Top Beers and Brewers Honored at Great American Beer Festival

Nearly 3,000 beers were entered into the competition for the Brewers Association’s Great American Beer Festival held Oct. 11-13 in Denver. Small, medium and large breweries and small and large brewpubs were awarded the top five awards and medals in 75 beer styles. A total of 473 breweries entered 2,793 beers to the expert panel of 100 tasters assembled at the Colorado Convention Center.
Pabst Brewing Co., Woodridge, Ill, repeated its win as Large Brewery and Brewer of the Year, which it won at the 2006 festival. Oregon’s Pelican Pub & Brewery also repeated its title of Large Brewpub and Brewer of the Year.
For the first time this year, the Brewers Association, Boulder, Colo., and the National Beer Wholesalers Association, Alexandria, Va., presented the Craft Beer Distributor of the Year Award to Monarch Beverage Co. of Indiana. The new award recognizes the beer distributor in America that does the most to market, sell and promote craft beer in their market. Additionally, the Craft Beer Distributor Achievement Award was received by Illinois’ Louis Glunz Beer Co. and the Craft Beer Distributor Recognition Award went to Ohio’s Cavalier Distributing.
Following a trend seen in previous competitions, the largest number of entries was shown in the American-Style India Pale Ale category with 120 beers. The Fruit and Vegetable Beer category exploded with 94 entries this year, compared to 46 in 2006. Gluten-Free Beer, the newest category, had eight entries, but is a category expected to grow, according to Chris Swersey, judge director.
Also held during the Great American Beer Festival, the second annual Pro-Am Competition honored homebrew recipes brewed at craft breweries. The Pro-Am Gold medal winner was an English-Style India Pale Ale brewed by Allentown/Bethlehem Brew, Allentown, Pa., with American Homebrewers Association member Chris Bowen.
The winners:*
Large Brewery/Brewer of the Year
Pabst Brewing Co., Woodridge, Ill., Bob Newman
Mid-Size Brewery/Brewer of the Year
Firestone Walker Brewing Co., Paso Robles, Calif., Matthew Brynildson
Small Brewery/Brewer of the Year
Port Brewing & The Lost Abbey, San Marcos, Calif., Tomme Arthur
Large Brewpub/Brewer of the Year
RedRock Brewing Co., Salt Lake City, Utah, Kevin Templin
Small Brewpub/Brewer of the Year
Montana Brewing Co., Billings, Mont., Travis Zeilstra
American Cream Ale or Lager
Gold: Lone Star, Pabst Brewing Co., Woodridge, Ill.
Silver: Old Style, Pabst Brewing Co., Woodridge, Ill.
Bronze: TAPS Cream Ale, TAPS Fish House & Brewery, Brea, Calif.
American-Style Wheat Beer
Gold: Pyramid Crystal Weizen, Pyramid Breweries, Seattle
Silver: Brewmaster Reserve, Widmer Brothers Brewing Co., Portland, Ore.
Bronze: Honey Weiss, Diamond Bear Brewing Co., Little Rock, Ark.
American-Style Hefeweizen
Gold: Whitetail Wheat, Montana Brewing Co., Billings, Mont.
Silver: Easy Street Wheat, Odell Brewing Co., Fort Collins, Colo.
Bronze: American Hefeweizen, Gella’s Diner and Liquid Bread Brewing Co., Hays, Kan.
Fruit Beer or Vegetable Beer
Gold: Leinenkugel’s Berry Weiss, Jacob Leinenkugel Brewing Co., Chippewa Falls, Wis.
Silver: The Great Pumpkin, Elysian Brewing Co., Seattle
Bronze: Raspberry Tart, New Glarus Brewing Co., New Glarus, Wis.
Herb and Spice Beer
Gold: Summertime 69, Gunnison Brewery, Gunnison, Colo.
Silver: Sigda’s Green Chili, CooperSmith’s Pub & Brewing Co., Fort Collins, Colo.
Bronze: Frederick Miller Classic Chocolate Lager, Miller Brewing Co., Milwaukee
Specialty Honey Lager or Ale
Gold: Honey Moon Summer Ale, Blue Moon Brewing Co., Golden, Colo.
Silver: Midas Touch, Dogfish Head Craft Brewery, Milton, Del.
Bronze: Hawaiian Honey, Chicago Brewing Co., Las Vegas
German-Style Pilsener
Gold: Pikeland Pils, Sly Fox Brewing Co., Royersford, Pa.
Silver: Prima Pils, Victory Brewing Co., Downingtown, Pa.
Bronze: Kingfisher Premium Lager Beer, Olde Saratoga Brewing Co., Saratoga Springs, N.Y.
Bohemian Style Pilsener
Gold: Gordon Biersch Czech Lager, Gordon Biersch Brewery Restaurant Group, Chattanooga, Tenn.
Silver: Pallavicini Pilsner, Pug Ryan’s Brewery, Dillon, Colo.
Bronze: Detroit Lager, The Beer Co.’s – Detroit, Detroit
American-Style Light Lager
Gold: Old Milwaukee Light, Pabst Brewing Co., Woodridge, Ill.
Silver: Pabst Blue Ribbon Light, Pabst Brewing Co., Woodridge, Ill.
Bronze: Coors Light, Coors Brewing Co., Golden, Colo.
American-Style Lager
Gold: Hamm’s, Miller Brewing Co., Milwaukee
Silver: Miller Genuine Draft, Miller Brewing Co., Milwaukee
Bronze: McHenry Lager, Clipper City Brewing Co., Baltimore, Mass.
American-Style Specialty Lager
Gold: Icehouse, Miller Brewing Co., Milwaukee
Silver: Mickey’s Ice, Miller Brewing Co., Milwaukee
Bronze: Mickey’s Malt Liquor, Miller Brewing Co., Milwaukee
German-Style Märzen
Gold: Victory Festbier, Victory Brewing Co., Downingtown, Pa.
Silver: Stewart’s Oktoberfest, Stewart’s Brewing Co., Bear, Del.
Bronze: Michelob Marzen, Anheuser-Busch Inc., St. Louis
American-Style Dark Lager
Gold: Roadrunner Red Lager, Thunder Canyon Brewery, Tucson, Ariz.
Silver: Henry Weinhard’s Classic Dark, Miller Brewing Co., Milwaukee
Bronze: Elevator Dark Horse, Elevator Brewing Co., Columbus, Ohio
Gold: Troegenator, Tröegs Brewing Co., Harrisburg, Pa.
Silver: Gruffmeister 8 Maibock, Foothills Brewing, Winston-Salem, N.C.
Bronze: Butthead Bock, Tommyknocker Brewery, Idaho Springs, Colo.
Golden or Blonde Ale
Gold: Red Brick Blonde, Atlanta Brewing Co., Atlanta
Silver: Kiwanda Cream Ale, Pelican Pub & Brewery, Pacific City, Ore.
Bronze: Mississippi Blonde, Bent River Brewing Co., Moline, Ill.
Classic English-Style Summer Ale
Gold: “312” Urban Wheat Ale, Goose Island Beer Co., Chicago
Silver: Sandbagger Gold, Montana Brewing Co., Billings, Mont.
Bronze: Green Flash Extra Pale Ale, Green Flash Brewing Co., Vista, Calif.
American-Style Pale Ale
Gold: Firestone Pale 31, Firestone Walker Brewing Co., Paso Robles, Calif.
Silver: Piranha Pale Ale, BJ’s Restaurant & Brewery – Roseville, Calif., Portland, Ore. Huntington Beach, Calif.
Bronze: Full Frontal Pale Ale, Piece Brewery, Chicago
American-Style India Pale Ale
Gold: IPA, Odell Brewing Co., Fort Collins, Colo.
Silver: Blind Pig IPA, Russian River Brewing Co., Santa Rosa, Calif.
Bronze: El Camino IPA, Mission Brewery, San Diego, Calif.
American-Style Amber/Red Ale
Gold: Stone Levitation Ale, Stone Brewing Co., Novato, Calif.
Silver: Hop Head Red, Green Flash Brewing Co., Vista, Calif.
Bronze: McCarthy Red, Emmett’s Tavern & Brewing Co., West Dundee, Ill.
American-Style Brown Ale
Gold: Doryman’s Dark Ale, Pelican Pub & Brewery, Pacific City, Ore.
Silver: RedRock Nut Brown Ale, RedRock Brewing Co., Salt Lake City, Utah
Bronze: Bitch Creek ESB, Grand Teton Brewing Co., Victor, Idaho
Classic Irish-Style Dry Stout
Gold: Moylan’s Irish Dry Stout, Moylan’s Brewing Co., Novato, Calif.
Bronze: Blarney Sisters Dry Irish Stout, Third Street Aleworks, Santa Rosa, Calif.
American-Style Stout
Gold: Sticky Stout, Pizza Port – Carlsbad, Carlsbad, Calif.
Silver: Big Bear, Bear Republic Brewing, Healdsburg, Calif.
Bronze: Terminal Stout, Rock Bottom Brewery Chicago, Chicago
* (Not all categories are represented)