Twenty Things We Learned At The 2013 Great American Beer Festival

photo 4The Great American Beer Festival is a marathon, three day (or, if you’re Bitch Beer… nine day) beer party, but it’s also a great forum for a little good ol’ fashioned beer education. Here are a few random facts, statistics and personal observations passed of as irrefutable fact new discoveries that we picked up during our time in Colorado.

1. One of the festival’s two new beer style categories this year, Adambier, had zero entrants. But that doesn’t mean if just one dude entered he could have scored an easy gold medal, because it’s in a split category with Berliner Weisse and Gose.

2. A coffee kolsch may sound like a confusing combination, but it’s actually magic. Thanks, Fate.

3. Our home state of Texas took home its highest medal count since 2005…but we’re pretty sure 2005 shouldn’t count because six of Texas’s 12 medals were for PBR which was brewed at the Miller plant in San Antonio at the time.

4. You can definitely make a meal out of free cheese samples and bags of pretzels.

5. The Festival’s most popular category, American-Style India Pale Ale, had 252 entries.

6. Hayters, the hilariously named bar across the street from the Falling Rock Tap House, is apparently as bad as you think it is.

7. This year’s 201 GABF judges hailed from 11 different countries.

8. A whopping 49,000 people attended the festival this year.

9. While Dogfish Head and Whip In’s Namaste Brewing are currently going through a trademark debacle, there are actually plenty of breweries and beers in this country that share names, like Real Ale Devil’s Backbone and the Virginia based brewery Devil’s Backbone. And then there’s the fact that there are breweries called Fate Brewing in both Boulder and Scottsdale.

10. If you pat someone on the back to celebrate a shotgun well done, sometimes some of that beer comes back up.

11. Colorado attendees and out-of-state attendees were split about 50/50 at this year’s fest.

12. It doesn’t matter how many of the breweries you pick for your Porch Drinking GABF Awards Fantasy League win medals, you’ll probably still get creamed if you don’t bag a Brewery of the Year.

13. Some of the most famous men in the craft beer industry like Garrett Oliver and Charlie Papazian like to hang out casually, it would seem, in the GABF bookstore!

14. In some countries, it is mandatory to caution pregnant women not to drink beer by putting an icon on cans. This icon can very easily be interpreted as “don’t get pregnant” after ingesting a couple of aforementioned cans.

15. “Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark” aren’t as scary as we remember, especially after speed walking through a deserted Ft. Collins at 1:30 in the morning. Also scarier now, tumbleweeds.

16. We have yet to find a single brewery that has used its keg lifting equipment to move a person.

17. Neighborhood nano-breweries like Our Mutual Friend and Equinox are definitely something we want to see more of in Texas.

18. The beverage aisles of service stations in Colorado are eerily small since it is illegal to sell full strength beer anywhere but liquor stores.

19. It is apparent with names like Quad Dammit, Morning Wood, and Oh Face that no industry in the world loves inserting humor into their products as much as craft beer.

20. Even at the higher altitude of Colorado, you can hold off a hangover for nine days! But be warned: when it hits, it hits hard.

-Sarah & Caroline

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