West Virginia beer returns to Great American Beer Festival

Parkersburg Brewing Company brought West Virginia beer back to its rightful place at the Great American Beer Festival in Denver this week.

The only WV brewery at the festival, Parkersburg poured its Citrus Tsunami Grapefruit IPA, Fibonacci Dossier American IPA, Cell Block 304 Brown Ale, and From Ash & Ember Dark Cascadian Ale.

West Virginia beer at GABR 2017
The crew from Parkersburg Brewing were having a good time at GABF 2017. Working the PBC table at the festival were (from right to left) Walt Owens, Dan Curtis, Amber Cain, and a GABF volunteer. (Photo by Travis King)

Brilliant Stream’s GABF correspondent Travis King said Parkersburg Brewing‘s table was busy on Thursday evening, which was the opening session of the festival. PBC folks appeared to be having a great time, King reported.

And the reaction to their beer was good, King said. He heard “good notes from everyone” he talked to.

Dan Curtis and Walt Owens from Parkersburg Brewing Company enjoy the camaraderie at GABF 2017. (Photo by Travis King)

PBC’s Dan Curtis was one of those folks enjoying the festival.

“We are happy to be representing West Virginia at the festival and have been receiving good feedback,” he said. “It’s great opportunity to meet other small breweries from around the country and try some of their beers.”

West Virginia beer at GABF

No West Virginia beer was poured beer at last year’s GABF. WV was the only state not represented. However, this is not the first time a WV brewery has poured its beer at GABF.  In some past years, WV has been represented by Morgantown Brewing Company and Big Timber Brewing Company.

For next year, expect more WV breweries to attend. Sam Fonda of Weathered Ground Brewery has already committed to attend in 2018.

GABF 2017 continues with an evening session today and afternoon and evening sessions on Saturday. Festival organizers expect around 60,000 beer fans to find their #HoppyPlace and sample some 3,800 beers from more than 800 breweries around the country.

GABF Beer Competition

GABF features one of the world’s largest and most distinguished commercial beer competitions. This year, approximately 8,100 American beers from more than 2,250 breweries will compete in 96 beer style categories for gold, silver and bronze medals. Among those competitors this year are entries from Parkersburg Brewing, Bridge Brew Works, and probably a few other WV breweries. Good luck to them. No West Virginia brewery has ever won a GABF competition medal.

The medalists will be announced Saturday afternoon. Brilliant Stream will later report a list of any WV and Appalachian-region breweries that earn a podium spot. Winning a GABF gold medal can instantly put your brewery on the U.S. beer map.

WV Beer Guys

West Virginia beer at gabf
Brian Staley (left) and Travis King make up the WV Beer Guys. Shown here at GABF 2017.

Travis King makes up one-half of the WV Beer Guys. He and fellow Huntington resident Brian Staley have attended the GABF for the past several years and bring a good perspective to this year’s fest. Even though GABF is now 36 years old, it’s still the top dog on the U.S festival circuit.

“It’s growing and still a destination festival,” King said.

The WV Beer Guys call themselves “Just a couple WV guys on a quest for great beer.”

Follow their adventures on their WV Beer Guys Facebook page.

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