Sunday, October 12, 2008

2008 GABF &

The Great American Beer Festival has come and gone once again.  If anyone, or everyone out in Jersey is feeling more than a bit jealous, the GWBF is coming up in NYC.

This year an astounding 46,000 people attended the festival to taste 2,052 different beers from 432 breweries.  Yes, this is the largest beer festival in the country

It was a great surprise to find Sam Calagione personally manning the tasting line at the Dogfish Head table.  He brought World Wide Stout, Midas Touch, Palo Santo Marron, Red & White, and Theobroma....

So, while stories of corporate greed and limited accountability dominate headlines, the founder & president of one of the most successful craft breweries in the country is on the front line, splashed in beer and still hustling to serve a ravenous mix of beer geeks, casual drinkers, drunken frat guys and industry competitors.  I mean he literally stands behind his product.  Its a symbol of the passion that makes the craft beer industry in America so much fun and why local breweries and brewpubs deserve our support.  I hightailed it immediately to the Budweiser American Ale table but, as I suspected, Cindy "Ms Bud" McCain wasn't working the tap...

As cool as it was to see Sam Calagione, it was even better to see Randall.   All the 60 Minute IPA's were sent into a smaller version of this Dogfish Head invention, through a chamber packed with fresh whole leaf hops and into your tasting glass, providing the latest possible hop addition short of chewing on a bud.  The hop aroma and flavor was powerful but I'm still looking forward to trying it someday with a 90 or 120 minute.