In Denver this past weekend was the Daytona 500 of beer festivals, the Great American Beer Festival. As much as I wanted to go, I couldn’t fit it into my budget for the year. Brewgrass had to do for me… However, it’s my goal to make it to the GABF next year. Time to start filling that piggy bank.
Started in 1982 by the American Brewers Association, this festival has grown into the premier beer event in the United States. Winning a medal at the GABF is one of the most prestigious awards a brewery can attain. This year, 495 breweries submitted 3,308 beers into the competition.
Breweries from Colorado, California and Oregon dominated the medals. I’m not going to accuse anyone of a west-coast beer bias, but their dominance is a little deceiving given sheer number of breweries from those states. The beer they make out there is great, but I think Colorado alone has more breweries than the entire Southeast.
Some of our Southern Breweries did represent and bring home some hardware. I’ll give a special congratulations to the Upstate South Carolina’s own RJ Rockers for winning a gold medal in the English-Style Summer Ale category with their Light Rock Ale.
Congrats to the other breweries from the Southeast that won medals:
Duck-Rabbit Craft Brewery, Farmville, NC
Gold: Duck-Rabbit Barrel Aged Baltic Porter – Baltic-Style Porter
Bronze: Duck-Rabbit Barrel Aged Baltic Porter – Wood- and Barrel-Aged Strong Ale
Foothills Brewing, Winston-Salem, NC
Bronze: Sexual Chocolate Imperial Stout – Imperial Stout
Red Brick-Atlanta Brewing Co., Atlanta, GA
Bronze: Red Brick Anniversary Ale 15 – Wood- and Barrel Aged Beer
Bronze: Numbers Ale – Ordinary or Special Bitter
Sweetwater Brewing Co., Atlanta, GA
Silver: Motorboat ESB – Extra Special Bitter or Strong Bitter
Blackstone Brewing Co., Nashville, TN
Gold: St. Charles Porter – Brown Porter
Cigar City Brewing, Tampa, FL
Gold: Humidor Series IPA – Wood- and Barrel Aged Beer
Brewzzi, West Palm Beach, FL
Silver: Boca Alt – German Style Altbier
Some other results from the medal awards that I found interesting:
- Milwaukee’s Best and Keystone Ice won gold medals and Steel Reserve won a bronze. Were the judges already drunk when they sampled these?
- Best beer name: “TPS Report” from Trinity Brewing in Colorado Springs won a gold in Experimental Beer.
- Flying Dog took home the award for Mid-Sized Brewery of the Year.