The 34th edition of the Great American Beer Festival (GABF) competition was a little different this year, but no less competitive. This year’s competition attracted 1,720 breweries from all fifty states plus Washington, D.C. One hundred fifteen judges did the honor of evaluating over 8,806 beers. Just to show you how prestigious it is to win any medal in this competition; there were 240 medal winning breweries out of 1,720 – that’s just thirteen percent of breweries that entered the competition that won a medal. There were 170 different beer styles evaluated in 91 categories. Which category had the highest number of entrants? No big surprise here – Juicy or Hazy India Pale Ale with 377 entrants.
The state of Georgia was well represented among the medal winners with three breweries winning awards in two different categories. Coastal Empire Beer Co. of Savannah, GA won Gold in the Experimental Beer category with Barrel Aged Coca Pina. Creature Comforts Brewing Co. of Athens, GA grabbed Bronze in the same category with Get Artistic Berliner Weisse. Berliner Weisse is not one of my favored beer styles, but I’ve had Get Artistic and it is fantastic. It’s made with Sauvignon Blanc grape juice, which brings it some unique characteristics. Finally, newcomer StillFire Brewing of Suwanee, GA won a Bronze Medal in the Belgian-Style Specialty Ale category with Orange Diva, a Witbier made with Blood Orange accented by Curacao orange peel and Coriander.
Chris Swersey, competition manager for the GABF:
“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, 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.”
Kudos to the GABF for making this years competition happen and congratulations to medal winners Coastal Empire Beer Co., Creature Comforts Brewing Co. and StillFire Brewing from Georgia. Well done!
You can check out all of this year’s winners or past year’s winners using the GABF sortable tool at the following link: GABF Winners
Thanks for reading and until next time…Let Us Drink Beer!