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GABF a nice time -- 
especially for lab clients

If you were a White Labs customer at the Great American Beer Festival, you probably had a smile on your face.

The majority of breweries from around the country that won awards at the 2001 GABF were White Labs customers. The winners include those who bought or stored yeast at the San Diego company as well as the growing number of breweries that use Servomyces, the yeast nutrient.

In all, about 65 percent of the craft breweries that won medals at the 2001 GABF chose White Labs products. The festival, held in Denver, CO, in September, is one of the largest annual beer events in the country.

Company Vice President Chris Mueller and President Chris White congratulated the brewers in person and gave all a special keepsake White Labs hat. Appropriately, the hats were gold in color.

"We’re glad that we had a role in helping brewers make award-winning beer," Mueller said.

Winning breweries ranged from the small to the large (find the complete list on page 4). They brought some of their top beers as well as experimental brews.

Tomme Arthur of Pizza Port Brewery in Solana Beach, CA, for instance, didn’t bring his normal beers. Instead he brought all Belgian-style beers, and the plan worked. Not only was his booth one of the most popular at the festival, he also took home a silver award in the "experimental beer" category for his appropriately named Cuvee de Tomme.

Besides awards ceremonies, there were many attractions at this year’s festival. Visitors had many options, as there were nearly 2,500 beers from around the country being served. They included beers from large mega breweries as well as micros.

The festival was packed most days and did not appear impacted by the recent terrorist attacks. Organizers reported only a smattering of cancellations. However, the issue did come up at times during the festival, such as the occasional spontaneous singing of patriotic songs. Security was tightened on some days and there were restrictions about taking items such as backpacks into the festival.

Despite the recent tragedies, old traditions returned. While most people had to drink out of plastic instead of glass cups, the sound of a fallen plastic glass still caused the crowd to hoot at the unfortunate drinker.

At least during the festival award announcements, the negative comments such as hooting seemed to cease. Indeed there was scattered jubilation. Particularly from White Labs clients.

For the complete list of GABF winners click here.