Beer Around the World Panel

While there are going to be many events during the Great American Beer Festival (GABF), one in particular marks a little shift in how American the GABF has become.

One thing to take note is that the entire world is now looking to our movement in craft beer. When we began our craft beer movement at the beginning of the 1970s, it was truly a handful of pioneers with exceptional willpower that made it all happen. Men like Fitz Maytag who rekindled the old Anchor Brewing Company and would launch a movement that would influence the world 40 years later, or Jack McAuliffe, who would be an influential persona that would be imitated for his engineering and passion. Of course, Ken Grossman, creator of Sierra Nevada, who would put the US on the world beer map as perhaps the father of hoppy American beer. But more locally and very much the global kick starter is Charlie Papazian.

Charlie Papazian moved to Boulder in 1981 and would bring the entire show into one ring, the Great American Beer Festival. All these men and many more have created a beer industry and culture that has never before been seen in world beer history. This influence is now being imitated around the world. As Italy, with all its history dating back as far as 900 BC, adds a new chapter in 1996 with beer. Or Germany, whose long standing brewing laws is now being scrutinized to keep up with craft beer. The American craft beer culture has brought longtime and legendary breweries from Belgium from the brink. Now they too are enjoying the resurgence of their beer as many craft American brewers have imitated their styles. But new beer cultures like Italy are emerging. Japan imports so many beers from around the world that they are now a big part of the movement. Brazil, Mexi-Cali, Peru, Argentina and Spain all have begun their craft beer movements.

So it’s no surprise that during this great celebration of American craft beer there will be a panel of diplomats from around the world discussing their craft beer scenes here in Denver. Some of the attendants from 3 pm to 5 pm, October 2nd at Jazz@Jack’s, located at the at the Denver Pavilions on the 16th Street Mall, will be government representatives including top ambassadors/diplomats from Belgian, Cananda, Japan and Mexico. Representing Italy will be locals Bryan Jansing and Paul Vismara who wrote the first book about the Italian craft beer movement, Italy: Beer Country. The event will be moderated by Ed Sealover, writer for the Denver Business Journal and author of Mountain Brew: A Guide to Colorado Breweries.

It’s certainly beer week in Colorado, but it’s a week being participated and watched by the entire world. I’ll toast to that.