Reviews, Commentary and Opinions on Midwest Craft Beer and Microbreweries

July 17, 2013

Beer Diary:


A few brewers are pissed they didn’t get into this year’s GABF.
by Eddie Glick

I like my beer like my women: pale, strong, full-bodied, and extremely bitter.
Contact Eddie»
I thought this recent BeerPulse item was interesting:
“On Tuesday [July 9], the Brewers Association opened brewery registration for The Great American Beer Festival. Each year, the registration list fills up within days. Last year, it only took two days for 580 breweries to sign up.

This year, however, it only took less than two hours for 600 breweries.

Those who planned their Tuesday morning around the signup time and successfully filled out the form gained entry into this year’s event. Many others missed out and were left with the option of a waiting list … ”
Read the full article here. And make sure to read the comments. While I’ll eschew the whole karmic laughter some beer drinkers who have been unceremoniously shut out of an exclusive event (ahem, Dark Lord Day) might be experiencing (I’m not superstitious, so karma does not apply to me, knock on wood), I would like to point out this one tweet from a brewer in particular:
“1/2: Unfortunately we were consumed w/ brewery work this morning as opposed 2 sittin in front of r comps refreshing the screen.”
Um, I hate to break it to all the craft brewers out there who were “too busy with brewery work” to register, but in the new world of craft brewing (there’s, what, almost 3000 breweries in America now?), this is brewery work. I agree it has nothing to do with actually making great beer, but if you want that giant shot of buzz that winning a medal at the GABF provides, you gotta jump through the hoops to get in.

Before anyone (assuming anyone’s actually reading this) freaks out, yes, I understand the GABF is, unlike most beer festivals, more an industry event than a consumer one, meaning it’s more about the brewers in attendance (or at least their beer) than it is about everyday beer dorks sampling the attending brewers’ wares. And I also understand that it takes a lot of planning and hard work for brewers to attend the GABF. But the reason brewers bitterly want to be included in the festival is because of the beer judging competition, i.e. the chance at winning the lottery a medal, i.e. getting that free publicity that, literally you cannot buy.

I’ll always be in independently owned craft brewers’ corners—and, to be fair, a lot of brewers were more than pragmatic about the whole thing—but I don’t really want to hear the lamentations of beer makers not getting into the GABF and being denied a chance at becoming the next darlings of the [insert contrived beer style here]. If you’re a brewer who says, “Screw the GABF, I’m just making good beer,” then I applaud you, heartily. Otherwise, shut the fuck up.

Drinkin’ And Thinkin’

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