One of the world’s biggest events in beer – aside, perhaps, from Munich’s Oktoberfest – is the annual Great American Beer Festival, held each year in Denver, Colo.
Commonly known as GABF, the event was first held in 1982, with one five-hour tasting session of the 24 beers entered. At this year’s three-day festival, from Sept. 29 – Oct. 1, there will be almost 18 hours of official tasting over 4 sessions, with 466 breweries in competition.
For Healdsburg’s ., competing again this year, hopes are high for a medal from among the 29 beers they are entering.
A few weeks ago, on Aug. 28, they held their third annual Cellar Party (see video at right) to give beer-lovers and amateur brewers a chance to sample those 29 beers, and judge them using the same criteria the professionals in Denver will use: Color and appearance, aroma, bitterness, alcohol, style, flavor and aftertaste, balance and drinkability, technical quality and carbonation.
The Bear (as locals call it) has done well in past GABF competitions. In 2006, they nabbed four awards, their Racer 5 IPA has won two golds (in 1999 and 2009) and at last year’s festival, they got a gold medal for their Ryevalry, an American Double IPA, and a bronze for their Bavarian Rye Ale Roggenbier.
Other regional breweries in the competition include: Anderson Valley Brewery in Boonville, Third Street Aleworks in Santa Rosa, in Petaluma, Moylan’s in Novato, Iron Springs Pub & Brewery in Fairfax, and the Marin Brewing Co. in Larkspur.
Patch will endeavor to keep area readers and beer lovers updated on this year’s Great American Beer Festival over the next several days, and wish our local brewers the best of luck in this year’s competition.