The annual Great American Beer Festival recognizes the beer’s best of the best — which isn’t an easy feat, as this year’s competition included close to 10,000 entries.
Nonprofit Brewers Association hosted the Oct. 6–Oct. 8 national conference in Denver and ranked beers during a separate nine-day judging process, according to an Oct. 8 press release. Some 300 medals were awarded during the festival, highlighting the most impressive brews from all 50 states, Puerto Rico, and Washington, D.C.
A panel of 235 professional judges evaluated entries based on their accuracy to the respective beer style, balance of taste and aroma, and appearance. Winners received bronze, silver, or gold medals based on the quality of their beers. Some 40,000 attendees also sampled the contest’s standout styles during the festival exhibition.
“Each year the Great American Beer Festival showcases the best that American brewers have to offer,” competition director Chris Williams states in the release. “With 9,904 entries, this year’s competition was the most competitive to date. Congratulations to all the winners who truly demonstrated why the U.S. is the best brewing nation in the world.”
The most-entered category was, perhaps unsurprisingly, the American-style IPA with a total of 423 entries nationwide. Other popular style entry categories included juicy IPA and German-style pilsner.
The winners from these three top categories are listed below:
American-Style India Pale Ale (423 entries)
- Gold: More Dodge Less RAM, Comrade Brewing Co. — Denver, Colo.
- Silver: Dankster Squad, Riip Beer Co. — Huntington Beach, Calif.
- Bronze: Hop-Fu!, North Park Beer Co. — San Diego, Calif.
Juicy or Hazy India Pale Ale (375 entries)
- Gold: Anhyzer Kush, Flatland Brewing Co — Elk Grove, Calif.
- Silver: IPO IPA, White Rock Alehouse & Brewery — Dallas, Texas
- Bronze: RAD AF, City Barrel Brewing Co. — Kansas City, Mo.
German-Style Pilsner (233 entries)
- Gold: Industry, The Austin Beer Garden Brewing Co. — Austin, Texas
- Silver: Pils, Von Ebert Brewing – Pearl — Portland, Ore.
- Bronze: German Pilsner, Shred Monk Brewery and Coffeehouse — Bozeman, Mont.
The Great American Beer Festival just celebrated its 40th anniversary; the first convention took place in 1982 in Boulder, with a mere 47 beer entries and 800 attendees.
A full list of this year’s winners can be found on the Great American Beer Festival’s website. The next convention is planned for Sept. 21–23, 2023.
From 40 entries to over 9,900, the festival has grown tremendously since its inception.
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