The Great American Beer Festival came to an end last weekend, and now that the fog has cleared I can recount the past week’s events.

This was my second GABF and this year managed to outdo last year.

If you haven’t had the chance to attend a GABF, it’s as much about the events outside the festival as it is the festival itself.

Here are my highlights:

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Last year was my first Great American Beer Festival. What’s the most important thing I learned? Get yourself a strategy.

I THOUGHT I had a strategy last year – “Yea I’ll check out Dogfish, maybe see what Pizza Port is serving, yada yada yada….”

Didn’t work. After a few beers and being caught up in the excitement, my plan went down the shitter and I was playing GABF whack a mole.

This year will be different.

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Gearing Up for GABF

by Billy Broas

Important September events:

  1. The Great American Beer Festival
  2. The arrival of wet hop beers
  3. My 27th birthday

We’ll focus on #1 today, talk about #2 later this month, and totally forget about #3 because honestly who cares after you turn 21.

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Craft Breweries in Planning Growth
725 – that is the number of new breweries in planning according to a recent Brewers Association press release.

It’s an 86% increase over last year’s figure. All of this growth in craft brewing begs the question – how will these breweries compete for the same craft beer drinker’s dollar?

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A Brew on Premise is an interesting business model. It’s essentially homebrewing away from home.
The Brew Kettle, Strongsville Ohio

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Homebrew Academy LogoI haven’t mentioned The Homebrew Academy in a while and we have a bunch of new BillyBrew readers so I thought it was a good time to tell everyone what’s been going on with this project. The Academy is something I launched late last year as an online training program that teaches people how to homebrew.

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Craft beer is about the experience. The occasional beer alone in front of the TV is fine, but it’s much more fun to combine your drinking experience with a fun outing.

Now, maybe you’d like to drink craft beer outside the house more often, but the venues you visit only serve BMC beer. I know how you feel…

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TV is big letdown these days. The abundance of reality shows has killed quality programming, with a few exceptions and of course HBO.

So thank God for movies.

My Netflix queue is backed up like D.C. traffic. Even if there are no good new movies out, I can go back and watch a classic. Movies don’t let me down.

So forget Kim Kardashian, here are real entertainers. These are the top 5 movie characters I want to drink a beer with.

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Wilderness Brewing Company Video
Raise your hand if you’re a homebrewer who would someday like to start your own brewery. (mine is up)

While I’m not quite ready to make the leap, my buddies Nate and Mike from Thank Heaven for Beer are.

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American Craft Beer Week is coming to a close, and what a week it’s been.

Maybe you’ve been celebrating all week or maybe you’re saving it for this weekend.

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