Today marks the kick-off of the 2015 Great American Beer Festival (GABF) in Denver, Colorado, and we've got an Indeed crew headed out west to join in the festivities! Founded in 1982 and hosted annually, GABF brings together a staggering number of craft breweries from across the country to join in this long-standing, top-notch craft beer fest.
There's a hugely popular ticketed tasting open to the public, and, in the spirit of healthy competition, breweries submit their beers to GABF to be judged by a private panel of experts. Each brewery is allowed to enter up to five beers in a variety of categories. This year Indeed entered these beers for consideration:
- Bock, in the Bock category
- LSD Ale brewed with Lavender, Sunflower Honey, and Dates, in the Herb and Spice category
- Mexican Honey Imperial Lager in the Honey category
- Shenanigans Summer Ale in the American Wheat without Yeast category
- Mojito Shenanigans in the Experimental category
Curious how we choose which beers to submit? Let's tap Head Brewer Josh Bischoff to give us some insight into the selection process. Josh tells us, "We generally start with a list of the brews we think would do well and then start tasting them to see where they are at in there aging process and looking into categories for them. Hoppy categories are always really crowded with over a 100 entries most of the time, so we tend to shy away from those categories. From there it's just a matter of talking through the list and picking what we think is peaking flavor-wise at the right time, and whether there is a category each beer fits nicely into."
You might be wondering, "What makes GABF such a big deal?" Josh explains, "It's a great celebration of American craft beer, and it's pretty cool to be able to get a large percentage of the breweries in the United States in one place for a weekend. The competition itself is really tough. The last few years there's been around 3,000 beers entered with only 92 categories and three medals per category." Thats only 276 medals for thousands of beers entered! This hardware is hard to come by, so winning a medal at GABF is something worth celebrating.
The awards ceremony takes place this Saturday, September 26th, so we'll be on pins and needles from afar waiting to hear the results and wishing good luck to all of our favorite breweries in the competition from Minnesota and beyond. Stay tuned for any big GABF-related news to come!