There’s More To The GABF Than Craft Beer


The GABF (Great American Beer Festival) is the largest beer festival in the United States, but there is so much more to experience than just the beer. This year, there were beer education seminars, food pairings, home-brew suppliers, loads of gadgets, and more. During one session, I spent my time looking at non-beer vendors to see if there were any offering products or services you’d find valuable. Many were producing products I wanted to take home right then and there, a few looked like they lost a bet and had to stand there to pitch the worst idea they could come up with, and a handful were there literally trying to save peoples lives. Let’s take a look at a few of the vendors that stood out the most to me.


If you drink craft beer, you most likely have a glass growler at home, or let’s be honest, 5. Ecovessel looks to improve on traditional glass, with a triple insulated, copper core, 64 oz growler. The Ecovessel can be used for hot or cold liquids, keeping hot liquids hot for up to 8 hours, and cold drinks cold for up to 36. Additional, there’s an infuser you can hang in the Ecovessel for making tea, adding fruit to your drinks, or in the case of beer, additional hoping. Bottom line, the Ecovessel looks to give you more options for your liquid transportation needs. We have received a couple of their products for review and will follow up with multiple posts as our testing completes, so check back often for results and recommendations.

Pints for Prostates

Prostate cancer and a beer festival may not seem like things you would mention in the same conversation, but that is exactly what Pints for Prostates does. A charity designed to “use the universal language of beer to reach men with an important health message” about prostate cancer. Pints for Prostates aims to educate men on the importance of early detection through regular health screenings. By taking their message to beer festivals, social media, and other similar events, they work to get their message out in, shall we say, a target rich environment. Check out their website to learn more and then go get yourself screened.

Brewing At Home With Your Finger

Going into GABF I was curious to see how many “brew your own beer” products there would be. I was expecting at least one, but was surprised to find three home brew systems on display, all within about twenty feet of each other. Of the three, the one that stood out as the most advanced was clearly the Brewie. With the Brewie system, you can select pre-packaged recipes shipped right to your door, or build your own with your own ingredients. Put the ingredients in the appropriate location, hit a button, and Brewie does the rest, including mashing, sparging, boiling, hops additions, and cooling. Once completed, drain the wort into your fermentation vessel, add your yeast, and continue brewing like normal. Clean-up, like the brewing process, is done with the push of a button.

There were plenty of other products and programs on display at the GABF, but of them all, these were the ones that stood out the most. All of the people showing their products are working to support the beer industry in their own way, without necessarily giving you an IPA to drink. The next time you find yourself at a beer festival, take some time to look beyond the beer, you’ll find like minded beer drinkers who are delivering products they are passionate about. You never know, one or two may add to your festival experience, and your overall beer life in general.