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Thursday, October 01, 2009

Final GABF Notes

A few odds and ends to wrap up this year's GABF.

1. Brewfather
In the early days of blogging, new bloggers could almost always identify their "blogfather"--the person who inspired them to start their own. (Mine is Josh Marshall.) Now that blogs exist as a medium, this is mostly passe. Not so with brewers. From Pelican comes this very charming note in a press release announcing their three medals:
Not only did the Pelican win three medals, but three former Pelican employees came away with gold medals as well. Ben Love from Hopworks Brewery in Portland, Ore., won two gold medals—one for Organic Ace of Spades Imperial IPA one for Organic Rise Up Red. Hutch Kugeman from Great Adirondack Brewing Company in Lake Placid, N.Y., won a silver medal for his Belgian Summer Ale and a bronze medal for his Whiteface Black Diamond Stout. Travis Zeilstra from Montana Brewing Co. in Billings, Mont., came away with a gold medal for Stillwater Rye.
Darron Welch, brewfather.

2. Win Percentages
In about 1996, I invented dry-hopping. True story. Two friends and I were putting together a brown ale and due to a little too much relaxing and enjoying homebrews, we forgot to put in the aroma hops. So we poked them down the neck of the carboy, resulting in the best beer of my early brewing career. That this technique had already been invented centuries earlier does not, in my own estimation, dim this great discovery. (We still say Columbus "discovered" the new world, right?)

History may be repeating itself. Last year, in the midst of expressing my pique over what I perceived to be yet another dissing of Oregon in medal counts at the GABF, it occurred to me that maybe I was calculating things improperly. Sure enough, when I looked at the amount of medals we'd won based on beer submissions (rather than total breweries), we actually cleaned up. This year I notice that this calculation is being made elsewhere. From the Oregon Brew Crew's John Heasley comes this statistic of win percentage based on submissions:
OR - 12%
CO - 9%
PA - 9%
WA - 8%
CA - 6%
MI - 6%
NY - 6%
From the Washington Beer Blog comes further detail (and some bad math):
Colorado = 45 wins out of 459 entries (10% winning)
California = 39 wins/594 entries (7% winning)
Oregon = 22 wins/172 entries (13% winning)
Washington = 13/162 entries (12.5% winning) [editor's note: 13 of 162 is actually 8%]
If you return MacTarnahan's to Oregon, our win percentage would increase, and it would increase further still if you gave us Pyramid. I don't consider Pyramid an Oregon brewery, but the beer is brewed here. Robbing us of Mac's is inexcusable.

Did I invent this metric? Definitely. Did I invent it first? Hmmm....

3. Chuckanut
By now you are probably aware that Chuckanut, the brand-new, mostly-lager Bellingham brewery, won four medals and Small Brewpub of the Year. You probably also know it was founded by Will Kemper, who in an earlier epoch founded all-lager Thomas Kemper brewing. And you probably also know that erstwhile Oregon Brewers Guild Director Jim Parker also works for Chuckanut. But did you know that the Seattle Beer Blog has an interview with Kemper?

Now you do.


  1. Oops. You're right. Our percentage is wrong. We took those numbers straight from the GABF web site right when the results were released, but we still should have cross checked the math. I think that's what you call it. Never been good at that math stuff. We're fixing our post right now.

  2. We fixed our bad math - thanks for catching that!