Saturday, October 20, 2012

Great American Beer Festival 2012: The (bittersweet) Event

Calling the Great American Beer Festival “bittersweet” may sound a bit odd, but don’t let my melancholy fool you, the festival was awesome!  The hall was arranged a bit differently this year, maximizing the already large space to fit in as many breweries, brews, and beer enthusiasts as possible.  As always, there were a couple of beers that stood out for me above the rest.  Interestingly enough, one of them was a standout for me back at the 2010 festival as well.  Twisted Pine Brewing Co., out of Boulder, Colorado, knows what they’re doing when it comes to brewing with chilies!  Billy’s Chilies Beer is, in my opinion, a brewing feat!  Read my 2010 review here.  Not to be outdone, Bellaire, Michigan’s Shorts Brewing Co. prefers to brew with tomatoes to make their Bloody Beer.  Yes, tomatoes!  If you like a good Bloody Mary, you’ll appreciate this beer.  If you don’t, you’ll still appreciate this beer.  Even if you don’t like this beer, which I can’t say I do, you can’t help admiring the complexity of the beer and the skill that went into brewing it.  Once you try it you won’t soon forget it, and like it or not, that’s not a bad thing!  I also found the beer I was pouring to be outstanding.  Who knew great beer was coming out of Billings, Montana?  Apparently, there are a number of new breweries in the state's largest city.  I had the privilege of pouring for Überbrew.  The beers, which consisted of a lighter beer called Golden Ticket all the way to a dark, roasty Porter called Dieselpunk, were all top quality.  My personal favorite was Humulus Ridiculous, their IIPA.  Discovering beers like these is what this festival is all about.  With great beers like this to quaff, what could possibly have dampened this year’s festivities for me?  At the risk of sounding whiny, I’m jealous!  Don't get me wrong, I love volunteering for the annual event, but I dream of walking around with the "special" wristband and glossy lanyard sporting the name of the brewery I am with.  Perhaps I brew for said brewery.  Perhaps I hold some other position, be it in production, marketing, or sales.  Dream of dreams, it could even be my own brewery!  That is where I want to be, and that is where I will be!  The destination is known, the path is yet to be found.  Until then I will follow my dreams by way of the Great American Beer Festival, festivals everywhere, and this blog.  I look forward to next year, where I will likely be pouring more awesome beers for thousands of beer lovers.  Look for me.  Perhaps I'll have that lanyard by then.  Perhaps.

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