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Apr 24, 2014

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GABF brewers' diaries

Vinnie Cilurzo

Russian River Brewing, Santa Rosa - Sept. 3

Today is bottle shipping day for the beers that will be judged at the GABF. In years past, I would bottle condition my Belgian style ales and bottle the rest of the beers on a counter pressure Meheen bottling line. This year, because I do not have a bottling machine I decided to bottle condition all of my beers. I'm not worried about the four Belgian style ales I'm entering; they are only getting better with age. In fact, the Temptation has been in wine barrel with 3 kinds of brettanomyces for 13 months now.

The three main line beers I am entering this year are not as fresh as they would normally be. In fact the Pliny the Elder was bottled back in the middle of June. First I thought this may be a problem for the Pliny, but I'm drinking one right now (9:30 a.m. PST) and it is still bitter as hell! The age may help in fact, because in previous years the judges' comments that come back after the festival all said the beer was to bitter. They must have been East Coast brewers judging the category (jab, jab, hee, hee, hee, Lupulin Slam...). With a new category this year for Double/Imperial IPA, maybe things will be different, and judges may just appreciate the high bitterness of the beer?

Either way, I do not look at the 2003 GABF as a year where I may win an award, and in truth I go into each GABF thinking I'm not going to win anything, but the 2003 GABF is more of a marketing opportunity for Natalie and I to promote our new brewpub and let the consumer know that we own the brewery now.

Next, delivering kegs.

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