GABF is presented by the Brewers Association, whose mission is “to promote and protect small and independent American brewers, their craft beers and the community of brewing enthusiasts.” The BA has over 1900 brewery members and 38,000 members of the American Homebrewers Association. That’s a lot of folks brewing beer, which is good for those of us who like variety.
Speaking of variety, the GABF gathers nearly every type of beer from each region of the country, and arranges them geographically at the event. If you’re lucky enough to attend, do you stick with the beers of your neck of the woods, or do you venture out into new, untapped territory? It seems that there’s an opportunity to sample a little from everywhere, and that’s the point. Good drinking to everyone attending GABF.
*Thank you Wikipedia
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