Friends it is, once again, time for the biggest beer party of them all. The Great American Beer Festival is back, meaning that thousands of the best (and many of the rarest) beers in the country are, right now, at this very minute, in Denver. New Belgium is no exception; we've got a whole host of crazy beers we're taking to the Festival. We're also tapping some very rare beers at the brewery throughout the week. You can find a list of them here.
Today I want to talk about a little GABF competitive division called Pro-Am. Professional brewers from around the country pair with talented home brewers and scale-up their award-winning home brews for a commercial brewing system. This new, previously-home-brewed-but-now-pro-brewed beer is then entered into the GABF Pro-Am Division, at which point it is eligible to win more awards (you can never have too many awards, right?).
In 2012 we partnered with home brewer Jay Shambo to brew his More Fun Blonde, and it took gold at GABF. Last year we partnered with Mike Formisano on his Charlie's Brown, and it took silver.
This year — I am excited to announce — we partnered with Bryan Keas, whose hoppy red won a gold medal at the Liquid Poetry Slam. The beer impressed New Belgium brewer Andy Mitchell, who selected Bryan as our 2014 Pro-Am collaborator.
Bryan teamed up with Cody Reif, our pilot brewhouse coordinator, and together they brewed the 7.9 percent ABV Colorado Hoppy Red. It's got a rich malty backbone and seven (yup, seven) brewhouse hop additions (it was also dry hopped). As Cody put it, "It's full bodied with a nice strong bitterness." I'm going to add in a few adjectives myself to paint an even better picture of this beer: delicious, piney, malty, red.
We're real excited for this year's competition, and (fingers crossed) think we've got another winner on our hands. It's on tap at the brewery all week long, so swing on by (if you're in the area) and try Colorado Hoppy Red for yourself.
Cheers and love — Nic