Friday, October 12, 2007

GABF 2007: Top Five List

What I liked:
  1. Subtle, yet clearly present, tributes to Michael Jackson - very classy.
  2. The people. Its amazing to me that you can get all them people in a room full of beer and not see it wind up in some chaotic mess fueled by rage and alcohol. OK, it isn't really a surprise, I've been to enough beer fests to know that doesn't happen, but a lot of subtle beer fans aren't aware this can happen. I met a lot of new people, shook hands with a lot of old friends, and generally walked away feeling good about everyone there.
  3. The Beers, a quick hit list
    1. Troegg's (Pa)
    2. Victory (Pa)
    3. Sprechers (Wi)
    4. Allentown (Pa)
    5. South Hampton (NY)
    6. Stoudt's (Pa)
    7. Walking Man (Wa)
    8. Silver City (Wa)
    9. Several others...
  4. The food - no, it wasn't great, but the five buck roast beef sandwich was perfect for what I wanted, and I was very happy it wasn't three dollars more expensive, what I thought they'd charge for it. Also, the Lucy Saunders booth with the free foods was a good find too.
  5. The Volunteers. I loved their enthusiasm, even if they weren't sure what they were pouring, they did a kick-ass job making me want to try their beers. Great job guys.
Things I didn't like
  1. The lighting - I mean, does it have to be that dark in there? C'mon. It was almost as if they were going for the romantic part of beer drinking, and that was just odd.
  2. The DRAFT VIP Lounge - it just wasn't right. Cheap food, messy tables, and decent beer hardly seemed worth the "VIP" hype. Sorry guys, you know I love you, but that was bad.
  3. The new "Beer" magazine. Something very inappropriate about the cover of this inagural issue, which appears to be breaking some common rules. I haven't read it yet, but wasn't impressed at all with that cover.
  4. Not enough water. I, along with nearly every booth it seemed, was on a constant look out for water.
  5. The Brewing Network live podcast. I'm sure (I hope) it sounded better if you were sitting in your living room. On the floor, however, it sounded like the teacher from Charlie Brown. I like the idea, especially as a podcaster of sorts, but this just didn't seem to work for me.
The list of "didn't likes" is so minor, by the way. Just a few things I thought of. I did think DRAFT did a good job attracting people to their floor booth, with games and prizes. Then, of course, I have to mention my fondness for the night's 'afterparty' at Falling Rock. Sampling the '04 Stone Old Guardian, '03 Stone RIS, He'Brew's Lenny on Rye (IIPA aged in Rye Whiskey barrels) and Oscar Blues' sour beer made for a good time. Throw in fellow beercasters like Jeff Bearer, Rick and Dick from Big Foamy Head and you have yourself a damned good time. Also enjoyed seeing regulars, like Jay Brooks, Tom Daldorf and others.

There, my condensed Day One write up.