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Oct 25, 2014

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GABF brewers' diaries

Bill Madden

Capitol City Brewing - Oct. 6

I am writing this a long way from Denver. It is October 6th and since returning back from the GABF we had to hit the ground running. Ya see we have a Mid Atlantic Beer Festival that we put on as the Capitol City Brewing Co. Oktoberfest. The Fest consists of closing off the two blocks in front of our brewpub and inviting 30 plus breweries to come and ply their wares. We also have Oompah bands, German dancers and food vendors, all under tents. This happens on the 11th, it is alot of work plus my regular job of running a brewery that supplies three restaurants. This has been part of the reason I have not attended GABF since 1999.

Final thoughts on GABF... It was way too short. We had two days at GABF to try and sample as much as possible to get the creative juices flowing. There were all the folks we were trying to get in touch with and there was the nagging problem one of our breweries has with replacement parts. Not very interesting, but a problem that alot of times takes going to an event like GABF or the Craft Brewers Conference to take care of through networking.

Then there was the Awards Ceremony! Well I am not gonna sit here and type out that there was not a bit of disappointment. That would be out and out lying. I will tell you that we came up with nothing and I know it takes alot to receive those medals. Those brewers who did come up being awarded deserve much praise. I have talked to judges and stewards from the GABF and I know it is taken seriously. There are some brewers who will leave GABF having not received an award and think it is a crap shoot or fixed for Colorado or California brewers. That is all garbage. The ones who win are the best and there are alot of great beers out there. If a brewer comes up short he/she is in a category with alot of fine brewers who also come up short. We were on a roll for two years and we will be back next year to challenge, and that is what it is all about.

But what an event, many new breweries getting awards and some that are always there. Much praise needs to go to Tomme Arthur and Jeff Bagby for their wonderful beers that took the show. I mean the whole show!!! Brewer of the year, now that is something and they both deserve it. Fine job.

Next ... The Real Ale Festival in Chicago ... World Beer Cup ... so it goes ...

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