The Great American Beer Festival’s tagline this year was: “Mind. Blown.” If you went to GABF this year, you may have felt like your mind was indeed blown, but perhaps in a different way than intended.
We walked around most the time feeling a bit lost, as the Brewer’s Association decided to get rid of the regional separations and just put every brewery in the hall in alphabetical order. When we first heard about this change, we were excited, as it could introduce attendees to new breweries that they otherwise may miss, but in execution, it was a cluster F*@#.
We can’t count how many times we walked into an area and thought “Ooh, I haven’t been here yet!” only to realize that we already had. The thing that made things the most confusing was the placement of the “Meet the Brewer” section, which just happened to be right in the middle of everything. With two separate alphabetical sorting schemes happening, it tended to be a bit disorienting.
“It’s like if King Soopers put all their products in alphabetical order”
“I tried to find New Glarus, but couldn’t find the ‘N’ section”
All in all, it was still a great time, but we do hope they look at the criticism and change things up (or back to what it was) for next year!
Here’s our photos from the week: