The biggest improvements this year were the addition of the VIP line, 30% more space in the convention hall and greater recycling and compost efforts. The VIP line was for AHA members and allowed us to enter the festival floor about fifteen minutes before the regular doors (no beer during that time but we could get in line for New Glarus). The 30% more space wasn't because there were less breweries but instead because this convention is slowly taking over all the space the convention center has to offer. More space means less crowded aisles! The recycling thing may seem kind of dumb to some of you, but it was really nice to have compost, recycling and trash receptacles at each column (along with free water). Here are some statistics:
First beer of GABF 2009: Foothills Sexual Chocolate
Last beer of GABF 2009: Brugge Tripel de Ripple
Longest brewery line: New Glarus (as always)
Longest line for individual tapping: Sam Adams Utopias 2009 (priceless was the reaction of "ew this is gross, where's the Bud Light Lime?!?")
Best surprise brewery: Trinity Brewing Company
Remarkable breweries we tried for the first time at GABF: Captain Lawrence, Short's, Kuhnhenn, Chuckanut, Trinity, Cascade
Times Jess had Maui Coconut Porter: Eight
Best part of being a Hoosier Beer Geek: Being recognized by Sam Calagione
So long GABF, until next year!
Welcome to GABF!
VIP line for those who were AHA members
Redhook has helpful signage
Happy Birthday Boulder!
Some people dress up
And some people... right.
This is what the typical brewery space looks like
And this is the house Shiner built - all entrances and no exits
New Belgium's sour beers were delicious
Sam Adams Utopias drew quite a crowd
Garrett Oliver is the best dressed man in brewing
Sam of HBG3 Toast fame posing for the camera
Clay picking a fight with the brewer from Green Flash
(We're beard brothers)
Collaborate Evil talk where we tried all 9 variants
Guess who just won two medals
(Couldn't find the Barley Island guys to get their reactions)
Poor bear doesn't get beer
The masses unload on downtown Denver
And this is AFTER we got back to the hotel
And if you didn't find Waldo in the earlier pictures, here's a reminder of what he looks like