Reader: The GAFB is now a real beer tasting, not a frat party
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?
Garrett Oliver pours out beer -- and knowledge -- at GABF.
There's no way to know for sure, but GABF attendees definitely noticed.
- "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
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.