GABF 2022: The return to an in-person Valhalla after the long dark winter

Your GABF on-site reporting duo for 2022, taking things as seriously as ever.

DENVER — Oh, yeah, it feels good to put a dateline on a story again. After the COVID pandemic limited the Great American Beer Festival to just two years of awards ceremonies and no actual festival, we are back in the belly of the beast for a full in-person fest.

Everything has returned to normal, so to speak. There will be four sessions again, an in-person awards ceremony, and all the extra events surrounding the main fest. For all of you that cannot attend, you can follow the awards ceremony online here. It starts at 10 a.m. on Saturday, and hopefully New Mexico sees its breweries bring home another haul of medals.

Erin and I will be up here for the whole thing. This will be her first GABF, so while we can all joke about praying for her liver, she will be providing that first-time view of all things, as opposed to this jaded veteran going to his sixth. We will have coverage of the awards ceremony, of course, and hopefully some additional features, though it’s generally chaotic enough around here that we cannot guarantee stories in a timely manner.

While there was no fest in 2021 (they held the annual trade show, Craft Brewers Conference, in place of it for the industry folks), there were awards. New Mexico breweries claimed four more medals, with Ex Novo taking gold for Threat Level: Turquoise in the American-Style Strong Pale Ale category, while Ponderosa earned gold for Italian Pilsner in the Hoppy Lager category. Silver medals went to Marble for Eastside Special Bitter and to Second Street for Oktoberfest.

Overall, New Mexico breweries have won 91 medals since 1995. Canteen is the all-time leader with 12 medals earned, followed closely by Marble with 11. And yes, you should save those stats the next time we ask that as a trivia question for some random reason.

The sessions will run Thursday through Saturday nights, plus a special members-only session Saturday afternoon that follows the awards ceremony. After a record 17 New Mexico breweries had booths in 2019, only six (!) have booths this year. Money is still tight, after all.

For some dumb reason, GABF reverted to having the breweries line up alphabetically with their booths, so now everyone will be scattered about. We much prefer the geographic clusters, but alas, we are not in charge. Here is where every NM brewery will be located, with row number first, booth number second.

  • Bosque Brewing 3-17
  • Canteen 4-17
  • Ex Novo Brewing 6-23 (right next to Ex Novo Portland)
  • Hidden Mountain Brewing 8-23
  • La Cumbre Brewing 9-11 (featured booth, at the end of a row)
  • Marble Brewery 11-2 and 3 (two brewhouses equals two booths)
The Halls of Valhalla will be filled with beer lovers once again!

Staff members from other breweries figure to be wandering about the convention center, waiting on Saturday’s awards ceremony. We asked for competition entries from all the attending breweries, with the category numbers. Here is a brewery-by-brewery list of those that responded to us. Other breweries likely submitted beers as well, but did not get back to us in time.

We will run a second list of these breweries in order by category in an article on Friday, but I am too lazy to do that today.

Brew Lab 101

  • Walter Wit (1. Wheat)
  • Sexi NuMexi (36. American Lager)
  • BOOM Shakalager (52. International Dark Lager)
  • Blonde Bombshell (55. Golden/Blonde Ale)
  • Lockdown Porter (90. Brown Porter)
  • Ludicrous Speed (96. Scotch Ale)

Canteen Brewhouse

  • High Plains Pils (46. Czech Pils)
  • Hop Bop A Loo Bop (64. IPA)
  • Laid Back Lager (36. American Pils)
  • Cabana Mexican Lager (39. International Lager)
  • Helles Awaits (47. Munich Helles)

Ev Novo Brewing

  • Half Mass (16. Session IPA)
  • V for Vienna (49. Vienna-Style Lager)
  • German Overalls (50. German-Style Marzen)
  • Threat Level: Turquoise (62. American-Style Strong Pale Ale)
  • Sons of Scotland (96. Scotch Ale)

Late Shift Lager House

  • Brewster Bock (54. German-Style Doppelbock)
  • Hop Hero (43. India Pale Lager)
  • Clock Out Orange (83. Belgian-Style Witbier)
  • La Vida (47. Munich-Style Helles)

Lava Rock Brewing

  • Vulkanland Lager (15. Session or Belgian Table Beer)
  • Andesite Lager (35. American Light Lager)
  • Cerveza (40. Latin American Light Lager)
  • Lava Juice (63. Juicy or Hazy Strong Pale Ale)
  • Stonehaven Scottish Ale (96. Scotch Ale)

Marble Brewery

  • Tea IPA (19. Experimental IPA)
  • Attack of the Keller B’s (33)
  • Cerveza (41. American Cream Ale)
  • Pilsner (42. Other Hoppy Lager)
  • Marblefest (50. German-Style Marzen)
  • IPA (62. American-Style Strong Pale Ale)
  • Red Ale (69. Strong Red Ale)
  • Eastside Special Bitter (71. Extra Special Bitter)
  • Eastbound and Brown (74. English-Style Brown)
  • Cholo Stout (76. American-Style Stout)
  • Prickly Pear Gose (79. Contemporary Gose)
  • Carrot Turmeric Saison (85. Specialty Saison)

Nexus Brewery

  • Honey Chamomile Wheat (13. Honey Beer)
  • Imperial Cream Ale (17. Other Strong Beer)
  • Oralé Mexican Lager (40. Latin American Lager)
  • Fest Bier (50. German-Style Marzen)
  • New Mexico Snow Storm Hazy IPA (65. Juicy or Hazy IPA)
  • Scotch Ale (96. Scotch Ale)
  • Beam Me Up (Higher) Scotty (97. Old Ale/Strong Ale)

Ponderosa Brewing

  • Italian Pilsner (42. Other Hoppy Lager)
  • Crosscut Kolsch (56. German-Style Kolsch)

Steel Bender Brewyard

  • Freddy’s Got Twenty (17. Other Strong Ale)
  • Compa Blue Corn Lager (36. American Lager)
  • Esmerelda Italian Pilsner (38. American Pilsner)
  • Lloyd’s 3 O’Clock Kolsch (56. German Kolsch)
  • Skull Bucket IPA (64. American IPA)

Thirsty Eye Brewing

  • La Llagerona (41. American Cream Ale)
  • Huning Pilsner (45. German-Style Pilsner)
  • Dude? Dude. Dude! (65. Juicy/Hazy IPA)
  • El Ojo Rojo (71. American-Style ESB)

Tractor Brewing

  • Barrel-Aged Turkey Drool (29. Barrel-Aged Strong Beer)
  • Pilsner 15 (48. Dortmunder)
  • Chocolate Milk Stout (8. Chocolate Beer)
  • Mustachio Milk Stout (93. Sweet or Cream Stout)

Turtle Mountain Brewing

  • Wooden Teeth (37. Contemporary American Lager)
  • Deutsche Pils (45. German-Style Pilsner)
  • Herr Fest (48. Dortmunder/Oktoberfest)
  • Get Bock Inside (52. International Dark Lager)

Hidden Mountain Brewing

  • Mexican Lager (40. Latin American Light Lager)
  • Dark Mexican lager (52. International Dark Lager)
  • Road Runner IPA (64. American IPA)
  • Feather’s Brown (75. American Brown Ale)
  • Hidden Mountain Stout (94. Oatmeal Stout)

Second Street Brewery

  • Skimboard Sour (2. American Fruit Beer)
  • Porch Season (16. Session IPA)
  • Rod’s Steam Bitter (44. American Amber Lager)
  • Agua Fria Pilsner (45. German-Style Pilsner)
  • Oktoberfest (50. German-Style Marzen)
  • Kolsch (56. German-Style Kolsch)
  • Zombie Star (67. Juicy or Hazy Imperial IPA)
  • Rufina Special Bitter (71. Extra Special Bitter)
  • Brown Ale (75. American-Style Brown Ale)
  • Oatmeal Stout (94. Oatmeal Stout)

Sierra Blanca Brewing

  • Cherry Wheat (3. Fruit Wheat Beer)
  • Green Chile Cerveza (6. Chili Beer)
  • Dos Hefe (17. Other Strong Beer)

Good luck to all the local breweries this week. We hope everyone has fun just being back together up here.

And, if any of our readers are here in Denver, keep an eye out for us, and say hello.

Cheers from Valhalla!

— Stoutmeister

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