The awards ceremony has come to a close at the 2019 Great American Beer Festival in Denver, Colorado and the Pacific Northwest has brought home 33 medals from Saturday’s ceremony. The state of Oregon led the way with 15 medals, which includes a Collaboration medal, and is followed by the state of Washington with 14 medals, and Idaho with 4 medals. Plus, Silver City Brewery from Bremerton, Washington took home the Mid-Size Brewing Company of the Year award.
The 38th annual Great American Beer Festival (GABF) held its 33rd year of beer judging. Held in conjunction with the Brewers Association, this year’s judging event saw 318 medals awarded to 283 different breweries in 107 different beer categories. A record number of 9,497 beers were entered from 2,295 breweries representing all 50 states plus Washington, D.C., Puerto Rico, and the Virgin Islands, along with 113 Pro-Am Competition and 70 Collaboration Competition entries. However, the number of breweries that paid to enter this year’s competition was down from last year’s 2,404 breweries.
Prior to awards ceremony on Saturday morning at the Bellco Theater inside the Colorado Convention Center, 322 judges from 18 countries evaluated these 9,497 entries earlier in the week. On stage even after retiring from the BA earlier this year, Charlie Papazian returned to hand out medals and give fist bumps to the winning breweries.
From this judging there were 318 total medals awarded plus three each for Pro-Am and Collaboration. The average number of competition beers entered in each category was 88. There was a total of 283 medal-winning breweries (including Pro-Am and Collaboration). The category with the highest number of entries was the newly established Juicy or Hazy India Pale Ale that saw a record 348 entries, down from 391 entries in 2018. There were 401 first-time GABF entrants and 37 first-time GABF winners in 2019.
The Great American Beer Festival awards gold, silver and bronze medals for excellence in 107 beer-style categories but does not necessarily award medals to the top three finishers in a particular category. In 2019, Gold medals were not given in Category 1, American-Style Wheat Beer, or Category 21, Historical Beer, and a bronze medal was not awarded in Category 65, Emerging India Pale Ale.
Breweries from the state of Oregon were awarded 4 Gold Medals, 1 Silver Medal and 10 Bronze Medals while breweries in the state of Washington were awarded 3 Gold Medals, 6 Silver Medals and 5 Bronze Medals. Rounding out the PNW winners, Idaho brewers received 3 Gold medals and 1 Silver medal.
“This year’s GABF competition was the largest and most competitive to date,” said Chris Swersey, competition manager, Great American Beer Festival, in a statement. “The beers and talent were as impressive as ever, and we congratulate this year’s winners for their achievements in brewing.”
Below are a list of 2019 Great American Beer Festival winners from Oregon, Washington and Idaho.
Oregon 2019 GABF Winners:
Category 3: Fruit Wheat Beer – 109 Entries
Bronze: 10 Barrel Brewing Co., Bend, OR
Category 22: Gluten-Free Beer – 59 Entries
Bronze: Grandpa’s Nap, Evasion Brewing – Production Facility, McMinnville, OR
Category 101: American-Style Stout – 55 Entries
Gold: Black Cliffs, Boise Brewing, Boise, ID
Category 104: Imperial Stout – 93 Entries
Silver: Black Cauldron Imperial Stout, Grand Teton Brewing, Victor, ID
Category 78: American-Style Brown Ale – 99 Entries
Gold: Naked Sunbather, Mad Swede Brewing Co., Boise, ID
Beyond the Pacific Northwest here is the list of the Brewery and Brewer of the Year Awards that includes the previously mentioned winner of Mid-Size Brewing Company of the Year that went to Silver City Brewery.
Small Brewpub and Small Brewpub Brewer of the Year
Rowley Farmhouse Ales, Santa Fe, NM Rowley Farmhouse Ales
Mid-Size Brewpub and Mid-Size Brewpub Brewer of the Year
Westbound & Down Brewing Co., Idaho Springs, CO Westbound & Down Brewery Team
Large Brewpub and Large Brewpub Brewer of the Year
Vintage Brewing Co. – Madison, Madison, WI Drinking Fresh Thinking
Very Small Brewing Company and Very Small Brewing Company Brewer of the Year
Brink Brewing Co., Cincinnati, OH Brink Brew Crew
Small Brewing Company and Small Brewing Company Brewer of the Year
Comrade Brewing Co., Denver, CO Marks Lanham & David Lin
Mid-Size Brewing Company and Mid-Size Brewing Company Brewer of the Year
Silver City Brewery, Bremerton, WA Silver City Brew Team
Brewery Group and Brewery Group Brewer of the Year
Kern River Brewing Co., Kernville, CA KRBC Brew Team
View all of the 2019 GABF winners here or download a PDF List of the winners.
The 39th annual Great American Beer Festival will return to Denver from September 24-26, 2020.
D.J. is a Portland, Oregon based writer that spent his formative years in the Midwest. With over 20 years under his belt of drinking beer at festivals across America and the world, he has developed a strong appreciation and understanding of craft beer and the industry that surrounds it. He can be found in any of the great breweries or beer bars that make Portland the best beer city in the world. His writing can also be found in Northwest Brewing News and can be followed on Twitter at @hopapalooza.