2008 GBA Fest at Splitrock Resort

This is the first time I've had the chance to attend Splitrock so it's hard for me to know for sure how this year stacked up, but overall it was a great beer festival. I've heard a few grumblings that the showing of breweries had been better in past years, but when you consider the price of a ticket, this is one of the best fest values going.

Several Whales made their way West into PA early Saturday morning and met up at a nice little condo thanks to Brad's forethought and planning. The condo crew included Brad, Colin, Bill, Nick, Rick, Heather and me (Bobby). Gene and Tom_P met us at the fest later.

We arrived at the venue a few minutes after noon and we were greeted with a huge line to get our IDs and tickets checked. They really ought to consider filtering people into the room before the taps start pouring just to give people more tasting time.

The booths occupied two large rooms which were the size of high school gymnasiums and each contained equal numbers of breweries, food vendors and purveyors of odds and ends like Native American jewelry and jars of pickled peppers. Each room also had live music (coverbands) that were entertaining if not the slightest bit too loud.

Many folks in the group agreed that the stand-out beer tasted this day was Troeg's Dead Reckoning. Nick and I were also impressed with Pennsylvania Brewing Company's triplet of traditional beers. Their Pils, Bock and Hefe were all very nice representations of their respective styles.

Nearing the end of the festival, Brad obtained a copy of the homebrewing competition results where it was revealed that the Whales CLEANED UP with 17 medals!

After the event, we all crammed back into Rick's truck for the short drive back to the condo where we enjoyed each other company and food. Meatballs, Chili, Belgian Stew, Brats and Kraut, and home-made Bavarian Hot Pretzels were all on the menu for the night.

The trip was capped off with a nice country breakfast at a roadside diner before we all went our separate ways.

Here's a quick video showing Brad's short stint pouring for JJ's. If anyone has pictures, please post them to the gallery and I'll add them into this article.