>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: 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.