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Great American Beer Festival: Winners

by Drink Philly on Oct 3, 2011 in Beer
Great American Beer Festival: Winners

Over the weekend, the Brewers Association held their Great American Beer Festival awards ceremony. This year, the largest commercial beer competition in the world drew a record-setting 3,930 entries from 526 breweries in over 80 different beer styles. (A full list of the 248 gold, silver and bronze medals given out is available in PDF form here.) The winningest entrant overall was Sun King Brewing, which took home eight medals total, four of them golds. Check out some of the highlights, below.

Regional winners included the following:

Gold:

Weyerbacher Sixteen, for Specialty Honey Beer
Troegs Trogenator, for Bock

Silver:

Troegs Sunshine Pils, for German-Style Pilsener
Rock Bottom Nevermore Lager, for German-Style Schwarzbier
PBC St. Nik Brewer's Reserve, for German-Style Doppelbock or Eisbok
Dogfish Head Chateau Jiahu, for Specialty Beer
Iron Hill Russian Imperial Stout, for Imperial Stout

Bronze:

Erie Brewing Derailed Black Cherry Ale, for Fruit Beer
PBC Penn Dark, for European-Style Dunkel
Fegley's Arctic Alchemy, for Old Ale or Strong Ale
Dogfish Head Midas Touch, for Specialty Honey Beer
Iron Hill Grand Inquisitor, for Wood- and Barrel-Aged Strong Stout
Iron Hill Vienna Red Lager, for Vienna-Style Lager
Stewart's Malbock, for Bock

In the coveted Brewery and Brewer of the Year segment, California cleaned up, scoring the golds for Mid-Size (Firestone Walker, Paso Robles), Small Brewpub (Pizza Port, San Diego), Large Brewpub (Pizza Port, Carlsbad) and Brewpub Group (TAPS Fish House, Brea). Washington State’s Chuckanut took home the award for Small Brewing Company and none other than Pabst (Woodridge, IL) walked away with first place for Large Brewing Co.

On to the actual brews. As it has been every year since 2001, the most competitive category was American IPA, which garnered 176 entries. Gold went to New Mexico’s La Cumbre Brewing for their Elevated IPA, a 7.2% ABV available only on tap, growler or cask. Oskar BluesDeviant Dale’s cans from Colorado took silver and Ohio’s Head Hunter IPA, from Fat Heads Brewery, took the bronze.

Barrel-Aged beer is an increasingly popular style, and out of 118 vying, Nebraska Brewing’s Melange a Trois took the win. Aged in French oak Chardonnay barrels, this bottle-conditioned 10% ABV Belgian-style ale is offered in half-liter cruets. Runners up were Sun King’s BBJ (Bourbon Barrel Johan, from Indianapolis) and Ohio’s Hoppin’ Frog, with Naked Evil BBW.

Four new styles were judged this year, including Fruit Wheat Beer (won by Chicago’s Cerveceria for 5 Lizard 5 Rabbit); Chocolate Beer (where Barley Brothers from Arizona scored tops); American Brett Ale – a tart, complex brew made with a new wild yeast (Maine’s Allagash took the gold with Confluence); and International Pale Ale – a medium-bodied, calmer IPA (Boulevard Pale Ale from Missouri came out a winner).

All in all, it was an impressive showing, with contestants coming from 48 states and Puerto Rico. How many of the winners have you tasted?

Photo via Flickr user BrightEyedMedia

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