Wednesday, September 30, 2009

The Great American Beer Festival

This past weekend, nearly 500 breweries presented over 3000 beers to 42,000 people at the Great American Beer Festival in Denver Colorado. I will say this... I am going next year, come hell or high water.

While all craft beer is interesting to me, I was especially focused on the representatives from Florida, specifically my boys over at Cigar City: Joey Redner (who I had just interviewed the week before)and Wayne Wambles. On Saturday, awards were given for beers in over 70 categories - Gold, Silver, and Bronze in each. I watched the live webcast, enjoying the creativity of names and styles, as well as the obvious camaraderie between the brewers.

The category of Wood- and Barrel-aged Beer came up and - lo and behold - Gold Medal to Cigar City Brewing for their Humidor Series IPA!! I was thrilled for them that they won, especially in their very first year. In my excitement, i sent a text message to Joey, congratulating him on the win. It went like this:

Me: Congrats on the gold medal! Thats awesome!
Joey: What?
Joey: We won a medal?
Me: Dude! I am watching the awards streaming... Humidor IPA won gold!
Me: Sorry if I ruined the surprise
Joey: Holy shit. i was working the FGB booth. Didn't hear it.

Later on, in their blog, Joey commented: "We did take home a Gold Medal in the Wood or Barrel Aged category for our Humidor Series Jai Alai IPA. I was thrilled with that, but the funny thing is I was pouring at the Florida Brewer's Guild booth at the time and didn't know we had won. I got a text from a friend back in Tampa saying congrats on the Gold and that was my first clue that we'd either won or that my friend has a cruel sense of humor. Turns out we'd actually won."

So, I have my place is Cigar City history now, albeit a minor one.

Balance and Priorities

Not too long ago, i was recruited, applied for, and was accepted as the Saint Petersburg Craft Beer Examiner for Simply put, they are going to pay me to write about beer, the local beer scene, and beer news. Awesome, right? Right. And I have been doing so with great pleasure, meeting new people and learning new stuff along the way.


It has taken me away from THIS blog, which I an not pleased about. So here is my renewed commitment to keeping this one current.