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The Nerves Have It

It’s 9 AM on Saturday morning and I am sitting in the dead quiet of my hotel room. The cooling fan for the room is humming along and outside my window, the sun is piercing a crystal blue sky and downtown Denver is barely coming to life.

Normally, I’d still be asleep trying to rest up for a very long day but last night, I climbed into bed much earlier than usual and as such, I am awake this morning much before I want to be. It sort of sucks, but I’m enjoying the solitude of my quiet room.

At about 11 AM this morning, the day will officially kick into gear. We’ll all descend from our hotel, stop at Chipotle on our way to the fest before arriving for the most important GABF session of the week. You see, Saturday is all about the awards show and steeling the nerves in your stomach.

Each year, the awards ceremony takes place on Saturday afternoon. And each year at the GABF, you’ll find me nervously pacing and contemplating utter failure relative to the competition. Last year, we won a single bronze medal for our Hop 15. Most breweries are happy to win a medal of any color at this fest. We’re not any brewery. Never have been and don’t want to become one.

This year, we’ve brought 13 beers to the party. Not all of them are world class beers. Some of them however just scream “look at me” and hopefully that will be enough to get us on a roll. The Judges (including myself) saw just over 3300 beers come through the competition this week. It’s an enormous increase in the # of beers for the festival. It’s doubtful that all the new beers this year are world class. Remember, I tasted a bunch of them during judging. However, there will most assuredly be some great new beers and lucky recipients of GABF fame.

It’s Saturday morning. The nerves have kicked in and we’re about 4 and a 1/2 hours from the first medal coming up on the screen. I’m going to organize my room and prep for leaving tomorrow to kill some time. In two hours, I will have my ceremonial good luck Chicken Burrito with Black Beans and Rice. So far, Chipotle hasn’t let me down in terms of Saturday morning rituals. Let’s see how it treats us this year. See you on the floor, nerves and all.

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