Saturday, October 13, 2007

Great American Beer Festival Winners Announced

More than 100 judges labored for three days to evaluate 2,793 beers and pick the best entries and top breweries for this year’s Great American Beer Festival. A total of 222 medals were awarded in 75 beer style categories and top breweries and brewers were designated based on the total number of medals won. The five top awards recognize small, medium and large breweries and small and large brewpubs. The awards went to the following breweries:

Large Brewing Company and Large Brewing Company Brewer of the Year
Pabst Brewing Company, Woodridge, IL
Bob Newman

Mid-Size Brewing Company and Mid-Size Brewing Company Brewer of the Year
Sponsored by HopUnion CBS, LLC
Firestone Walker Brewing Company, Paso Robles, California
Matt Brynildson

Small Brewing Company and Small Brewing Company Brewer of the Year
Sponsored by Microstar Keg Management
Port Brewing & The Lost Abbey, San Marcos, California
Tomme Arthur

Large Brewpub and Large Brewpub Brewer of the Year
Sponsored by Brewery Supply Group
Redrock Brewing Company, Salt Lake City, Utah
Kevin Templin

Small Brewpub and Small Brewpub Brewer of the Year
Sponsored by Briess Malt & Ingredients Co.
Montana Brewing Co., Billings, Montana
Travis Zelstra

Bronze, silver and gold medals were awarded in each of the 75 style categories. For a complete list of winners please see

Brewers covet Great American Beer Festival (GABF) medals as the highest recognition of their brewing talents and beer quality. Each year brewers send their beers to Denver to be evaluated by the festival's Professional Judge Panel which looks to select the three beers that best represent each style. Winners tout their awards to customers and their communities to help build their sales and reputations.

This year 473 breweries entered 2,793 beers making 2007 the most competitive GABF on record. Only 8 percent of all beers entered earned a medal. Only one percent of the breweries entered were recognized with “Brewery of the Year” awards. In total 142 breweries—30 percent of all those participating—won at least one medal this year. Only 62 breweries—13 percent of all those participating—won at least one gold medal this year.

As in recent years, American-style India Pale Ale drew the largest number of entries with 120 in total. This year the competition saw explosive growth in the Fruit and Vegetable Beer category from 46 entries in 2006 to 94 entries in 2007. The Wood- Barrel-Aged Beer category also grew, going from 58 entries in 2006 to 72 entries in 2007. The newest category of Gluten Free Beer had just 8 entries this year, and Judge Director Chris Swersey believes it will grow dramatically in the future.

Pro-Am Competition

Medals for the 2nd annual GABF Pro-Am Competition, sponsored by Briess Malt & Ingredients, Co. and HopUnion CBS, LLC, were also awarded. The GABF Pro-Am entries are brewed by professional craft brewers based on award winning homebrew recipes from American Homebrewers Association (AHA) members. Homebrew recipes are scaled up and brewed at a craft brewery for submission into the competition. The winner of the GABF Pro-Am Bronze medal is Sculpin IPA brewed by Ballast Point Brewing Co., San Diego, CA with AHA member Doug Duffield. The winner of the GABF Pro-Am Silver medal is Kentucky Weissbier brewed by Alltech’s Lexington Brewing Co., Lexington, KY with AHA member Bill Caldwell. The GABF Pro-Am Gold medal winner is English Style India Pale Ale brewed by Allentown/Bethlehem Brew, Allentown, PA with AHA member Chris Bowen. The medals for the GABF Pro-Am competition do not count toward the Brewery or Brewpub of the Year award.

Additional Awards Given

During the GABF awards ceremony, journalists and distributors were also recognized for their important role in the craft beer industry.

For the fourth year, the Brewers Association Beer Journalism Awards recognized journalistic excellence in the coverage of American beer. 2007 sponsors are Brooklyn Brewery, Rogue Ales and Samuel Adams. The winner in the Consumer Print media category was Marnie Old for “Beer Takes the High Road” published in Santé magazine in June 2007. In the Consumer Electronic media category the winners were Roger Sherman and Jesse Sweet of Florentine Films for THE AMERICAN BREW which first aired in April 2007 on the History Channel. The Trade and Specialty Beer media winner was Julie Johnson Bradford for “The Men in the Tall Rubber Boots” published in All About Beer magazine’s May 2007 issue.

The National Beer Wholesalers Association (NBWA) and the Brewers Association (BA) presented the Craft Beer Distributor of the Year Award to Monarch Beverage Co. of Indiana. The award recognizes the beer distributor in America who does the most to market, sell and promote craft beer in their market. The Craft Beer Distributor Achievement Award went to Louis Glunz Beer Co. of Illinois, and the Craft Beer Distributor Recognition Award went to Cavalier Distributing of Ohio. This was the first year these awards were presented.

2007 GABF Official Sponsors are: DRAFT, Anheuser-Busch, Miller Brewing Company, Coors Brewing Company, Micro Star Keg Management, 97.3 KBCO, AM760, and 1035 The Fox. Associate Sponsors include: Boston Beer Company, Four Points by Sheraton, Here’s to Beer, Reyes Holdings, Westword, Summit Graphics, Comedy Works, Winter Park Resort, and Copper Mountain.

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