290 medals awarded to 265 breweries in the world’s largest commercial beer competition
Boulder, Colorado • September 10, 2021 – The Brewers Association (BA) awarded 290 medals to 265 breweries across the country during the 2021 edition Great American Oktoberfest (GABF) awards ceremony in the biggest competition to date. The best beers in 97 beer categories covering 175 different beer styles (including all subcategories) were awarded gold, silver and bronze medals in the 35th edition of the famous competition.
Judging took place in 34 sessions over 17 days with strict health and safety measures in place. A total of 170 judges evaluated 9,680 entries from 2,192 breweries from all 50 states plus Washington, DC and Puerto Rico. The awards ceremony took place at the Bellco Theater in Denver on Friday night during the Craft Brewers Conference® and was broadcast live on the brewing network.
To enable the hop harvest and fall beer production, and to include Fresh Hop beers in this prestigious competition, 78 entries in the Fresh Hop Beer category will be competing in early October, and the winners will be announced on Friday, October 15. .
“Despite being forced to cancel the festival portion of GABF, our brewing community has rallied together to make this year’s GABF competition a competition for the books, our biggest judged competition yet,” said Chris Swersey, Contest Director, Great American Beer Festival. “Judges continue to be impressed with the quality and innovation of all of the entries they have assessed. The Brewers Association is proud to honor this year’s deserving winners. We look forward to celebrating in person together next year.
As previously announced, the Great American Beer Festival will celebrate its 40th anniversary October 6-8, 2022 at the Colorado Convention Center in Denver.
GABF Competition Statistics
- 35th edition of the GABF competition
- 9,680 beers judged
- 2,192 breweries competing in all 50 states plus Washington, DC and Puerto Rico
- 170 judges
- Average number of competition beers entered in each category: 99.6
- Category with the highest number of entries: Juicy or Hazy India Pale Ale (427)
- 290 total medals awarded
- 265 medal-winning breweries
- 425 new GABF participants
- 30 first-time GABF medalists
Most entered style categories
The winners of the five most entered categories were:
Category 64: JUICY OR HAZY INDIA PALE ALE (427 entries) – Sponsored by Antigo Zeon
GOLD: DeadHead IPA Series: TourBus – DESTIHL Brewery, Normal, IL
MONEY: Art is Tough – North Park Beer Co., San Diego, CA
BRONZE: Blissed – Attitude Brewing Co., San Diego, CA
Category 63: AMERICAN INDIA PALE ALE (404 entries) – Sponsored by Micro Matic
GOLD: Volatile Substance – Von Ebert Brewing – Pearl, Portland, OR
SILVER: JAF IPA – JAFB Wooster Brewery, Wooster, OH
BRONZE: Bullitt – All Season Brewing Co., Los Angeles, CA
Category 25: FRUITY AMERICAN SOUR ALE (249 entries) – Sponsored by Amoretti
GOLD: Sherbet Drip – Fall River Brewing Co., Redding, CA
SILVER: Tropical Hurt Locker – Short Fuse Brewing Co., Schiller Park, IL
BRONZE: Rasmine – Lynnwood Brewing Concern, Raleigh, North Carolina
Category 80: GERMAN WHEAT ALE (226 entries)
GOLD: Hefeweizen – JAFB Wooster Brewery, Wooster, OH
SILVER: Küsterer Original Weissbier – Cedar Springs Brewing Co., Cedar Springs, MI
BRONZE: Hazy Skies Hefeweizen – Pilot Brewing Co., Charlotte, NC
Category 43: GERMAN PILSENER (210 entries) – Sponsored by John I Haas, Inc.
GOLD: Meanwhile Pilsner – Meanwhile Brewing Co., Austin, TX
SILVER: Rail Pass – Bingo Beer Co., Richmond, Virginia
BRONZE: Golem Czech Pils – Gemüt Biergarten, Columbus, OH
Most awarded breweries
Most medals won by an individual brewery:
Moontown Brewing Co. – Whitestown, IN – 3 medals
SILVER: Moonlite – 40: American Cream Ale
BRONZE: 40th parallel – 44: Bohemian Pilsener
BRONZE: Skool House Bock – 51: Bock
In addition, 15 breweries won two medals.
0 – 250 barrels
Radiant Beer Co., Anaheim, Calif.; Team Andrew Bell and Radiant Beer Co.
251 – 500 Barrels – Sponsored by Brewers Supply Group
Main & Six Brewing Co., Jacksonville, Fla.; Dennis Espinosa and Alex Leuthold
501 – 1,000 barrels – Sponsored by Fermentis
Moontown Brewing Co., Whitestown, IN; Cody Peczkowski
1,001 – 2,000 barrels – Sponsored by ABS Commercial
Cloudburst Brewing, Seattle, Washington; Steve Luke and Zach Kornfeld
2,001 – 5,000 barrels – Sponsored by Brewers Supply Group
Short Fuse Brewing Co., Schiller Park, IL; Brian Lagro and Craig Kofod
5,001 – 15,000 Barrels – Sponsored by MicroStar Logistics
Sudwerk Brewing Co., Davis, Calif.; Sudwerk Team
15,001 – 100,000 Barrels – Sponsored by Sponsored by Briess Malt & Ingredients Co.
Allagash Brewing Co., Portland, ME; Allagash Team
Brewery Group – Sponsored by Live Oak Bank
More than 100,000 barrels produced in 2020 or multi-site breweries wishing to compete as a group
Metazoa Brewing Co., Indianapolis, IN; Metazoa Brewing Team
Editor’s note: Pictures for media use are available on the GABF website.
*Of 291 possible medals in 97 beer style categories, 290 were awarded. The gold medal was not awarded in the 96: Scotch Ale category. The winners of the Fresh Hop Beer category will be awarded in mid-October.
The 2021 Great American Beer Festival competition was made possible in part through the generous support of its sponsor.
About the Brewers Association
The Brewers Association (BA) is the nonprofit trade association dedicated to America’s small, independent brewers, their beers, and the community of brewing enthusiasts. The BA represents more than 5,600 American breweries. The BA Independent Craft Brewer Seal is a widely adopted symbol that differentiates beers from small independent craft brewers. The BA organizes events including the beer world cup®, Great American Oktoberfest®, Craft Brewers Conference® & BrewExpo America®, FLAVOR™: An American Craft Beer and Dining Experience, Homebrew Con™, National Homebrew Competition and American Craft Beer Week®. The BA publishes The new brewer® magazines, and Brewers publications® is the leading publisher of brewing literature in the United States. Beer lovers are invited to learn more about the vibrant world of craft beer at CraftBeer.com® and on homebrewing via BAs American Homebrew Association® and free Brewing Guru® mobile app. follow us on Facebook, Twitter and instagram.
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