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General Category => Events => Topic started by: pedrolikesbeer on June 13, 2011, 11:06:25 PM

Title: GABF
Post by: pedrolikesbeer on June 13, 2011, 11:06:25 PM
This will be my first year attending the GABF.  Can anyone tell me what the members-only session is?  Is it the regular session but only open to AHA members?  Just trying to figure out which session to attend.  Thanks
Title: Re: GABF
Post by: dbeechum on June 14, 2011, 04:22:57 AM
Yes, it is a session open only to AHA members and you get a glass glass. Combine that with the ability to find out immediate who the winners are and try their beer and well, pretty special. Particularly since the session itself is pretty mellow.

If I were to only do 2 sessions it would be the Members and the Opening session.
Title: Re: GABF
Post by: tumarkin on June 14, 2011, 10:42:49 AM
+1 on that, but really.... you should do them ALL. just think of the number of breweries/beers. really gives new meaning to the old saw of so many beers, so little time. and then, even at 1oz each that adds up to way too much beer to drink in a session or two.
Title: Re: GABF
Post by: jeffy on June 14, 2011, 11:37:20 AM
I'm with Drew.  Thursday night when all the brewers are there and Saturday afternoon.  The problem with Saturday is that a lot of the beer is gone by then.  It will be hit or miss finding the winners as they are announced.  That and the fact that it sells out these days so it isn't much less crowded.  When people realize they can't get a ticket without an AHA membership they pony up for the membership.
On Friday night go to Falling Rock and let the frat boys drink at the GABF.
Title: Re: GABF
Post by: Tim McManus on June 15, 2011, 03:04:13 AM
I really enjoyed the 1997 GABF when members-only night was Thursday night.  The place was nearly empty and all the awards were given out.  No lines at any of the tables and all the brewers and folks were walking around and chatting.  Everyone had full kegs and that made the private session all the better.

When I returned in 1998 they moved members-only to the first Saturday session.  It had a different feel to it and most people weren't paying attention to the awards ceremony.

Saturday night usually sucks.  It's mobbed and full of non-beer geeks.  I remember at the end of the 1998 Saturday night session that some idiots were throwing their glass GABF commemorative glasses (remember when you got all-glass glasses for all four sessions) into the crowds outside.

I haven't been back since.
Title: Re: GABF
Post by: pedrolikesbeer on June 15, 2011, 03:59:21 AM
Thanks for the replies, it will help with my travel plans.  I'm thinking I will definitely hit one of the first day sessions and may go to the members-only as well.  See ya there.
Title: Re: GABF
Post by: gisbrewmaster on June 15, 2011, 04:39:21 AM
I agree with going to all session but some of the best times i have had is volunteering to pour. I usually go to the Thursday and Members session and pour the Fri and Sat night. The sat night session is a blast to pour for. You get to pour and taste and you get brakes to leave your area and taste other things.

Matt
Title: Re: GABF
Post by: gsandel on June 16, 2011, 04:50:36 AM
The only session I attend is the members only session.....I have tried them all.

Title: Re: GABF
Post by: tschmidlin on June 20, 2011, 06:23:05 PM
I went to all of them a couple of years ago, and next time I'll skip Friday and Saturday nights.  There is plenty to do besides that, and I like the feel of the Thursday night and Saturday afternoon sessions better.
Title: Re: GABF
Post by: richardt on June 20, 2011, 06:46:30 PM
I went to GABF in 2007 and 2008. 
I agree-- it is impossible to drink them all (over 3000 beers), so don't even try. 
Though there are many local college-aged kids that seem to attempt to do just that.
I chose a style or two that I wanted to explore and stuck to those. 
Plus, I tried some of the more successful breweries (dogfish head, Brooklyn, New Glarus, etc.)

Disappointed in the excessive number of attendees who don't seem to be doing anything more than pounding beers.
Very disappointed in the extremely long lines that basically went around the entire huge convention center.
Took nearly an hour once the doors opened to even get inside.
Several breweries were out of their signature beers within the first hour of the first session.  Really?!

Insanely long lines for the bathrooms, too.  Countless disgustingly filthy unisex portapotties but no handwashing stations. 
Plus, the geniuses put the assigned smoking area right next to the portapotties.  Smog doesn't even begin to describe it.

Though I love Denver, I won't be back again for the GABF--in my view, the AHA member benefit did not provide any significant ability to appreciate the grand confluence of great American craft beers at the GABF.  The experience has degenerated into a state fair beer hall.