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gabf20

272 medals awarded to 240 breweries in prestigious professional beer competition

Boulder, Colo. • October 16, 2020 — The Brewers Association (BA) awarded 272 medals* to 240 breweries across the country during the 2020 Great American Beer Festival (GABF) competition awards ceremony. The best beers in 91 beer categories covering 170 different beer styles (including all subcategories) were awarded gold, silver, and bronze medals during a virtual ceremony hosted on The Brewing Network.

Judges for the 34th edition of the celebrated competition evaluated 8,806 entries from 1,720 breweries from all 50 states plus Washington, D.C. Socially distanced judging took place in 35 sessions over 18 days with strict safety measures in place. The awards ceremony was held virtually on Friday evening, kicking off the two-day online programming portion of the Great American Beer Festival.

“This year’s GABF competition may have looked a little different, but the beers entered into the competition were as impressive and innovative as ever,” said Chris Swersey, competition manager, Great American Beer Festival. “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.”

View the 2020 winners or download a PDF list of the winners.

GABF COMPETITION STATISTICS

  • 34th edition of the GABF competition
  • 8,806 beers judged
  • 1,720 breweries in the competition from all 50 states plus Washington, D.C.
  • 115 judges from 21 states
  • Average number of competition beers entered in each category: 97
  • Category with the highest number of entries: Juicy or Hazy India Pale Ale (377)
  • 272 total medals awarded
  • 240 medal-winning breweries
  • 337 first-time GABF entrants
  • 19 first-time GABF winners

 

MOST-ENTERED STYLE CATEGORIES

The winners of the top five most-entered categories were:

Category 58: Juicy or Hazy India Pale Ale (377 entries) – Sponsored by The Cincinnati Insurance Companies 

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

 

Category 57: American Style India Pale Ale (355 entries) – Sponsored by The Ardagh Group 

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

 

Category 39: German Style Pilsener (200 entries) – Sponsored by Micro Matic 

GOLD: Sprockets, Gravely Brewing Co., Louisville, KY

SILVER: Prost Pils, Prost Brewing Co., Denver, CO

BRONZE: Pils, Kansas City Bier Co., Kansas City, MO

 

Category 28: Wood & Barrel-Aged Strong Stout (199 entries) – Sponsored by BeerHole 

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

 

Category 60: Juicy or Hazy Imperial India Pale Ale (192 entries) – Sponsored by The Alison Group 

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

 

MOST MEDALED BREWERIES

The most medals won by individual breweries included:

Sun King Brewery – Indianapolis, Indianapolis, IN – 4 medals 

GOLD – Afternoon Delight, Category 26 – Wood- and Barrel-Aged Beer

BRONZE – Cherry Busey, Category 30 – Fruited Wood- and Barrel-Aged Sour Beer

BRONZE – Pachanga, Category 34 – Light Lager

BRONZE – Sunlight Cream Ale, Category 49 – Golden or Blonde Ale

 

Cannonball Creek Brewing Co., Golden, CO – 3 medals 

GOLD – Featherweight Pale Ale, Category 53 – American-Style Pale Ale

BRONZE – Vladimir Brutin, Category 18 – Experimental India Pale Ale

BRONZE – Let’s Talk About Mex, Category 37 – American-Style Cream Ale

 

Chuckanut Brewery – North Nut, Bellingham, WA – 3 medals 

GOLD – Chuckanut Maibock, Category 47 – Bock

SILVER – Chuckanut Chuck Lite, Category 34 – Light Lager

BRONZE – Chuckanut Rye, Category 12 – Rye Beer

 

Riip Beer Co., Huntington Beach, CA – 3 medals 

GOLD – Tangible Passion, Category 82 – Belgian-Style Specialty Ale

SILVER – The Riizzo, Category 10 – Coffee Stout or Porter

SILVER – Black the Riipper, Category 69 – American-Style Black Ale or American-Style Stout

 

23 individual breweries won 2 medals

213 individual breweries won 1 medal

 

BREWERY AND BREWPUB OF THE YEAR AWARDS

(See criteria here)

PACKAGING BREWERIES:

Very Small Brewing Company of the Year – Sponsored by Brewers Supply Group 

<1,000 barrels produced in 2019 

Five Branches Brewing, Tarpon Springs, FL; Jerry Brown

 

Small Brewing Company of the Year – Sponsored by ABS Commercial 

1,000 – 14,999 barrels produced in 2019 

Big aLICe Brewing Co., Long Island City, NY; Big aLICe Production Team

 

Mid-Size Brewing Company of the Year – Sponsored by MicroStar Logistics 

15,000 – 6,000,000 barrels produced in 2019 

Lost Forty Brewing, Little Rock, AR; Lost Forty Brewing Team

 

BREWPUBS:

Small Brewpub of the Year – Sponsored by Briess Malt & Ingredients Co. 

<750 barrels produced in 2019 

The Good Society, Seattle, WA; Phil Cammarano & Nick Berger

 

Mid-Size Brewpub of the Year – Sponsored by Brewers Supply Group 

750 – 1,500 barrels produced in 2019 

Monkless Belgian Ales, Bend, OR; Todd Clement & Chris Dinsdale

 

Large Brewpub of the Year – Sponsored by Ska Fabricating 

Over 1,500 barrels produced in 2019 

The Freehouse, Minneapolis, MN; The Freehouse Team

 

LARGE BREWERIES AND MULTIPLE LOCATION BREWERIES:

Brewery Group of the Year – Sponsored by Live Oak Bank 

Over 6,000,000 barrels produced in 2019 or multi-location breweries wishing to compete as a group 

Three Creeks Brewing Co., Sisters, OR; Team Three Creeks

 

great american beer festival

America’s largest annual beer competition moves forward, festival will take place online

Boulder, Colo.  — The Great American Beer Festival® (GABF), the country’s preeminent beer festival and competition, will pivot its 2020 event, originally scheduled for September 24-26 at the Colorado Convention Center in Denver, to an immersive online experience October 16-17. This decision was further confirmed with the announcement on May 20, when Colorado Governor Jared Polis issued an Executive Order temporarily suspending certain statutes to allow the operation of alternate care sites in Colorado because of the presence of COVID-19, rendering GABF at the Colorado Convention Center infeasible.

“While we are disappointed to not be gathering in Denver this fall for the craft beer community’s annual big tent event, the health and safety of our attendees, brewers, volunteers, judges, and employees is and always has been our top priority,” said Bob Pease, president and CEO of the Brewers Association. “As the world is still greatly affected by the spread of COVID-19 and will continue to be affected for the foreseeable future, we must stay true to our priorities and pursue other ways to host GABF.”

The 39th Great American Beer Festival may look different, but beer lovers from around the country will have the opportunity to come together in new ways to celebrate the nation’s craft beer community. The spirit of the festival will live on through live and virtual experiences with beer lovers and breweries nationwide on October 16-17, 2020. The event is still in planning, but experiences will likely include beer tastings, conversations with brewers, local brewery activations, and at-home beer and food pairing deliveries.

The festival’s renowned professional beer competition will take place in 2020. A panel of more than 100 professional judges will assess the more than 7,000 expected entries to identify the three beers that best represent each style category. The GABF gold, silver, and bronze medals are recognized around the world as symbols of brewing excellence. Brewery registration opens on June 9. More information on the competition, style guidelines, and awards ceremony here.

“We are thankful to be able to move forward with this year’s competition and have the opportunity to award brewers’ achievements and generate consumer awareness for beer styles and trends,” added Pease. “We look forward to celebrating the annual accomplishments in brewing excellence and unveiling this year’s winners.”

Over the past few months, the Brewers Association has worked tirelessly on behalf of its members and the larger brewing community to provide critical resources, as well as lobbying Congress both independently and with other hospitality and food industry groups, for relief. Following the cancellation of the Craft Brewers Conference® & BrewExpo America® and World Beer Cup™ in April, the Brewers Association offered five weeks of complimentary virtual, online seminars to interested participants. Furthermore, the Brewers Association’s COVID-19 Resource Center includes information on draught system shutdown, how to forecast cashflow, a checklist for safely reopening, and more.

More information about the 2020 GABF logistics, schedule, and ticket options will be released in the coming months. For the latest news, follow @BrewersAssoc on Twitter.

 

About the Brewers Association

The Brewers Association (BA) is the not-for-profit trade association dedicated to small and independent American brewers, their beers and the community of brewing enthusiasts. The BA represents 5,400-plus U.S. breweries. The BA’s independent craft brewer seal is a widely adopted symbol that differentiates beers by small and independent craft brewers. The BA organizes events including the World Beer Cup®Great American Beer Festival®Craft Brewers Conference® & BrewExpo America®SAVOR™: An American Craft Beer & Food ExperienceHomebrew Con™National Homebrew Competition and American Craft Beer Week®. The BA publishes The New Brewer® magazine, and Brewers Publications® is the leading publisher of brewing literature in the U.S. Beer lovers are invited to learn more about the dynamic world of craft beer at CraftBeer.com® and about homebrewing via the BA’s American Homebrewers Association® and the free Brew Guru® mobile app. Follow us on FacebookTwitter, and Instagram.

The Brewers Association is an equal opportunity employer and does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, national origin, gender, religion, age, disability, political beliefs, sexual orientation, or marital/familial status. The BA complies with provisions of Executive Order 11246 and the rules, regulations, and relevant orders of the Secretary of Labor.