Your CBB team has opted out of attending CBC this year, so sorry for the lack of live coverage (this preview covers all the exciting new stuff we’re talking about now from the show). But we know who won stuff. The winners of the 35th Great American Beer Fest were announced on Friday and the Brewers Association presented its 2021 Industry Awards on Saturday. Here is a recap:
Great American Oktoberfest 2021
290 medals were awarded to 265 breweries across the country. It was the largest competition to date, involving 97 beer categories covering 175 different beer styles (including all sub-categories). A total of 170 judges evaluated 9,680 entries from 2,192 breweries from all 50 states plus Washington, DC and Puerto Rico. Note: To allow for hop harvest and fall beer production, and to include Fresh Hop beers in the competition, 78 entries in the Fresh Hop Beer category will be competing in early October, with winners 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.
The winners of the five most entered categories were:
Category 64: JUICY OR HAZY INDIA PALE ALE (427 entries) – Sponsored by Antigo Zeon
Category 63: AMERICAN-STYLE INDIA PALE ALE (404 entries) – Sponsored by Micro Matic
Category 25: FRUITED AMERICAN SOUR ALE (249 entries) – Sponsored by Amoretti
Category 80: GERMAN WHEAT ALE (226 entries)
- GOLD: Hefeweizen – JAFB Wooster Brewery, Wooster, OH
- SILVER: Küsterer Original Weissbier – Cedar Springs Brewery., Cedar Springs, Michigan
- BRONZE: Foggy Sky Hefeweizen – Pilot Brewing Co.Charlotte, North Carolina
Category 43: GERMAN PILSENER (210 entries) – Sponsored by John I Haas, Inc.
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.
BREWERY OF THE YEAR AWARD
- 0 – 250 Barrels: Radiant Beer Co., Anaheim, Calif.; Team Andrew Bell and Radiant Beer Co.
- 251 – 500 Barrels: Main & Six Brewing Co., Jacksonville, Florida; Dennis Espinosa and Alex Leuthold
- 501 – 1,000 barrels: Moontown Brewing Co., Whitestown, IN; Cody Peczkowski
- 1,001 – 2,000 barrels: downpour mixing, Seattle, WA; Steve Luke and Zach Kornfeld
- 2,001 – 5,000 barrels: Short Fuse Brewing Co., Schiller Park, Ill.; Brian Lagro and Craig Kofod
- 5,001 – 15,000 barrels: Sudwerk Brewing Co., Davis, Calif.; Sudwerk Team
- 15,001 – 100,000 Barrels: Allagash Brewery., Portland, ME; Allagash Team
- Brasserie Group (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
Summary of industry prices
FX Matt Defense Industry Award
Pamela Brulotte, owner of Icicle Brewing Co. & München Haus (Leavenworth, Washington)
This award is named after the late FX Matt of FX Matt Brewing Co. and is given to an individual or company for their contributions and efforts in championing the small brewing industry. Brulotte is a tireless advocate for small, independent breweries and has left its mark on the Washington beer community in countless ways over the past decade. As president of the Washington Brewers Guild, Brulotte helped professionalize the organization, grow its membership, support its lobbying efforts, and serve as a mentor to the craft brewing community. Under Brulotte’s leadership, the guild challenged increased beer excise taxes and secured market access for brewers, increasing their ability to sell and market their beers.
Russell Schehrer Award for Innovation in Craft Brewing
Steven Pauwels, brewmaster at Boulevard Brewing Co. (Kansas City, Mo.)
This award is presented in honor of Russell Schehrer of Wynkoop Brewing Company to an individual or company for their innovative contributions to the brewing industry. Originally from Belgium, Pauwels has overseen all aspects of brewing and quality control since joining Boulevard Brewing in 1999. Pauwels is responsible for the development of over a dozen new Boulevard brands, including the range of critically acclaimed Smokestack Series craft beers. The celebrated brewmaster has received international recognition for his work, including several medals at the World Beer Cup® and the Great American Beer Festival®. Boulevard’s most awarded beer, ZON Belgian-Style Witbier, was the very first beer Pauwels developed when he arrived.
Brewers Association Recognition Award
John Mallett, Vice President of Operations of Bell’s Brewery, Inc. (Galesburg, Michigan)
This award is presented annually to an individual or company whose inspiration, enthusiasm and support has contributed to the craft brewing movement. Mallett began making beer professionally in 1988 and led brewing at Boston’s Commonwealth Brewery and Old Dominion Brewing Co. After founding and running SAAZ, a provider of brewing equipment and services, Mallett joined Bell’s 20 years ago. Mallett is currently president of the Brewmasters Association of the Americas and president of the American Malting Barley Association. He was president of the Hop Quality Group for 10 years. At the Brewers Association, he was a member of the Board of Directors and chaired the BA Technical Committee for many years. He received the Brewers Association Russell Schehrer Award for Innovation in Craft Brewing in 2002 and is the author of Malt: a practical guide from field to brewery as well as numerous technical documents and presentations. Mallett is a graduate and longtime extended faculty member of the Siebel Institute, and is the only person to have served on the professional blind taste panel for every Beer World Cup. He is a seasoned volunteer ski patroller and, most importantly, the proud father of two wonderful humans.