Saturday, October 11, 2008

GABF 2008---Two for Two

I've got two solid sessions under my belt just as the Phillies put away game 2 on the way out to Los Angeles for 3 games. - first up for Friday's agenda was a quick trip to Boulder and a way-better-than-expected stop at Mountain Sun. I've heard of these guys before, but they far exceeded expectations. While Avery, Redstone, and Boulder Beer can be easy distractions, these guys shouldn't be missed when in Boulder. I'll have more on them in a future review. - Chipper Dave has a fascinating look into the life of a GABF volunteer. The amount of time and coordination that goes into putting on this festival is mind-boggling. - The first four innings of the Phillies NLCS game 2 win was spent at the Philly Beer Week 2009 media promotional event at The Corner Office bar inside the Curtis Hotel. Several dozen media, brewers, and other industry insiders showed up to socialize, talk Philly Beer Week (and compare it to the fledgling SFBW ;-) and put back some of the Philly region's finest from Stoudt's to Yards to Tröegs to Iron Hill and several more. William Brand took notice. - Ran into Carolyn Smagalski who told me about her beer and food presentation that she was putting on. I put it on my list of things to check out. There are just so many things other than tasting beers to be done at GABF... - a discussion with Vinnie, Sam, Ron, and Sarah Palin's favorite Joe Sixpack about the uniqueness of beer to follow. - I was playing brewery rep for Iron Hill and pouring from their insane lineup of 15 all very different beers. Yes, for you full disclosure types, this means that they comp-ed my admission. But, that doesn't mean I only make positive comments about the Iron Hill family. Trouble is, these days, it's mighty difficult to come up with something to the contrary...especially when they back up their game with at least a few medal winners on the table. Let's see how that prediction works out. - How is it that one of the country's most sought after beers, the Smoked Porter from Alaskan, was kicked before the second of four sessions? Poor planning or smart marketing? Interesting debate, but still a lot of disappointed fans/seekers of the beer. Yet the Cuvee, Isabelle, Angel's Share, and several others over at Lost Abbey were still pouring strong into Friday evening. - Bumped into James and Andy again, who were this time sans A/V equipment - Chatted and took photo opp with Charlie Papazian who (while confirming that I wasn't crazy) concurred with me that Friday night's crowd seemed better behaved than the Thursday night crowd. Interesting... - I wish I had more time to spend with The Brewing Network crew. I listen to them each week and they're a great bunch of guys (and lady) and they were bringing it strong with their daily GABF live show. When I stopped by, they were in the middle of a spirited game (as they usual are) of Beer Jeopardy (trademark pending?!) - I cut out about 90 minutes early to go and meet up with college friends that I haven't seen in years. Unfortunately, that meant that I missed out on a handful of after parties around town. But, you can't really put a measure on getting together with such great friends that I haven't seen for years and reminiscing about one of the formative periods of our lives. - I'm trying to figure how I've managed to neglect to say anything about the countless Falling Rock (one of the country's top 10 quality beer bars in my opinion) events during the week. We kicked things off their Wednesday and I'm not sure if they've closed since then :) How many stories will come out of there on Saturday night/Sunday morning remains to be told....or not - Two more sessions and the awards presentation on Saturday before hitting the town hard once more before heading home. What a long, wonderful trip this has been....more to come......

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