The Monday after the 2014 Great American Beer Festival, I woke up feeling surprisingly well. I had just spent five out of the past seven days at various events, bars and festival sessions drinking like a man just released from a 15 year prison stint. I thought for sure the ensuing hangover would leave me crying in the shower. My stomach felt fine and my head, aside from a little grogginess, felt clear. I patted myself on the back and went about my day.
Several hours later, to my disdain and horror, I suddenly realized I was sweating through my clothes, shaking like a leaf and had absolutely no appetite.
There you are, old friend. You thought you had evaded me like a stealth fucking ninja. Try as you may, there’s no way I’m going to give you a pass after a week like that. Fucker.
Yes, my hangovers occasionally speak to me, and it’s on those days that I try to reflect on any possible lesson I could have learned. I’ll tell you right now what I learned; GABF is a massive fucking thing to undertake for an entire weekend. This year was a huge step up since the past four years I had spent only one evening at the festival versus the three I ended up attending, and each night brought its own unique flavour of crowd and how I approached the beers.
The most interesting aspect was seeing the first and last sessions, the “Alpha and the Omega” as I’ve been referring to them. I’m going to attempt a more comprehensive recall of the events in a later piece. For now, I just want to acknowledge the fact that a weekend like this takes some serious planning and preparation.
Being our first time through GABF in an “official” capacity, Beer n’ Loathing, as a collective, didn’t entirely hit the mark with either of those two verbs, but we certainly grew as a group and learned a whole fucking lot about each of our strengths. I’m excited to share some of the things we came up with during the event, and I want to start with the pictures in this blog’s gallery. They show snapshots of our adventures that weekend and the vibe of the event. We’ll have much more to share in the coming weeks, but I hope you enjoy this little smattering of moments (photo credits to Matt and Pete).
If you went this year or have at least been before, enjoy some memories. If you haven’t had the experience, this can be a jumping off point, and, hopefully, a motivator to get your ass to the Colorado Convention Center in 2015 and finally experience one of the biggest beer events available to you to punish the shit out of your liver.