Short’s GABF 2011 Update

The sold out Great American Beer Festival opened last night in Denver. Hours before opening, beer enthusiasts from around the country began gathering outside of the Colorado Convention Center. As soon as the doors opened, a flood of people poured in and headed for the new Short’s booth — a crowd that never went away all night long.

We mounted a GoPro Hero camera above our booth to capture the scene, which looked like this:

It is rewarding to serve 20 of our beers to the enthusiasts here, some of whom are very familiar with Short’s, and others who have never heard of our Michigan-only brewery. We are pouring: Anniversary Ale, Another Caucasian Gary, Autumn Ale, Bloody Beer, Bludgeon Yer Eye, Bourbon Wizard, Captain Fantasy, Carrot Cake, Cornholio, Freedom of ’78, Gambler, Huma Lupa Licious, Joyous Almondo, Key Lime Pie, Kolsch 45, Nicie Spicie, Prolonged Enjoyment, Spruce Pilsner, Whiskey Sour, and Woodmaster.

As one might expect, a good deal of buzz surrounds experimental beers like Carrot Cake, Key Lime Pie (2010 GABF Gold Medal winner), and its Whiskey Sour cousin. Some of our awesome non-experimental beers like Autumn Ale (a previous GABF medal winning ESB), Bludgeon Yer Eye (our black IPA), and Kolsch 45 have yet to be fully discovered by those new to Short’s, so it is exciting when people come back to try the various styles we are offering this year.

Much buzz also surrounds our booth this year. Beer Advocate tweeted: “Wow. @shortsbrewing #GABF booth is 100% win!” Getting praise like that is very rewarding, particularly after all of the time that Joe Short and Alan from Pro Image Design put into the design and building process.

We put together some photo galleries showing first night at GABF here and, if you are curious to see how it all came together, the setup. Hilariously, the night ended with our entire exhausted crew piling into a van (long story!) in order to get back to our hotel. This became an interesting study in how many people can fit into a van. See the video here.

We are planning to live-stream the GABF awards ceremony at our Pub at 3 p.m. on Saturday, so if you happen to be in the Bellaire area and want to see how everything unfolds, please stop by! Of course we are hoping for another medal this year, but regardless of what happens we know that we have put our entire heart and soul into the beer that we make. The reception that we’ve received in Colorado tells us that what we are doing is working: we are getting lots of people excited and curious about craft beer and getting people who already enjoy craft beer to appreciate it in a whole new way. In Joe’s words, we are showing people that beer can be outrageous, dignified, and delicious all at the same time. Thank you to all of our talented Short’s staff, patrons, fans, and to our GABF sponsors who helped make all of this possible.