Saturday, April 28, 2012


1. Great American Beer Festival, Denver Colorado

    The Great American Beer Festival (GABF) is a three-day annual event hosted by the Brewers Association held at the end of September or the beginning of October in Denver, Colorado. The GABF brings visitors from around the world to sample more than 1,600 different American beers. Over 100 beer judges from the United States and abroad participate in the evaluations of one or more beer styles, ultimately judging 2,300 beers entered by more than 450 domestic breweries. Gold, silver and bronze medals in 69 beer-style categories are awarded, though not every medal is awarded in each category.

2. Oregon Brewers Festival
, Portland, Ore.

   The OBF served 73 different craft beers from 18 states across the country. The top selling product for the third year running was Cascade Brewing's Razberry Wheat out of Southwest Portland. Another light, refreshing fruit beer to sell out early was Hell or High Watermelon by San Francisco's 21st Amendment Brewery. Portland's Widmer Brothers Brewing sold a large quantity of its Full Nelson, an Imperial IPA brewed specifically for the OBF.

3. Vermont Brewers Festival, Burlington, Vt.

   The Vermont Brewers Festival is the longest running outdoor brewers festival in the East, and it's no wonder since Vermont is home to more breweries per capita than any other state. Brewers' participating in this event do so by invitation only, based on brewery capacity, distinctiveness, and quality of their products. Enjoy a wide range of offerings, including traditional lagers, ales, and unique products such as fruit beers, barleywines, and Belgian-style white beers.

4. Toronado Barley Wine Festival, San Francisco, Ca
    The 14th Annual Toronado Barley Wine Festival in San Francisco is one of the premier high gravity beer festivals in the United States. All the barley wines are purchased by the owner and are judged by judges from around the country. The owner trys his best to get as much as he can get of the best barley wines around the world. All 46 taps at Toronado will be filled with barley wine and they will stay that way until they run out.

5. Great Taste of the Midwest, Madison, Wis.

     The Great Taste of the Midwest is one of the premier beer festivals in the United States. Over one hundred brewpubs and microbreweries from the Midwest attend each year to share beer and good times with five thousand patrons overlooking beautiful lake Monona in Olin-Turville Park in Madison, Wisconsin.

6. World Beer Festival, Raleigh and Durham, N.C.

    The World Beer Festival is the largest celebration of national and international specialty beers in the Southeast. 300 beers from 150 breweries, and is a benefit for charity. This year's festival will benefit the Downtown Raleigh Alliance. The funds raised will go toward revitalizing Downtown Raleigh.

7. American Craft Beer Fest, Boston, Mass.

     In keeping with their self-elected duty to bring better beer to the masses, BeerAdvocate founders and brothers Jason and Todd Alström are crafting something big. Held in June at the Seaport World Trade Center in Boston, the first annual "American Craft Beer Fest" (ACBF) will feature 3-sessions, invite upwards of 75 breweries, and serve at least 300 craft beers with an expected attendance of 15,000 appreciators of beer.

8. Great Alaska Beer and Barley Wine Festival, Anchorage, Alaska
     Great Alaska Beer & Barley Wine Festival brings together 40+ breweries, 150+ beers and over 4000 folks to celebrate big winter beers in the midst of a dark, dreary near-Arctic winter. A $30 entry fee buys you a commemorative glass, beer tasting tickets and a very detailed program guide to all beers at the event.

9. Fresh Hop Ale Festival
, Yakima, Washington 

    For a brew to be considered a “fresh hop ale” for the festival competition, it must be produced with hops that were picked no more than 24 hours prior to brewing (talk about overnight shipping!). Fresh Hop Ale is produced throughout the month of September, timing dependent on the growth of each year’s hop harvest. Brewers then bring their freshly brewed kegs of beer to the fest, where a panel of judges selects first, second and third place Fresh Hop Ales. Festival-goers vote with their taste buds— a “Most Pours Award” crowns the crowd favorite.

10. Classic City Brewfest, Athens, Ga

    The Classic City Brew-Fest offers a huge variety of beers to sample from all over the world including world-class, gourmet, strong beers! This year's festival will be an enjoyable, intimate and comfortable way to taste and learn about these exciting beers. Details on beer brewing and styles are stressed at the event -- along with information on responsible drinking. Attendees can also enjoy live music, non-alcohol drinks, and purchase delicious food items from the Athens Steam Company Pub booth.

Honorable Mentions

Extreme Beer Fest, Boston, Ma

    Cometh! The firestorm of creativity sparked by American craft brewers rages on during the original, and 6th annual, Extreme Beer Fest in Boston, MA this February 20 & 21, 2009! Discover big, bold, creative, and unique offerings that will change the way you think about beer forever. Make sure to bring an open mind & palate. Dare to drink different.

Philly Craft Beer Festival, Philadelphia, Pa.

   Come experience the flavors of award-winning breweries from across the country – from highly-acclaimed local beers by Yards, Victory, Nodding Head and Dogfish Head to great brews from special guests like Rogue, Stone, Ommegang, Southampton, and He’Brew. 50 Breweries and over 120 beers.

BockFest, New Ulm, Mn

    Outdoor winter festival on the grounds of historic Schell's Brewery in New Ulm. They feature the seasonal "Bock Beer", music, food stands, medallion hunt in the adjoining Flandrau State Park and great fun! This event has become a winter tradition in New Ulm.

  Hops For Hope - Dunwoody Beer Festival, Atlanta GA


   The Dunwoody Beer Festival hosts a combination of over 150 beers, malt beverages, and liquors from countries all over the world. All proceeds will benefit Camp Twin Lakes, a non-profit organization. Camp Twin Lakes is Georgia's only camping facility designed for children with a wide range of physical and emotional needs. This caring environment was created to nuture these children, to allow them to experience the therapeutic joys of camping and recreation.

Belgium Comes to Cooperstown

   Each summer, the brewery hosts a large beer-tasting event, known as Belgium Comes to Cooperstown. The event, which occurs on a Saturday in July, includes four hours of unlimited beer sampling of over 200 Belgian and Belgian-style beers, followed by food, live music, and a bonfire.


    Taking a photograph of a ghost or spirit does not require fancy equipment or extensive training. Any camera is capable of capturing images of ghost and spirits. Digital cameras are preferred because they produce immediate results, can e stored on a memory card or transferred to a computer without losing quality and there is no film to fiddle with in the dark.

  • Select a location that has reports of paranormal activity. Although you can certainly capture a ghost image in the most unlikely of places, exploring paranormal hot spots increases your likelihood of capturing apparitions or ghostly figures.

  • Take pictures of a defined object to provide perspective and to judge distance. Focus on a tree, gravestone or fence post if you are shooting a photo outside in a haunted location. Include people in your photos when ever possible. It is believed that some spirits are attracted to people and you just may catch that perfect shot while photographing your team members.

  • Avoid shooting into the sun as it causes lens flares that can easily be mistaken for paranormal images. Any source of light, even the moon, can cause lens flare. Be conscious of all sources of light, including flashlights.

  • Watch for reflective surfaces like windows, mirrors or shiny objects in the camera's field of view. If yo are using a flash, objects out of the view of the camera can also reflect light that may appear on film in unusual patterns.

  • Tie hair back or wear a hat to prevent a strand of hair from accidentally falling in front of the lens. Check lens straps and caps and keep away fro the front of the camera.

  • Avoid taking photographs in humid conditions or if it's raining or snowing. This creates orb-like images on the picture. Mist or fog may distort images or create a myriad of orbs.

  • Take a deep breath and hold it while you take a photograph to prevent your breath from appearing in front of the camera in cool weather. Even when you can't see your breath, it may show up on film.

  • Take two shots of the same location without changing position. Do this before exhaling as movement as simple as breathing out can shift the focus of the camera and result in a different angle. If you are lucky enough to catch evidence of paranormal activity, you will have another photo to compare images.

  • Examine photos closely for unexplained images. Beware of a process called matrixing where the brain translates sensory stimulus to create a familiar image from the unknown. If that ghostly face you see in the trees is composed of leaves and branches, then it is not a real ghost image. An authentic ghost or spirit image is not created from parts of the environment. It has a distinct shape and form that differs from the surroundings.

  • Study orbs carefully, as they are most often created by moisture, dust pollen or flying insects. True spirit orbs emit their own light and may cast a shadow. Study images of common dust and pollen orbs to learn to distinguish them from genuine spirit orbs.
    The tools you use to take spirit or ghost photographs is up to you, but keep in mind that the better the quality of the camera, the higher quality image it will produce. Get in the habit of snapping photos whenever you visit a site or when you get a gut feeling a spirit may be present, but do observe standard precautions. Not only does this prevent you from mistaking camera straps, reflection and orbs from insects or dust for ghostly images, it prevents real images from being compromised as well.