Friday, October 15, 2010

A glass from the past

Ol' Blue Eyes had just shuffled off this mortal coil the Thursday prior, and that Saturday, Real Quiet would add to a Kentucky Derby win, earning a second jewel of the Triple Crown.

Across town from Pimlico Race Course, the Great American Beer Festival had arrived in Baltimore for a May 15-17 stand, far, far away from its Denver base.

And that was that. It won't happen again. (It didn't exactly go that well.)

This is what the Brewers Association had to say when asked about the possibility of ever trying it again:

"We do not anticipate taking GABF on the road in the future. Among other considerations, the sheer size of the event makes that an extremely challenging prospect. GABF will take place in Denver for the foreseeable future."

One thing about the Baltimore event was certain: A worse weekend – Preakness weekend – could not have been picked. There was literally no hotel space in the city and for miles around.

If that was bad planning, there was some bad execution, too. The brewers hospitality lounge was stocked not with real food for the beermakers and their helpers, but snacks, i.e. tortilla chips and pretzels. (At least that was the situation on the opening night.)

That's not a slap at the Brewers Association.

The BA gets points for going on the road with the GABF, and it rebounded (nine years later) with SAVOR, the food and craft beer pairing held in Washington, D.C. (The 2011 SAVOR is set for June 4th.)

So if you went in '98, savor your GABF-East memory, but think SAVOR for craft beer.

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