Oregon Breweries Take Home 21 Medals at 2016 Great American Beer Festival

2016 GABF Gold Medal winners, Doug Coombs, Brian Coombs, and Matt Van Wyk of Alesong Brewing & Blending for Touch Of Brett. (photo courtesy of Alesong Brewing & Blending)
2016 GABF Gold Medal winners, Doug Coombs, Brian Coombs, and Matt Van Wyk of Alesong Brewing & Blending for Touch Of Brett. (photo courtesy of Cameron Marks of Great Divide Brewery)

Earlier today the 2016 Great American Beer Festival (GABF) competition awarded 286 medals to 254 brewers. The festival is celebrating its 35th year with 60,000 attendees pouring into the Colorado Convention Center since this Thursday. However, 2016 marks the 30th year that the Brewers Association has hosted the GABF competition that brings in beers from all 50 states and Washington, D.C. to be judged earlier this week.

This year 1,752 breweries entered 7,227 beers into the 96 various categories, an almost 9% increase over last year’s 6,647 entries. With the increase amount of new brewery openings here in the U.S., GABF had 464 new brewery entrants into this year’s competition. Of these, 41 breweries were awarded medals including Alesong Brewing & Blending from Eugene, Oregon with a Gold medal for its Touch of Brett. To judge this massive amount of beer, GABF saw the festival’s largest panel of judged ever with 264 experts from 12 countries.

Beer stewards during the judging at the 2016 GABF. (Photo © Brewers Association)
Beer stewards during the judging at the 2016 GABF. (Photo © Brewers Association)

The largest entered category this year was once again the American-Style India Pale Ale category with 312 entries. This category saw 40 table of judging from nearly half of the 264 judges during the competitions first round of judging. Seattle’s Georgetown Brewing took home Gold with its Bodhizafa IPA, an impressive accomplishment! (Here’s a link to all of the 2016 GABF winners.)

The largest amount of medals awarded went to Überbrew of Billings, Montana with four. (2 gold, 1 silver, 1 bronze). Three medals were awarded to Karl Strauss Brewing Co. – San Diego of San Diego, California (2 golds, 1 bronze), Brown Truck Brewery of High Point, North Carolina (1 gold, 2 silver), and Fat Head’s Brewery & Saloon of North Olmsted, Ohio (1 gold, 1 silver, 1 bronze). Closer to home Breakside Brewery won a total of three medals but that included entries from its two different brewery locations. Breakside was awarded a Gold and Silver from its Portland Brewpub and a Bronze from its Milwaukie production facility. This is a great reward for Ben Edmunds and his brewing team at Breakside Brewery.

Here in the Pacific Northwest breweries from the state of Oregon were awarded 21 medals (5 gold, 7 silver, 9 bronze). Our neighbors to the north were awarded 14 medals (7 gold, 3 silver, and 4 bronze), while Idaho breweries took home silver and a bronze.

This year also marked some firsts for a few Oregon breweries when it comes to being awarded medals at GABF. Three Creeks Brewing (gold), Great Notion Brewing (silver), Sunriver Brewing (silver), Two Kilts Brewing (silver), Vertigo Brewing (bronze), BTU Brasserie (bronze),  Migration Brewing (bronze), Omission (bronze), along with the previously mentioned Alesong Brewing & Blending (gold) all took home medals for the very first time from the coveted competition.

Brewers at the GABF award ceremony in Denver, Colorado. (Photo © Brewers Association)
Brewers at the GABF award ceremony in Denver, Colorado. (Photo © Brewers Association)

Here’s a list of winning breweries from Oregon, Washington and Idaho. Congratulations to all that were awarded medals!

Oregon Brewery Winners:
Category 1: American-Style Wheat Beer – 37 Entries
Silver: Shredder’s Wheat, Barley Brown’s Beer, Baker City, OR

Category 3: American-Style Fruit Beer – 106 Entries
Bronze: Apricot Cream Ale, Vertigo Brewing, Hillsboro, OR

Category 5: Belgian-Style Fruit Beer – 61 Entries
Bronze: Cerasus, Logsdon Farmhouse Ales, Hood River, OR

Category 6: Pumpkin/Squash Beer – 10 Entries
Bronze: Butt-Ah Nut, BTU Brasserie, Portland, OR

Category 14: Rye Beer – 81 Entries
Gold: Breakside Rye Curious?, Breakside Brewery, Portland, OR

Category 22: Gluten-Free Beer – 37 Entries
Gold: Dark Ale, Ground Breaker Brewing, Portland, OR

Category 24: American-Style Sour Ale – 142 Entries
Silver: Heart of Gold, Great Notion Brewing, Portland, OR

Category 25: Brett Beer – 53 Entries
Gold: Touch of Brett, Alesong Brewing & Blending, Eugene, OR

Category 26: Mixed-Culture Brett Beer – 65 Entries
Bronze: DAM Wild: Marionberry Pink Peppercorn, Flat Tail Brewing Co., Corvallis, OR

Category 35: American-Style or International-Style Pilsener – 66 Entries
Silver: Pelicano Extra!, Pelican Brewing Co., Tillamook, OR

Category 37: American-Style Lager or Ice Lager or Malt Liquor – 34 Entries
Bronze: Lager, Craft Brew Alliance – Omission, Portland, OR

Category 54: Classic English-Style Pale Ale – 38 Entries
Silver: Breakside ESB, Breakside Brewery, Portland, OR

Category 56: Australian-Style or International-Style Pale Ale – 90 Entries
Bronze: Breakside Lunch Break ISA, Breakside Brewery & Taproom, Milwaukie, OR

Category 58: American-Style Strong Pale Ale – 169 Entries
Silver: Rippin, Sunriver Brewing, Sunriver, OR

Category 65: Ordinary or Special Bitter – 39 Entries
Silver: Drop Top Amber Ale, Craft Brew Alliance – Widmer, Portland, OR

Category 67: Scottish-Style Ale – 46 Entries
Silver: Scottish Ale, Two Kilts Brewing, Sherwood, OR

Category 79: Specialty Saison – 92 Entries
Bronze: Creme de Peche, The Commons Brewery, Portland, OR

Category 85: Other Belgian-Style Ale – 31 Entries
Bronze: Petite Classique, The Commons Brewery, Portland, OR

Category 86 Brown Porter – 61 Entries
Gold: FivePine Chocolate Porter, Three Creeks Production, Sisters, OR

Category 90: American-Style Stout – 55 Entries
Gold: P2P, 10 Barrel Brewing Co., Bend, OR

Category 95: Old Ale or Strong Ale – 38 Entries
Bronze: Old Silenus Ale, Migration Brewing Co., Portland, OR

Migration Brewing is awarded its first GABF medal and it is a Bronze Medal for Old Silenus Old Ale. (photo courtesy of Migration Brewing)
Migration Brewing is awarded its first GABF medal and it is a Bronze Medal for Old Silenus Old Ale. (photo courtesy of Migration Brewing)

Washington Brewery Winners:
Category 2: American-Style Wheat Beer With Yeast – 31 Entries
Bronze: Boulder Bend Dunkelweizen, Fish Brewing Co., Olympia, WA

Category 12: Coffee Beer – 168 Entries
Gold: Gusto Crema, Georgetown Brewing Co., Seattle, WA

Category 16: Session Beer – 52 Entries
Gold: PSB Session IPL, Perry Street Brewing Co., Spokane, WA

Category 22: Gluten-Free Beer – 37 Entries
Bronze: Grapefruit IPA, Ghostfish Brewing Company, Seattle, WA

Category 31: Fruited Wood- and Barrel-Aged Sour Beer – 82 Entries
Bronze: Pi, Propolis Brewing, Port Townsend, WA

Category 41: Bohemian-Style Pilsener – 62 Entries
Silver: Polaris Pilsner, Chainline Brewing Co., Kirkland, WA

Category 42: Munich-Style Helles – 84 Entries
Gold: Chuckanut Helles, Chuckanut Brewery, Bellingham, WA

Category 53: English-Style Summer Ale – 68 Entries
Gold: Hometown Blonde, RAM/Big Horn Brewery – Lakewood, Lakewood, WA

Category 59: American-Style India Pale Ale – 312 Entries
Gold: Bodhizafa IPA, Georgetown Brewing Co., Seattle, WA

Category 66: Extra Special Bitter – 71 Entries
Gold: Redfeather, Black Raven Brewing Co., Redmond, WA

Category 72: German-Style Sour Ale – 141 Entries
Gold: Gose, Reuben’s Brews, Seattle, WA
Silver: Gose, Kulshan Brewing Co., Bellingham, WA

Category 89: Export Stout – 43 Entries
Bronze: Starway Stout, Barrel Mountain Brewing, Battle Ground, WA

Category 96: Barley Wine-Style Ale – 60 Entries
Silver: Barley Wine Ale, Dick’s Brewing Co., Centralia, WA

A beer during the 2016 GABF. (Photo © Brewers Association)
A beer during the 2016 GABF. (Photo © Brewers Association)

Idaho Brewery Winners:
Category 67: Scottish-Style Ale – 46 Entries
Bronze: McGreagor Scottish Ale, Kootenai River Brewing Co., Bonners Ferry, ID

Category 90: American-Style Stout – 55 Entries
Silver: Black Cliffs, Boise Brewing, Boise, ID

The floor of the Colorado Convention Center during the 2016 GABF. (Photo © Brewers Association)
Where’s Waldo? The floor of the Colorado Convention Center during the 2016 GABF. (Photo © Brewers Association)

Below is a list of the 2016 Brewery of the Year Awards that are awarded to various size breweries based on a weighted scale on medals awarded.

Very Small Brewing Company and Very Small Brewing Company Brewer of the Year
Brown Truck Brewery, High Point, N.C. – Team Brown Truck

Small Brewing Company and Small Brewing Company Brewer of the Year
Überbrew, Billings, Mont. – Über Cru

Mid-Size Brewing Company and Mid-Size Brewing Company Brewer of the Year
Karl Strauss Brewing Co. – San Diego, San Diego, CA – Team Karl

Large Brewing Company and Large Brewing Company Brewer of the Year
Pabst Brewing Co., Los Angeles, Calif. – Gregory Deuhs

Small Brewpub and Small Brewpub Brewer of the Year
ZwanzigZ Brewing, Columbus, Ind. – Mike Rybinski and Trent Fleener

Mid-Size Brewpub of the Year
Boxing Bear Brewing Co., Albuquerque, NM – Justin Hamilton and Dylan Davis

Large Brewpub and Large Brewpub Brewer of the Year
The Austin Beer Garden Brewing Co., Austin, Texas – Amos Swifty Kim

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