Reader: The GAFB is now a real beer tasting, not a frat party

Categories: Cafe Society

Thumbnail image for GarrettOliverGabf.jpg
Garrett Oliver pours out beer -- and knowledge -- at GABF.
Brewery reps -- brewers, and sometimes even owners -- were out in force at the 2012 Great American Beer Festival, pouring beer, answering questions and just hanging out with beer fans. This was a big change from previous festivals; did a letter from Garrett Oliver, the brewmaster at Brooklyn Brewery, make the difference?

There's no way to know for sure, but GABF attendees definitely noticed.

See also:
- "Stand your ground and pour" How Brooklyn Brewery's Garrett Oliver saved the GABF
- Photos: The best beer swag of Great American Beer Festival 2012
- Twenty best costumes of Great American Beer Festival 2012
- Five sexiest beer names at the 2012 Great American Beer Festival

Says Michael564

This year was an incredibly different experience than any of the previous 8 that I've attended GABF. Working behind the tables as a "Beer Geek", I met with every brewer and brewery rep in my aisle. Great people, all of them, and they enjoyed taking the time to instruct me about their beers and anything else they thought special about their breweries. I carried a notebook and pen, took notes, and then passed those notes on to the volunteers pouring, so they were informed as well. We rarely had an instance where 'customers' came up with general questions about the beers that we, the volunteers, were not able to answer. So, thank you Mr. Oliver, for rallying the troops and helping change the atmosphere of GABF from Frat Party to Beer Tasting. And maybe, just maybe, after meeting 10 times over 8 years, you'll remember me next time. But maybe not... :-)

Thanks for the memories, Michael. Does anyone have other suggestions for how the GABF experience can be improved? Post them below.

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My Voice Nation Help

I'd love to see even more floor space to reduce the crowding.  Also, don't put popular breweries in areas where long lines become a traffic problem for getting through the area. And finally, and most importantly, get rid of Ticketmaster as the company who manages ticket sales. Use a company like TicketAlternative and consider only putting out so many tickets each day and spread sales out across several days or weeks so that everything can't sell out in 45 minutes or less.

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