(But I’ve got a story or two after I explain.)
I thought about it going in, even took my notebook computer and connections to move photos from my camera to the computer. Didn’t happen. When you spend all your time a) sampling, b) socializing and c) collecting information for stories or that will somehow improve the quality of what appears here or elsewhere then connecting at 2 o’clock in the morning doesn’t seem like such a great idea.
And no way I would have done as complete as job as Rick Lyke or Jay Brooks.
To read Lyke’s work, start with GABF After Thoughts and work your way backwards. Lots of pictures and lots of interviews/commentary.
Brooks has even more pictures. Start with GABF 2006: The Awards and work your way backwards. There are so many photos that you’ll have to click on the gallery links to see them all.
I also recommend Lew Bryson’s commentary on judging. I’m always a little worried when people call for balance – yes, they are correct there is nothing pleasant about overhopped and out-of-balance high alcohol beers – because I’d rather accept some occasional missteps in the name of innovation than discourage it altogether. But Lew finds the right, uhmm, balance.
Now back to the story I promised. If you check out Jay’s gallery from the awards ceremony and scroll about 80 percent of the way down you’ll see a big brewer in checked pants carrying another brewer on his shoulders.
No, Jeff Bagby (the big guy and lead brewer for Pizza Port Carlsbad) and Noah Regnery (his assistant) weren’t just giddy because they’d won their fourth medal of the day.
While they were bottling the beer they call Sticky Stout to send it to the competitition Regnery was so excited about how it tasted he predicted it would win a gold medal.
“I told him that he’d never been here, he didn’t understand what it was like, how hard it is,” said Bagby.
Regnery insisted Sticky Stout would win.
“I said, ‘If we win I will carry you to the stage on my shoulders,’” Bagby said.
They did, and he did.