Page 1 Page 2 Page 3 Page 4 Page 5 Page 6 Page 7 Page 8 Page 9 Page 10 Page 11 Page 12 Page 13 Page 14 Page 15 Page 16 Page 17 Page 18 Page 19 Page 20 Page 21 Page 22 Page 23 Page 24 Page 25 Page 26 Page 27 Page 28 Page 29 Page 30 Page 31 Page 32 Page 33 Page 34 Page 35 Page 36 Page 37 Page 38 Page 39 Page 40 Page 41 Page 42 Page 43 Page 44 Page 45 Page 46 Page 47 Page 48 Page 49 Page 50 Page 51 Page 52 Page 53 Page 54 Page 55 Page 56 Page 57 Page 58 Page 59 Page 60 Page 61 Page 62 Page 63 Page 64 Page 65 Page 66 Page 67 Page 68Now in its 35th year, the Brewers Association Great American Beer Festival (GABF) is the premier beer festival in the U.S.A. with more than 3,800 beers on show from 780 small and independent craft breweries. Held every October in Denver’s cavernous Convention Centre, the size of seven football pitches, the Festival boasts four miles of beer lines and attracts 60,000 beer lovers over three days. Winning a medal at the competition is akin to winning gold at the Olympics. It is the largest commercial beer competition in the world and a symbol of brewing excellence. Some 7,227 beers were entered into the competition covering 96 categories and 286 medals were awarded. The sheer, unmitigated joy on the faces of medal-winners was testimony to their passion for brewing and delight in producing a high quality, world-class brew. This is a collaborative industry like no other. No one wants their fellow brewer to make bad beer because it undermines the whole craft brewing industry. American brewers are very supportive of each other to continue raising the bar for craft beer quality across the world. Linked to GABF is Paired, a unique showcase of craft beer and food paired together to create sensational new flavour matches. Comprising 21 chefs and 21 breweries who together make 42 bite sized delicacies for 1,500 people per night, the beer is as much an ingredient of the dish as it is a liquid refreshment - the difference being it is in a glass not on the plate. Craft beer’s diverse range of flavours prove that it can pair with food as well, if not better, than any other beverage. Wander around the Festival and it is a unique experience from the pretzel- necklace clad revellers to the silent disco divas. Beer lovers queue patiently, sometimes up to 20 minutes, for a 30ml sample and then scamper to the back of the queue for more. Drop your glass and the cheers of thousands raise the decibel level to deafening heights. But the beer is the star of the show. American craft brewers are widely credited with igniting the craft beer revolution and at GABF their brewing creativity and ingenuity is given free rein. Innovative and experi- mental can hardly begin to describe the beers on offer from those made with marshmallows, tobacco and cannabis to others using pig’s liver, breakfast cereal and pickles! However, not all beers are weird and wonderful. There is still formidable interest in those breweries who are part of the Brewers Association’s Export Development Programme and distribute in the UK such as Firestone Walker, Great Divide, Harpoon, Left Hand, Oskar Blues, Sierra Nevada, Ska, Victory and many more. Keep an eye out for them and you’ll get a small taste of what the GABF has to offer! UK brewers are welcome to download the wealth of free resources available at including: Best Practices Guide to Quality Craft Beer to help encourage better handling and storage of US craft beer amongst trading partners -publications/best-practices-guide/ Brewers Association Draught Beer Quality for Retailers helps retailers learn to consistently pour great beer and preserve profits through industry accepted best practices. content/uploads/Draught-Beer-Quality- for-Retailers.pdf The website is a resource for draught installers, wholesalers, retailers and brewers. If GABF is anything to go by, craft brewing in America is in rude good health and the small and independent brewer remains the standard bearer for innovation, diversity and quality. Long may it continue. Event Photos © Brewers Association 8 BREWING & BEVERAGE INDUSTRIES BUSINESS What makes the Great American Beer Festival truly great? Sylvia Kopp is the Brewers Association’s Craft Beer Ambassador Comment 8_Layout 1 30/10/2016 12:31 Page 1