2015 Great American Beer Festival Awards Summary

Brewers Association Sign at 2015 GABF Awards

This past Saturday the 29th Annual Great American Beer Festival Awards Ceremony took place at the Colorado Convention Center. The Brewers Association awarded 275 medals to 242 different breweries across the country. Firestone Walker (Paso Robles, California), Sun King (Indianapolis, Indiana), Port City Brewing (Alexandria, Virginia) and Left Hand Brewing (Longmont, Colorado) were the top winners in the competition.

As a state, Oregon preformed relatively well in comparison to other states. Oregon brewers took home a total of 19 medals. Barley Browns, 10 Barrel, and Bend Brewing each won two medals, with the remaining breweries taking home single medals. Specifically of note was Laurelwood Brewing, their IIPA “Eazy Duz It” was awarded a silver medal. Imperial IPA had a total of 208 entries and was the second most competitive category in the festival next to American-Style India Pale Ale. From our neighboring states Washington brewers won 13 medal winners, while both Idaho and Alaska each had one medal winner.

Barley Brown's Beer receives its second of two 2015 GABF Gold Medals
Barley Brown’s Beer receives its second of two 2015 GABF Gold Medals (photo by Nick Rivers)

2015 marks the largest GABF in history with 6,647 entries, brewed by 1,552 different breweries, and judged by a total of 242 judges. New style categories; Chili Pepper Beer, Session India Pale Ale, and Mixed Culture Brett Beer were all added to the competition this year. Session India Pale Ale had 161 entries, making ISA the 4th most competitive category and also the most popular new category in GABF history.

2015 GABF Oregon Brewery Winners:
(Brewery – Medal – Style – Beer Name)

  • 10 Barrel Brewing Co. – Bronze – American-Style Stout – P2P
  • 10 Barrel Brewing Co. – Bronze – German-Style Sour Ale – Cucumber Crush
  • Barley Brown’s Beer – Gold – American-Style Strong Pale Ale – Ratchet Strap IPA
  • Barley Brown’s Brewpub – Gold – American-Style Stout – Disorder Stout
  • Bend Brewing Co. – Bronze – American-Style Dark Lager – Black Diamond
  • Bend Brewing Co. – Silver – German-Style Sour Ale – Volkssekt
  • Block 15 Brewing – Gold – Belgian-Style Lambic or Sour Ale – Turbulent Consequence, Peche
  • Fat Head’s Brewery – Gold – Rye Beer – Blitzkrieg Bock
  • Gigantic Brewing Co. – Bronze – Old Ale or Strong Ale – MASSIVE! 2013
  • Golden Valley Brewery & Pub – Gold – English-Style Summer Ale – Beaverton Blonde
  • Ground Breaker Brewing – Silver – Gluten-Free Beer – IPA No. 5
  • Laurelwood Public House & Brewery – Silver – Imperial India Pale Ale – Eazy Duz It IIPA
  • Lompoc Brewing – Silver – American-Style Amber/Red Ale – Proletariat Red
  • Mazama Brewing Co. – Silver – American-Style Fruit Beer – Rasplendent
  • Old Town Brewing Co. – Gold – English-Style India Pale Ale – Shanghai’d IPA
  • Pelican Pub & Brewery – Gold – Scotch Ale – MacPelican’s Wee Heavy Ale
  • pFriem Family Brewers – Silver – German-Style Pilsener – Pilsner
  • Rogue Ales – Silver – Specialty Beer – Hazelnut Brown Nectar
  • The Commons Brewery – Bronze – Belgian and French-Style Ale – Petite Classique
10 Barrel Brewing receives its second of two Bronze Medals at 2015 GABF
10 Barrel Brewing receives its second of two Bronze Medals at 2015 GABF (photo by Nick Rivers)

2015 GABF Washington Brewery Winners:

  • Chuckanut Brewery – Bronze – European-Style Dark/Münchner Dunkel – Chuckanut Dunkel
  • Chuckanut Brewery – Gold – German-Style Kölsch – Chuckanut Kolsch Style
  • Fish Brewing Co. – Bronze – American-Style Wheat Beer With Yeast – Boulder Bend Dunkelweizen
  • Flyers Restaurant and Brewery – Silver – Ordinary or Special Bitter – Spitfire Best Bitter
  • Ghostfish Brewing Co. – Gold – Gluten-Free Beer – Watchstander Stout
  • Ghostfish Brewing Co. – Bronze – Gluten-Free Beer – Ghostfish Grapefruit IPA
  • Lucky Envelope Brewing – Bronze – Dortmunder or German-Style Oktoberfest – Helles Lager
  • Reuben’s Brews Taproom – Gold – German-Style Sour Ale – Gose
  • Reuben’s Brews – Bronze – Classic Irish-Style Dry Stout – Dry Stout
  • Silver City Brewery – Gold – Old Ale or Strong Ale – Old Scrooge
  • Three Magnets Brewing – Bronze – Barley Wine-Style Ale – Old Skook
  • Two Beers Brewing Co. – Gold – American Style Amber/Red Ale – Immersion Amber Ale
  • Wander Brewing – Gold – Wood and Barrel-Aged Beer – Wild Warehouse
Chuckanut Brewery at 2015 GABF Awards
Chuckanut Brewery at 2015 GABF Awards (photo by Nick Rivers)

2015 GABF Idaho Brewery Winner:

  • Boise Brewing – Silver – American-Style Stout – Black Cliffs

2015 GABF Alaskan Brewery Winner:

  • 49th State Brewing Co. – Gold – Smoke Beer – Smoked Märzen
Firestone Walker at the 2015 GABF Awards
Firestone Walker at the 2015 GABF Awards (photo by Nick Rivers)

2015 Brewery and Brewer of the Year Awards:

  • Very Small Brewing Company and Very Small Brewing Company Brewer of the Year
    Rip Current Brewery (San Marcos, Calif.)
    Paul Sangster and Guy Shobe
  • Small Brewing Company and Small Brewing Company Brewer of the Year
    Port City Brewing Co. (Alexandria, Va.)
    Port City Brewing Co. Team
  • Mid-Size Brewing Company and Mid-Size Brewing Company Brewer of the Year
    Firestone Walker Brewing Co. (Paso Robles, Calif.)
    Firestone Walker Brewing Co. Team
  • 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
    Melvin Brewing (Jackson, Wyo.)
    Kirk McHale and Jeremy Tofte
  • Mid-Size Brewpub of the Year
    TAPS Fish House & Brewery (Corona, Calif.)
    TAPS Fish House & Brewery Team
  • Large Brewpub and Large Brewpub Brewer of the Year
    Titletown Brewing Co. (Green Bay, Wis.)
    David Oldenburg
Rip Current Brewery at 2015 GABF Awards Receiving Very Small Brewpub Award
Rip Current Brewery at 2015 GABF Awards Receiving Very Small Brewpub Award (photo by Nick Rivers)

With the 29th edition of the Great American Beer Festival here’s a list of some interesting facts and statistics:

  • 750 breweries in the festival hall
  • 3,800 beers served at the festival
  • 60,000 attendees
  • 3,400 volunteers (festival and competition combined)
  • 1,552 breweries in the competition from 50 states plus Washington, D.C.
  • 242 medal-winning breweries
  • 6,647 beers judged (not including 91 Pro-Am competition entries), a 20 percent increase over 2014
  • 92 style categories judged, plus the Pro-Am competition
  • 242 judges from 15 different countries
  • Average number of competition beers entered in each category: 72 (excludes Pro-Am beers)
  • Category with highest number of entries: American-Style India Pale Ale: 336
  • 38 first-time entering breweries won awards

Save the date for the 2016 Great American Beer Festival will take place from October 6-8 at the Colorado Convention Center in Denver, Colorado. This will be a special year as the GABF will celebrate 30 years!

Gigantic Brewing Scott Guckel and Ben Love receiving their Bronze Medal at 2015 GABF
Gigantic Brewing Scott Guckel and Ben Love receiving their Bronze Medal at 2015 GABF (photo by Nick Rivers)
10 Barrel Brewing receives its first of two Bronze Medals at 2015 GABF
10 Barrel Brewing receives its first of two Bronze Medals at 2015 GABF (photo by Nick Rivers)
Amy and Carl Singmaster receive Groundbreaker's 2015 GABF Silver Medal
Amy and Carl Singmaster receive Groundbreaker’s 2015 GABF Silver Medal (photo by Nick Rivers)
Barley Brown's Beer receives its first of two 2015 GABF Gold Medals
Barley Brown’s Beer receives its first of two 2015 GABF Gold Medals (photo by Nick Rivers)
Old Town Brewing Receives it 2015 GABF Gold Medal
Old Town Brewing Receives it 2015 GABF Gold Medal (photo by Nick Rivers)
Fat Head's Portland Receives its 2015 GABF Gold Medal for Blitzkrieg Bock
Fat Head’s Portland Receives its 2015 GABF Gold Medal for Blitzkrieg Bock (photo by Nick Rivers)
Bend Brewing receives its second of two 2015 GABF Medals
Bend Brewing receives its second of two 2015 GABF Medals (photo by Nick Rivers)
Pelican Brewing at 2015 GABF Gold Medal for McPelican's Wee Heavy
Pelican Brewing at 2015 GABF Gold Medal for McPelican’s Wee Heavy (photo by Nick Rivers)
pFriem Family Brewers Receives a Silver Medal at 2015 GABF for its Pilsner
pFriem Family Brewers Receives a Silver Medal at 2015 GABF for its Pilsner (photo by Nick Rivers)
Steve and Shane from Laurelwood Receives its Silver Medal at 2015 GABF for Eazy Duz It, a collab beer with N.W.I.P.A.
Steve and Shane from Laurelwood Receives its Silver Medal at 2015 GABF for Eazy Duz It, a collab beer with N.W.I.P.A. (photo by Nick Rivers)
The Commons Sean Burke and Kyle Krause receives the 2015 GABF Bronze for Petit Classic
The Commons Sean Burke and Kyle Krause receives the 2015 GABF Bronze for Petit Classic (photo by Nick Rivers)
Mazama Brewing at 2015 GABF Awards
Mazama Brewing at 2015 GABF Awards (photo by Nick Rivers)
Rogue at 2015 GABF AwardsJPG
Rogue at 2015 GABF Awards (photo by Nick Rivers)

(Photos in this article were all taken by Brewpublic’s Nick Rivers and additional text was added by D.J. Paul)

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