4 days of drinking beer and wandering around an area seems like a great idea for a vacation (and it is a great idea for a vacation) until somewhere in the middle of day 4 you are looking at the grass under a tree on the disc golf course you are playing, and think, “I could lay there and take a nice nap.”
The last day of GABF and my last full day in Denver started like the others with a breakfast biscuit from Rise and Shine. We watched the GABF awards ceremony as we lounged until it was time to leave for disc golf in Arvada. It was a nice leisurely round. The group in front of us had speakers playing various EDM and the group behind us had speakers playing various 70s country songs. That felt about right for a trip to Colorado.
There was lunch at another Snarf’s location, a final trip to Hogshead for me, and a nap for everyone. Including Mattie, the greyhound. Then it was off to the final GABF session of 2016.
I like to think of the last session of GABF as Amateur Night. The difference between Thursday and Saturday is stark. Thursday you have the beer geeks all wanting to try different things and talk to brewers. Saturday, you have all the college students from around the area and 30-40-year-old adolescents who all pregame before hitting the convention center. Those two groups have one goal: Get as drunk as possible before 9:45.
I make my livelihood from people who like to drink. I love those people, what I don’t like are the drunks who think getting a little inebriated gives them the right to act like the Republican nominee for president. So, as the beer ran out and 9:00 hit, Dave, Ginny, and I decided to skedaddle and head home. We were tired, the beer was running out, and the scene was generally degenerating into chaos.
I don’t want it to sound like the last night wasn’t fun. It was. I got to try a lot more beers and talk to a few people I wanted to meet. It was just the tail end of a jam packed 4 days.
Congratulations to all the brewers, particularly the ones from my beloved Tar Heel state. North Carolina breweries picked up 17 medals at the awards ceremony. The most the state’s brewers have won at any single competition and the 4th most by a single state at this year’s event. The surprise was the 3 medals won by Brown Truck Brewing out of High Point. Not only did win 1 gold and 2 silvers they were named Very Small Brewery of The Year.
I will actually have a more global 20000-foot overview of what I learned this week in Denver coming up either here or at Gravity Magazine. For now, I’m going to grab some breakfast and head to the airport.