Announcing the 2021 Great American Beer Festival® Winners!
This past weekend the Brewers Association (BA) awarded 290 medals to 265 breweries across the country during the 2021 Great American Beer Festival (GABF) awards ceremony. The largest competition to date covered the best beers in ninety-seven categories covering 175 different beer styles from juicy or hazy IPAs to fruited American sour ales to German-style wheat ales and beyond.
During the thirty-fifth edition of the storied competition, judging took place in thirty-four sessions over seventeen days with strict health and safety measures in place.
Celebrating all of the fantastic beers in the competition has been an amazing bright spot among the countless challenges the craft beer industry has faced during the past year and a half.
"Despite being forced to cancel the festival portion of GABF, our brewing community rallied together to make this year's GABF competition one for the books—our largest competition judged to date," said Chris Swersey, competition director, Great American Beer Festival in the BA's press release. "Judges continue to be impressed with the quality and innovation of all entries they evaluated. The Brewers Association is proud to honor this year's deserving winners. We look forward to celebrating in person together next year."
2022 will be an extra special year for GABF as the event celebrates its 40th anniversary October 6-8, 2022.
But here are a few highlights from the top five most-entered categories:
JUICY OR HAZY INDIA PALE ALE (427 entries) - Sponsored by Antigo Zeon
- GOLD: DeadHead IPA Series: TourBus – DESTIHL Brewery, Normal, IL
- SILVER: Art is Hard – North Park Beer Co., San Diego, CA
- BRONZE: Blissed – Attitude Brewing Co., San Diego, CA
AMERICAN-STYLE INDIA PALE ALE (404 entries) - Sponsored by MicroMatic
- 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
FRUITED 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, NC
GERMAN-STYLE 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
GERMAN-STYLE PILSENER (210 entries) – Sponsored by John I Haas, Inc.
- GOLD: Meanwhile Pilsner – Meanwhile Brewing Co., Austin, TX
- SILVER: Rail Pass – Bingo Beer Co., Richmond, VA
- BRONZE: Golem Czech Pils – Gemüt Biergarten, Columbus, OH
We can't wait to hopefully celebrate in person during GABF's special anniversary next year. Until then let's take one more quick look back at this year's competition.
2021 GABF At A Glance
- 35th edition of the GABF competition
- 9,680 beers judged
- 2,192 breweries in the competition from all 50 states plus Washington, D.C., 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 first-time GABF entrants
- 30 first-time entrant GABF medal winners