On Oct. 16, 2020, The Brewers Association (BA) awarded 240 breweries medals in its first-ever online ceremony. The 34th Great American Beer Festival (GABF) was held in Boulder, Colo. and saw 8,806 entries from 1,720 breweries across the country.
More than 100 judges selected the winning beers in 91 categories, with a total of 272 medals awarded. Unlike last year’s festival, which saw only three days of judging, this year’s socially distanced event required judges to follow strict guidelines and complete 35 careful sessions over 18 days.
In a press release, competition manager Chris Swersey shed some light on the situation saying, “This has arguably been one of the most challenging years breweries have ever faced, so we hope these awards serve as a symbol not only of brewing excellence but also the resiliency of the craft brewing community as a whole.”
The festival culminated in two days of online programming, beginning with the awards ceremony. Once again, the Juicy or Hazy Pale Ale category saw the most entries (377) with American Style India Pale Ale (355) following close behind. The top five most-entered categories were made up of German Style Pilsner (200), Wood & Barrel-Aged Strong Stout (199), and the Juicy or Hazy Imperial India Pale Ale (192).
The winners of each category are included below.
Juicy or hazy India Pale Ale (377 entries)
- Gold: Spellbinder, Wren House Brewing Co., Phoenix, AZ
- Silver: Yojo, Moonraker Brewing Co., Auburn, CA
- Bronze: Wicked Pawesome, Metazoa Brewing Co. – Stringtown Production Facility, Indianapolis, IN
American Style India Pale Ale (355 entries)
- Gold: IPA, Perry Street Brewing, Spokane, WA
- Silver: Updrift India Pale Ale, Pelican Brewing Co. – Tillamook, Tillamook, OR
- Bronze: Nothing Noble, Von Ebert Brewing – Pearl, Portland, OR
German Style Pilsener (200 entries)
- Gold: Sprockets, Gravely Brewing Co., Louisville, KY
- Silver: Prost Pils, Prost Brewing Co., Denver, CO
- Bronze: Pils, Kansas City Bier Co., Kansas City, MO
Wood & Barrel-Aged Strong Stout (199 entries)
- Gold: A Night to End All Dawns, Kane Brewing Co., Ocean, NJ
- Silver: Ruckus, Melvin Brewing – Thai Me Up, Jackson, WY
- Bronze: Grasp of Oak, Moksa Brewing Co., Rocklin, CA
Juicy or Hazy Imperial India Pale Ale (192 entries)
- Gold: The Hopsplainer, Burke-Gilman Brewing Co., Seattle, WA
- Silver: Not A Scientist, Cloudburst Brewing, Seattle, WA
- Bronze: Sugar on My Tongue, Highland Park Brewery, Los Angeles, CA
With four medals, Sun King Brewery, Indianapolis, Ind. became this year’s most-medaled brewery. More than 25 breweries won 2 or more medals, and this year’s GABF saw 19 first-time winners.
The full list of GABF 2020 winners is available here.