The timeline couldn't have been more perfect. On August 5th we drew
a name out of a hat. That hat contained over 14,000 names. Rachel
Turner had her birthday on August 22md. On August 23rd she received
official confirmation that she had won an all-expense paid trip for two to
the 2006 Great American Beer Festival.
Rachel and her husband, Brian, arrived in Denver on Thursday night, and
spent a comfortable evening in their room at the Hyatt Regency. The
next day they were given VIP passes to the festival, introduced to Charlie
Papazian, President of the Brewer's Association, given a brief tour, then
cut loose in an adult's version of Disneyland.
Rachel’s experience, in her own words….
“The festival was truly a unique experience. Brian and I tried
to have at least one beer from every brewery but I'm sure we missed one or
two. There were so many great beers and I have a hard time remembering
all the names of the ones I liked. I should have taken notes, like
I saw a few guys doing. I loved the Odell Easy Street Wheat, the
Left Hand Haystack Wheat, and the Brooklyn Brewery Brooklyner Weiss. As
you can see, I love the wheat beers. To not feel so overwhelmed by
the number of breweries, we tried to hit every brewery that offered
a wheat beer. Of course once we were there we tried others. Brian's
favorites were the Avery IPA and the Flying Dog IPA. Being born
and raised in Wisconsin we had to stop by the Pabst table where we had our
first Pabst light. We watched the awards presentation, well only half,
and cheered loudly when Piece from Chicago won an award. On both days
to slow ourselves down we listened to some speakers in the brewers studio. Little
did we know they were freely passing around beer. It was quite inspirational
to hear Charlie, Jim Koch and the Sierra Nevada guy talking about their love
of brewing beer.
This festival expanded our love of beer and hopefully we can return every
year to try the new beers and revisit our favorites.
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