So last week I posted a pretty adorable photo of Charlie and John from six years ago. Charlie was about 5 months old, and we traveled from Seattle to Denver for the Great American Beer Festival. Yes, even then, we were those people, the ones that have their baby at a beer festival.
John had been homebrewing for a few years at that point, and we were really excited to experience the largest beer festival in the USA.
When we got to the Colorado Convention Center we were immediately struck by the enormity of this festival. There were hundreds of breweries and we had just four hours to check them out. We got 1oz tastes at several booths, and sampled some absolutely incredible brews. GABF was the first place I tried a coffee-IPA and I still think back to that beer as a turning point for me.
After the festival, we went back to the campsite and I can remember talking with John about how someday, I’d love to be trying something that he brewed at this festival. Our plans were very day-dreamy at that point, and seemed wholly unrealistic to two new parents. It was clear to us then that John absolutely had a passion for brewing beer, but it didn’t seem wise to chase that passion as a career.
That festival sparked something in both of us though, and John really began to get more serious in his pursuit of brewing after that. He volunteered to judge at several festivals and began really defining his palate. He talked with people in the business and started reading in earnest about brewing startups. We continued to daydream and plan until those daydreams didn’t seem so insurmountable.
Last week, we sent off a box with three Trek brews to be judged at the Great American Beer Festival. 2020 has my emotions all over the place, but, let me tell you, friends, I had a moment. I’m so very proud of John and this thing we’ve built. We sent Canteen Cream Ale, Scarlet Red Ale, and Weekend Wanderer Pale Ale to the competition. These brews were some of the very first, and they make up a large part of the backbone of Trek. They aren’t flashy, and they aren’t fru-fru, they don’t have a list of ingredients a mile long… they are just darn good beers, and we’re proud of them.
Regardless of how they do in the competition, it feels like a huge win to me. We did it. We went from daydreaming by a campfire to putting a real product into real action. We are humbled and grateful to all of you that have helped us along the way. We truly couldn’t do it without you.
The festival takes place on October 16th and 17th this year, and it’s in an all-new all virtual format. You can check out the info and grab tickets here.
It’s been an awesome journey so far, and we’re only just beginning. I just cant wait to see how far we’ll go.