The 2010 Great American Beer Festival (GABF) competition attracted 3,523 beers vying for gold, silver and bronze medals Sept. 16-18 in Denver. Presented by the Brewers Association, Boulder, Colo., this year’s GABF entries increased 9 percent.
Blue Moon Brewing Co., which is owned by MillerCoors, Chicago, won 2010 Brewery and Brewer of the Year for a large brewing company. Blue Moon’s Chardonnay Blonde beer won the gold medal in the Fruit Beer category, which had 75 entries, and its Summer Honey Wheat Ale received a gold medal in the Specialty Honey Beer category.
This year’s most competitive category was American-Style India Pale Ale with 142 entries and a broader geographic distribution of winners than in the past, GABF said. The category’s winner was “Psuedo” IPA from Pizza Port San Clemente in San Clemente, Calif., which also received the award for Small Brewpub and Small Brewpub Brewer of the Year.
The second most popular category was the American-Style Pale Ale segment, which attracted 109 entries. Firestone Walker Brewing Co., Paso Robles, Calif., received the gold medal for its Mission Street Pale and silver for Pale 31 brews.
In addition, three new categories were added to the GABF this year: Imperial Porter, Wood- and Barrel-Aged Strong Stout and American-Style India Black Ales. The latter two categories attracted 34 and 53 entries, respectively.
Geographic diversity was an emerging trend with winners from the Midwest and Southeast joining traditionally successful states, such as California and Colorado, GABF said. Chicago’s Goose Island Beer Co. received top honors out of 35 entries for its 312 Urban Wheat Ale in the English-Style Summer Ale category. Rosemary Swamp Fox from Moon River Brewing Co., Savannah, Ga., was awarded the gold medal in the Herb and Spice or Chocolate Beer category, which had 91 entries.
The competition is divided into 79 beer categories covering 133 beer styles judged by 151 beer judges from 10 countries. This year’s Great American Beer Festival expected 49,000 attendees gathered to sample more than 2,200 beers from 455 U.S. breweries. For a full list of this year’s winners visit, www.greatamericanbeerfestival.com.