Rumours of my demise are greatly exaggerated, I have not been hiding under a stone for the last 10 days but have been in Denver helping with the judging of the Great American Beer Festival.
I intend to cover the week in more depth in the coming days but start with a quick snapshot.
The competition takes place over five sessions of three hours each in the three days before the festival opens. There are 75 categories to be judged - yes 75 ! 472 US brewers entered 2,902 beers which were judged by 127 judges from 11 countries.
The UK judges based judges were myself, Glenn Payne, Mark Dorber and Don Burgess of Freeminer Brewery.
The 75 categories and the 2008 winners can be found here
The festival itself runs for four sessions of four hours over three days. The entry price is about $50 and beer is poured in free, one ounce servings - giving the greatest opportunity to try as many of the 2,052 beers available as possible. 46,000 people visit the festival which relies on 2,600 volunteer staff to pour the beer.