Tuesday, November 18, 2008

2008 Great American Beer Festival Report

It's time again for the annual Sober Brewer GABF report. I know I'm over a month late, but if you want timely information and commentary, write you own dang blog. This is the time when I basically call into question the character, knowledge, ethics and "preferences" of the pathetic and unclean, yellow-bellied, lily-livered GABF judges. We will also take a look at the dope smoking, maggot infested, plastic banana, good time rock and roll, FM types known as the other brewery workers we came in contact with.

So let's start off with the judges comment cards we got back. As we've said before, this "should" be the most useful part of the competition. Having qualified (ha!) judges critique our beers, helps us get better because our own judgement and palate is clouded by our own prejudices. So what did the score sheet from one of our entries read under drinkability? (term stolen from Budweiser) One judge wrote "good, but lacks drinkability." Whereas the next judge wrote, "smooth-almost too easy drinking." Now I would agree there are degrees of drinkability, (OMG I can't believe I just used the word drinkability) but to be the exact opposite of each other? Somebody is dead wrong and therefore by the transitive property of wrongness, wrong about everything else and in general a crap human being.
GABF judge extraordinaire

Some of you might think that I'm just whining because we didn't win anything and this is all just sour grapes. Sorry, no, we actually won the gold medal for our Baltic Porter, where I'm sure we beat out the other two entries for the top prize. And in contrast to our previous medal-winning entries, I actually agreed that our Baltic Porter was a good example of the style. I guess even a blind squirrel (beer judge) can find a nut (good beer) once in a while. Just because they were right once does not excuse them from my scorn.

Onto the brewers we met while we were there. Most were nice, albeit egotistical and nerdy. But one person in particular who was the epitome of the contemptible brewer came to our booth trying to tell us about himself and his impeccable resume (like we cared). He planted himself in front of our booth, clogging up the queue that had formed behind him, and after many samples of our five beer selection and numerous asinine questions and comments, point blank asked us, "What exactly are you guys trying to do here?" Flummoxed by this, I responded the way any polite person would by saying that I didn't understand the question. Thankfully, our brewery cohort Sam Cruz responded with the right answer. Sam simply replied, "your wife."

Thanks Sam, I sure am looking forward to next year.

never trust The Sober Brewer
Jerry Gnagy