This morning, the annual Great American Beer Festival (GABF) competition awarded 254 medals in what is the largest commercial beer competition in the world. One hundred and eighty-five judges awarded gold, silver and bronze medals in 84 categories; this year’s festival matched its largest field of entries to date with 4,338 beer entries from 666 breweries hailing from 48 states, Washington, D.C. and Guam.
Since 2001, the most-entered category has been American-Style IPA, which saw 203 entries in 2012; Tap It Brewing of California won its first medal ever by scoring gold in the category. Rounding out the top five most-entered categories were imperial IPAs, herb and spice beers, American pale ales and American strong pale ales. In the Fresh Hop Ale category–brand-new to the festival this year–Sierra Nevada won for its Estate Homegrown Ale.
Brewery and Brewer of the year awards were also announced: Colorado’s Funkwerks won the Small Brewing Company category; Pennsylvania’s Tröegs Brewing Company claimed the Mid-Size category; and Pabst topped the Large category. Devils Backbone, The Church Brew Works and Great Dane Pub & Brewing Company won in the brewpub categories.
Wyoming was the winningest state by number of entries, with 17.4 percent of the state’s 46 entries earning medals.