By Kurt Epps—The PubScout
October 21, 2007
Let's get something straight right off the bat. Everyone who loves beer should make at least ONE trip to the Great American Beer Festival in Denver. Seriously. Just like Muslims should make at least one trip to Mecca for the religious experience, though finding any beer there might be tough.
It certainly isn't difficult to find in Denver in mid-October, though. Hundreds of breweries, thousands of beers, but only three days to sample them all. It's a religious experience, for sure.
The problem is many beer lovers, especially those from New Jersey, don't always have the time or money to make the trek. New Jersey requires that our time is spent working, and the money we make from working is sent mostly to a large golden-domed toilet in Trenton, where it is re-distributed to special plumbers known as Legislators and their friends, known as cronies and hacks, who keep the toilet operating.
But I digress. Unable to make the trip this year, I had to satisfy my GABF craving by going to the website to find out which beers won top honors this year, hoping to see some of my Jersey brews named as winners. Jersey has had multiple winners in the past and deservedly so. Jersey brewers make some great beer.
But imagine my surprise when I got to the site to see the winners, and not only was there no evidence of any NJ brewers entered in the competition, Jersey wasn't even listed as a state in the "Search" drop-down menu!
WTF? (Where's the Foam?)
I know at least one brewer in our state sent some of his excellent beer out there to compete. What happened to it? Did it get lost? Waylaid? Mishandled and spoiled?
More importantly, were there no other entrants from the Garden State?
As I get older, I admit my memory is not what it used to be. Nor is my memory what it used to be. But I can't remember a GABF without a single Jersey representative—ever.
Is it possible that Jersey brewers opted out of this year's contest? Maybe our Garden State Craft Brewers Guild can shed some light on this puzzlement?
Because the only explanation I can come up with for no Jersey brewery or brewpub entrants is they were all working too hard to produce more beer to make more money to send to the Golden Loo in Trenton.
WTF is the question of the day. Anybody have an answer?