The Weekend that Was in Beer: Drink Like a Local Brings Home #GABF Gold

Tripp, who heads up operations at Back Forty Beer Company, drinking like a local in Colorado on Saturday at Breckenridge Brewery’s brewpub in Downtown Denver.

So……Who has a case of the Mondays?! It’s a little late in the day for a blog post, but it’s been a ridonk weekend of beer, and we wanted to share three headlines from what went down in Colorado at the Great American Beer Festival (#GABF) and Grovetoberfest in Miami before moving on to the next a million things.  Links to our event Flickr sets are also below. Cheers and be on the lookout for #GABF-winners at a Genuine restaurant near you.  We’re particularly hopeful that beer from one of Chef’s favorite breweries and medal winner this weekend for its IPA, Chicago’s Goose Island, will first become available on tap in Miami in November.  Cheers!

1) DRINK LIKE A LOCAL GOES NATIONAL: Congratulations to Brown Distributing Company whose innovative marketing initiatives like Drink Like a Local have garnered the attention of the American craft brewing community and the Brewers Association and won them the title of “Distributor of the Year” at the Great American Beer Festival.  Huge.  Brown is our exclusive distributor of Michael’s Genuine Home Brew and many of the Florida craft beers we carry at Harry’s in support of DLAL.  We are so proud that this program we knew was genius the second we heard about it is getting the recognition it deserves and hopefully will inspire other likeminded grass roots efforts to sprout across the country in underserved craft beer communities. The Governor of Colorado even gave it a shout in his speech at Saturday’s ceremony. For pictures of our little jaunt to Denver’s neighboring city and craft beer mecca of Ft. Collins, check out our photo set here of some of the award-winning beer we sampled.  All three of the breweries visited walked away with medals, and Fort Collins breweries as a whole took home six golds. Funkwerks took home the “Small Brewing Company and Small Brewing Company Brewer of the Year.” Gold medal winners are Deceit and Saison by Funkwerks, Knight Ryder Munich Dunkel by Equinox Brewing Co., More Fun Blonde by New Belgium Brewing Co., 6X Helles by CB & Potts and Bombastic by Fort Collins Brewery.

2) IF YOU BREW IT THEY WILL COME: Speaking of underserved craft beer communities, it was thrilling to see breweries from South Carolina, Alabama and Florida particularly represent this weekend, coming out to pour their fantastic beers and also winning #GABF awards for a handful of them.  Two Florida breweries won medals. Florida Beer Co.’s Hurricane Reef Pale Ale won bronze in the classic English style pale ale category, and Cigar City Brewing’s Cucumber Saison scored bronze in the field beer or pumpkin beer category.  Dating back to measures set in prohibition times, southern states are particularly notorious for legislation that stifles brewpubs and breweries from opening up shop.  Back Forty Beer Company, our partner in Michael’s Genuine Home Brew, has been an instrumental pioneer in changing some of these laws, as the second brewery to open in Alabama.  Just to open they were put through the ringer, even having to get their building – in a historic district of Gadsden – re-zoned Historic, among a slew of other things.  Talk about small but mighty!  There are now eight operational breweries in Alabama.  Back Forty was also just successful in pushing through new legislation allowing large format bottling, hence how we can offer the less costly and less wasteful 22-oz Michael’s Genuine Home Brew.  Keep on keepin’ on gentlemen!

3) HOME BREW’S MIAMI LOVE FEST: Thanks to all of you who came out to Peacock Park to celebrate craft beer in Miami at Grovetoberfest.  The Genuine Team holding down the fort including Michael, Bradley, Ryan, and Ellie had nothing but amazing feedback shared from the crowds!  Sad to have missed it myself.  Next time!  One great takeaway from the event is, in addition to our ever expanding distribution, folks who want to find our beer in retail will soon have that opportunity in a bigger way.  We connected with Total Wine & Spirits, who loved the product and plan to implement it in their South Florida stores soon. #BOOM.

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