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GABF

Chicago Craft Beer | GABF 2018

October 2, 2018 |

Six years ago, only about 80 breweries operated in Illinois. Now, approximately 200 breweries create heavenly ales and lagers within the Chicago metro area alone. Coinciding with that eruption of breweries has been an ever-increasing amount of recognition, including Chicago-area breweries winning Great American Beer Festival (GABF) medals and winning them in highly competitive categories.

Granted, Chicago has consistently been able to boast about its bourbon barrel aging prowess—after all, it was conceived at Goose Island during its pre-ABI days and celebrated each year at the Festival of Barrel Aged Beer. But few people outside of Chicago seemed to notice the Chicago brewing scene until recently. However, at the 2018 GABF, Chicago definitely made its mark in the Mile High City.
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Experiencing GABF Without Attending the Fest | Recapping the External Events

October 1, 2018 |

The Great American Beer Fest is more than just the festival held inside the confines of the Colorado Convention Center; it’s a week-long celebration of beer with events held throughout the Denver metro region. In fact, there are events occurring throughout the city even as hoards roam the GABF booths. The truth is simple: one not need purchase a ticket to the main event to experience GABF, in a manner of speaking. If by some chance you can’t obtain a ticket next year, but still want to embrace the grandeur attached to GABF, there’s a way — several ways — to achieve that goal.

For example, even though I attended the main festival, I also partook in several open-to-the-public events that proved just as fun as the big party. I also had to forgo numerous other events simply because one can only be at one place at a time. Here’s a few of those events, as well as a few I missed, which demonstrate the fun one can have even if unable to grab tickets to the main show.  Read More

Recapping 2018 GABF’s Best Beers and Emerging Breweries

September 28, 2018 |

America’s largest beer festival has come to a close once again. After a week fueled by obscene amounts of beer, even greater volumes of caffeine, and the occasional Illegal Pete’s burrito, we’ve emerged once again from the clutches of the Great American Beer Festival, with an entirely new perspective on the newest crop of talent in craft beer.

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Last Minute Liquor Store Luck Leads to GABF Gold for Ska Brewing

September 28, 2018 |

It’s a week later, and if you’re still recovering from the Great American Beer Festival and its peripheral festivities, you’re in good company. But with so many Oktoberfest events coming this weekend, there’s most certainly no rest for the wicked. On the other end of the spectrum, the breweries that went home with gold, silver and bronze hardware are still basking in the warm glow of victory.

For every medal, there’s a story, and the last-minute drama that accompanied Ska Brewing and their gold medal win for Oktoberfest in the Vienna-Style Lager category this year is definitely no exception.

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Event Recap | Here’s How We Survived GABF

September 27, 2018 |

Going to the Great American Beer Festival (GABF) in Denver, Colorado is an incredibly exciting experience. However, it can also be cruel and unrelenting if you are not prepared for it. The opportunity to sample rare and specialty beer from across the country is a dream for craft beer enthusiasts. But just like any good dream, it also has the ability to turn into a nightmare. Here is my survival guide to ensure you get the best experience out of your time next year. Trust me, I survived all four sessions from September 20 -22. Read More

Event Recap | The 2018 GABF Jameson Caskmates Brewery Partner Program

September 27, 2018 |

Some argued that the Jameson Whiskey presence at GABF may at first seem almost hypocritical, given the Brewers Association stance on companies such as Anheuser Busch InBev (ABI). As a writer who full-time covers both spirits and beer, I can confidently argue that one should never confuse the two industries. As liquids, they may be similar. They are not industry siblings, however, but instead distant cousins. Moreover, whereas companies like ABI seek to confuse the marketplace, actively targeting craft beer drinkers and even paying fines for unfair practices, Jameson has never hidden from its name and the distillery consistently champions and collaborates with craft breweries, both in the U.S. and Ireland.

(For my short commentary on Jameson and the spirits industry—vs. the beer industry—see the two paragraphs at the bottom of the story.)
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GABF Awards Results | Who Won Big at the 2018 GABF

September 22, 2018 |

The 2018 Great American Beer Festival has crowned their newest batch of champions and standouts. This year, the competition portion of GABF saw 8,800 entries from 2,450 breweries across the country, not to mention an additional 105 Pro-Am entries. 

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2018 Great American Beer Fest: Standouts and Recap from Day One

September 21, 2018 |

The 37th Annual Great American Beer Festival has finally arrived and for longtime attendee’s this year’s fest likely has a different feel. Throughout the festival’s storied history and ascension to become the country’s largest beer festival, it has evolved and adapted the country’s changing landscape and this year was no different.

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Event Preview | Wynkoop Brewing 30th Anniversary Party

September 20, 2018 |

Don’t call it a comeback, they’ve been here for years. Wynkoop Brewing, the Denver’s OG craft brewery, will celebrate their 30th anniversary tomorrow with an 80’s throwback celebration.

Started in 1988 by now Governor, John Hickenlooper, along with Jerry Williams, Mark Shifler and Russell Scherer, Wynkoop Brewing was not only a pioneer for Denver’s beer industry, but it also helped kickstart the Lower Downtown neighborhood. Before the Rockies made LoDo their home, and before all of the high rises and businesses were drawn to the urban center, the neighborhood was much rougher around the edges. But it was that affordable real estate, and foresight that attracted the Wynkoop team to set up roots at the heart of Denver.

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2018 GABF Route Guide | Session Beers

September 20, 2018 |

For the past month and a half our staff has been reaching out to every brewery attending the Great American Beer Festival to try to preview what they’ll be bringing to the fest. As part of that research, we’ve sifted through that list of beers to bring you a series of themed routes to help you plan for your GABF based on various styles and flavors.

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2018 GABF Route Guide | Hoppy Beers Route

September 19, 2018 |

For the past month and a half our staff has been reaching out to every brewery attending the Great American Beer Festival to try to preview what they’ll be bringing to the fest. As part of that research, we’ve sifted through that list of beers to bring you a series of themed routes to help you plan for your GABF based on various styles and flavors.

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2018 GABF Route Guide | Funk, Sours & Wilds Route

September 19, 2018 | 2

For the past month and a half, our staff has been reaching out to every brewery attending the Great American Beer Festival to try to preview what they’ll be bringing to the fest. As part of that research, we’ve sifted through that list of beers to bring you a series of themed routes to help you plan for your GABF based on various styles and flavors.

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2018 GABF Route Preview | Big Beers Route

September 18, 2018 |

For the past month and a half our staff has been reaching out to every brewery attending the Great American Beer Festival to try to preview what they’ll be bringing to the fest. As part of that research, we’ve sifted through that list of beers to bring you a series of themed routes to help you plan for your GABF based on various styles and flavors.

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2018 Great American Beer Festival Pour List Preview

September 17, 2018 |

As the 2018 Great American Beer Festival approaches, I bet you’re wondering what kind of delights you can expect to sample on the festival. A hazy IPA from that Vermont brewery that doesn’t distribute in your state? A rare whale stout aged in the most fantastic of barrels? A wild, enamel-stripping sour ale full of hand-picked snozzberries? PorchDrinking has you covered!

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Guide to Out-of-State Breweries Available in Denver for GABF

September 14, 2018 |

As we’ve all come to know, the Great American Beer Festival has far greater implications for Colorado beer fans that extend beyond the four-day festival itself. One of those external benefits is the growing practice of out-of-state breweries utilizing the week to make a special limited drop of beers either as a means to test the market, or just to make a splash to help grow their brands. In previous years, breweries such as Fremont, Perennial and Burial have all used GABF week as a launch pad toward regular, or in some cases semi-regular distribution to Colorado. In other scenarios such the short-lived Bell’s Brewing’s drop a few years back, these brief market flirtations can help stoke the hype for breweries that may eye a future full-time distribution play, which in Bell’s case finally came to fruition this year.

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WeldWerks Announces GABF Releases to Exceed 100 New Beers in 2018

September 14, 2018 |

In today’s landscape of experimentation and variety, it’s not uncommon for a brewery to diversify their portfolio with an ever-rotating lineup of new beers. However for a brewery that’s less than four years old, to be able to pull off over 100 new beer releases in less than a year, is an almost unfathomable feat.

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Freshcraft’s GABF Week Schedule of Events

September 13, 2018 |

This is a sponsored post from Freshcraft

Over the past eight years, Freshcraft has emerged as one of the premiere craft beer-focused bars/restaurants in the city of Denver. Located just a short walk from the Colorado Convention Center at 1530 … Read More

A Look Into the Judging of GABF Beers

September 13, 2018 |

Have you ever wondered what it takes for breweries to win medals at Great American Beer Festival? You might say “Easy, make great beer.” That is technically correct, but as it turns out, it takes a ton of behind the scenes organization, planning and coordination to judge all of those great beers that get entered.

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The Complete 2018 GABF Week Events Guide

September 4, 2018 |


For one week a year, Denver and the surrounding metro area turn upside down for the Great American Beer Festival. While the festival floor is a great place to sample thousands of beers from all across, the events happening outside of the festival have become equally as impressive and formidable. From tap take-overs to beer dinners, special release to actual full-blown separate beer festivals all together have broken off of GABF. So, to help provide some perspective and frothy guidance, we have made that navigation a bit easier with a 2018 GABF Week Events Guide. Too much to sort through and choose? Don’t worry, chuggernaut, we got you covered.

 

2018 GABF Week Events Guide

Something we missed? Is your brewery hosting a GABF event? Feel free to contact us and we’ll update this list.

 

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Breaking Down the Newcomers & Breweries Missing from 2018 GABF

August 17, 2018 |

Each year one of the most exciting aspects of the Great American Beer Festival is the ability to explore and sample some of the country’s best new breweries that have emerged on the scene. Additionally, it can be equally as rewarding to revisit some familiar faces you may only get to try once each year at the country’s largest beer showcase. However, with the evolving landscape of craft beer, and varying priorities, we also tend to lose some familiar friends. As we’ve done each year, we’ve broken down the new / returning breweries as well as those who sadly aren’t coming back for this year’s Great American Beer Festival.

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