GABF brewers' diaries
Great Divide Brewing - Sept. 22
This week will be pretty busy for us at the brewery. Lots of visits. The
folks that supply our malt, hops, packaging materials, point of sale
materials, tap handles, kegs, etc. generally are in town for GABF. They can
see a lot of brewers from all over the US over the three or four days of the
festival and they get a lot done. They also like to stop it the local
breweries to check in. "How's the year going?" ... "Buy more stuff from us," etc. Our suppliers don't change much, so we've known most of them for 8 or
Visiting out-of-town brewers need something to do during the day between the
GABF sessions. They can stay in the hotel and sleep it off, or cruise
around breweries and keep it going. We get quite a few brewers stopping by
the brewery and taking a look around and tasting beers. It's always great
to find out how people are tackling the same problems that we have. We get
great ideas from visiting brewers. We don't have a designated tour guide,
whoever's got the time when someone walks in does it. We schedule a pretty
light production week so that we're not so slammed we don't have the time to
show people around. Anyone in the business gets the "good guy" tour. Tours
always take some time, but you just have to give another brewer a good tour.
As a brewery, we're a pretty clean place, but it's still manufacturing.
Lots of grain, boxes, glass, pallets, hoses, and the forklift running
around. We spend a little extra time spiffing the place up before the
week's tours, visits and party. Maybe we go overboard. A couple of years
ago a brewer who we knew from Boulder who since moved to Washington claimed
he wanted his yet unidentified wife to have their yet unconcieved first
child in the brewery because it was cleaner than any hospital he'd been in.
He'd had a few beers by that point though.
Our media smooze fest is this Thursday. Mary, our Comptroller/Office
Manager is the party planner. She's got the whole thing dialed in and it'll
go smooth. We'll see a lot of folks during this week that we see only once
a year. Obviously, the national beer scribes all come to Denver for GABF
(do you blame them?). We see quite a few here at the brewery for the get
together and the rest throughout the week around town. We've known a bunch
of them for 8 or 9 years and it's always good seeing them again. Five years
ago we had our one-year old twin boys here for the media gathering ... so we
get lots of "how are the kids?" and "Working on the bottling line yet?"
Jeeze, they're only six. We did get a picture that year of Michael Jackson
pushing our grinning kids in a double-wide stroller. That picture is a