God I love the Great American Beer Festival. I love the people, I love the volunteer staff, and damn do I love the beer, but this year, I have a couple other people to give thanks to.
First, Trevor, et al over at Draft Magazine, thanks for helping us out with some last minute tickets. I can't tell you how much I (we) appreciate it :) The advice you've lent and communication level with us as we have embarked on this project has been tremendously helpful, and anything we can do for you from now into perpetuity, we will.
Second, to Joey, Shawn and Kelly Kercher - what do I even say. Some last minute help allowed us to tighten up the website and there is no way that would've happened without you. So thanks. We'll chat. Sooner rather than later I hope.
Enough of the sappy crap. On with the beer.
For those of you who haven't been to the GABF, it really is incredible. Yeah, it becomes somewhat of a shitshow as Friday and Saturday progress, but in all the years I've been there, I've never seen a fight. This is strange to me. When you combine alcohol and crowds something always seems to go down - but not here.
I waiver on the coolest part. Whether it's revisiting tried and true favorites, finding a shiny new brewery you've never encountered or just the general vibe, GABF is fun every year. It's like visiting the Louvre if you love art, Jerusalem if you love religion or Gilroy, California if you love garlic - OK maybe Gilroy is a stretch, but it is the Garlic capital of the US and home the best Garlic Festival ever. Maybe Corvallis, Oregon if you love Ryegrass. Ahem...better stop with the analogies.
The good news is that we're days away from being essentially done with site for now. Feel free to sign up as a user here:
Right now we have every brewery mapped in the country (some newer ones not included - but email us and we'll get it done), and we are trying to correct some errors with a few addresses in our database (looking at you Loveland Aleworks). If you want to see what a brewery's page will look like, click the blue BETA button on the site, then on a location placemarker and you can see what we're integrating as I'm writing this. We're working on the map rendering speed as well.
Some other tidbits are happening soon with our beer-finder application (launching in Colorado first) but we have some major bugs to work out, which of course costs time and money, but it should be pretty cool.
Also - We're in the beginning stages of putting on a 5-part Brewery and Spirit Festival next Summer in Colorado, each 3 hour Festival being followed by a free concert. Should be freaking awesome, and we hope to see some of you there!
So for now, Cheers!