October 13, 2012

Live Blogging the GABF awards

Note: This is an update based upon live notes and a second source of notes. There was a server error midway through and some content was lost.

Well we shall see how well this works.

Factoid: GABF required 132 tons of ice.

A cabinet member, Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack attended show.

Toast to Danny Williams with Porter Pride. Danny was the GABF cellar master and was lost to cancer this year. Porter's Pride bottles were given to medal winners. The porter has rich chocolate notes becvause of the addition of locally sourced chocolate.

Members of Santan Brewing filing in.
Anthony and Santan Crew
Gov. John Hickenlooper
"Its a fact that Sam Adams was the first governor that brewed but I'm not convinced he was a brewer." A nice joke about the industry definition of Craft Beer.

Now up in the rafters with the Four Peaks team. Local Sierra Nevada guys behind me. I think Andy Ingram chose a dark corner on purpose. No photos... too dark.

Pro Am award. Locally, Papago Brewing has Mooney's Irish Red by ASH member Ken Saxe. Unfortunately, No AZ medal this year.

The Wells Fargo theater holds 5000. I'm guessing 3800 in attendance. Already showing growing pains. 4000 beers judged by 666 breweries.

Awards broadcast underway by the Brewing Network.
Justin of the BN streaming the awards

No medal for Doc Osborne this year in Pumpkin /Field beer. Not a good sign for AZ.

No repeat for Chocolate beer for College Street.

Battery change.

Note. We were promised surprises this year with the Brewery of the year. Stay tuned.

On to category 15... 70 to go.

Sierra Nevada guys behind me cheering their Fresh Hop Gold win.

Choc Brewing in OK wins Silver in indigenous ale for a Gratzer. That's the beer to try this GABF. 100% Smoked Wheat beer.

BJs Chandler wins Gold for Wood- and Barrel-Aged Beer. AZ is off the scneid. Congrats Doc and Jeff.

Ted Golden and Andy Ingram are 11 rows and 2 rows apart. Can't tell who is the place kicker.

The Tomme almost takes a spill coming up the steps.

I think Iron Hill has 3 medals and Lost Abbey has 2. No clear overall winners yet.

Following the program.
Alyssa from FP following along in the program. (Pic)

Keith Stone gets a bronze. Audible roar from crowd as PBR wins gold. Mickey's and Old Style round out the macro categories.

Wow. Shiner has 2 gold. Maybe 3? 3 medals for sure. Devils Backbone has a pair. Interesting. Oops DB now has 3.

OK. Back to ales. C'mon AZ.

Kolsch.... no Sunbru. :(

Lumberyard wins silver for American Style Strong Pale. Four Peaks will not repeat its World Beer Cup Medal.

203 entries in IPA. Firestone Walker finally gets on the board for Bronze in Imperial IPA for Union Jack. No repeat for Mid-size Brewery of the Year for them?

Very interesting year. Lots of smaller breweries stepping up to the stage. Tap-It wins gold IPA? I think most of us will want to try that beer again. It seemed fairly standard to me.

Firestone Gold for DBA. Traditionally they pick up a few medals in these next categories. No repeat imminent for Walker?

Not a good year for AZ.

Iron Hill making a statement. In the running.

Wookie Jack wins Gold for Black IPA, Wookie Jack. Perhaps I was too eager to dismiss them. By the way, there is some strategy involved. Its not all about number of medals. You have to declare some of your entries for contention. Also there are size and type of brewery considerations.

Devils Backbone Gold... real drama coming up. Troegs has 3 golds too I hear. No medals from Sun King. They had the most medals last year but messed up the strategy part.

Lost Abbey Gold. Wow. This is getting tight!

Green Flash Gold in Category 72 puts them on the running.

No Gold medal awarded in Robust Porter.

Devils Backbone collects another Bronze for Foreign Extra Stout.

Iron Hill Bronze for Imperial Stout.

2 categories to go.

Did I overlook Pizza Port Solano beach? San Clemente?

Barleywines. is the last category. Sun King gets Gold. First medal this year. They had 7 or 8 last year. No clear winner apparent for brewery of the year???

Results: http://506227.cache1.evolutionhosting.com/wp-content/uploads/12_GABF_winners.pdf

Small Brewpub and Small Brewpub Brewer of the Year
Devils Backbone Brewing Company - Basecamp, Roseland, VA

Large Brewpub and Large Brewpub Brewer of the Year
The Church Brew Works, Pittsburgh, PA
Steve Sloan

Brewpub Group and Brewpub Group Brewer of the Year
Great Dane Pub & Brewing Company, Madison, WI
Rob LoBreglio

Small Brewing Company and Small Brewing Company Brewer of the Year
Funkwerks, Fort Collins, CO

Mid-Size Brewing Company and Mid-Size Brewing Company Brewer of the Year
Troegs Brewing Company, Hershey, PA
John Trogner

Large Brewing Company and Large Brewing Company Brewer of the Year
Pabst Brewing Company, Los Angeles, CA
Gregory Deuhs


  1. Rob.....fun read and well written. We know it was going to be tough for the AZ brewers to top last year. Think though they are producing better beer each and every year. Very proud of where we as a beer community are heading.

    Tap-It winning gold? Would NEVER had seen that coming. Agree with your comment on it being pretty standard. It does go pretty well when the Monk puts it on, but to best Hop Knot or Union Jack....a bit puzzling for my and most of out customers palates.

    Cheers to AZ Beer!
    Jim Lolli

  2. Cheers Jim.
    I've only had it the one time at Boulders. I have the utmost respect for the judges (in fact we know a few of them) but perhaps it's time to increase the beer-to-judge ratio. 203 beers in a category is too many. (10 years ago it was 93).