7 Comments Posted @ September 25, 2009
We made it. Our first day of our first ever Great American Beer Festival was indeed a memorable one.
As we approached the Convention Center (a short 2-block walk from our hotel) the energy was building and more and more beer bellies were coming into view. A wonderful site. The line for the regular entrance wrapped all the way around the massive convention center. Luckily, because we’re American Homebrew Association Members we had special tickets stamped “VIP” that allowed us to enter in a different entrance… There were a lot of VIPs I guess:
Although the line was long, the wait was not and before we knew it we were ascending the escalator about to enter the main beer hall…
After a quick tour of the hall, we made our way to the Pro-Am booth. Thursday was the only day that our Elizabeth Street Bitter was going to be on offer. Because we brewed it at the 21st Amendment, and the beers were laid out in alphabetical order by brewery, we were beer # 1. So there was a constant stream of folks trying our beer, and (thankfully) nodding in approval from what we could see…
After that, it was a blur and a whirlwind. Highlights included:
– Brian Yaeger signing my new copy of Red, White and Brew
– Charlie Papazian signing my original copy of the Joy of Homebrewing
– Stan Hieronymus signing my original copy of brew like a monk
– A pretzel necklace
– Oh, the beers. Lots of beers. Too many to mention. We must have had anywhere between 40 and 50 beers (1oz pours) and I can remember only one not being up to snuff. Amazing to find so many good beers in one place.
– Silent disco dancing
– Cheese steaks
– More beer
After the conference closed, Allie and I headed out with 21st Amendment’s Shaun O’Sullivan and, in a roundabout way (the Falling Rock was far too busy to get into), we found ourselves at The Wynkoop Brewery with Bruce Paton the Beer chef, and Nicole from The Trappist in Oakland. Schwike(sp?) also joined us who has also brewed on the 21st Amendment system (an English mild). We closed out the night with a nice selection of ESBs and IPAs before heading back to the hotel.
All in all, a great night. Can’t wait to do it all over again tomorrow afternoon.