Notes and News From the GABF

Photo: DJ Paul/BrewPublic. 

The GABF winners were announced earlier today, and if you want to peruse the full results, you can find them here. To make the info a little more digestible, I’ll summarize the key facts in handy bullet-point format below.

  • Oregon won 22 medals, six gold. This is the first bullet point because Oregon is the most important state, obvs. There were 306 medals awarded in all, so Oregon collected 7% of them

  • pFriem, which actually hasn’t done so well at the GABF despite its reputation back home, broke out this year with a gold for Druif, their lambic-style ale and a silver for Pilsner, their flagship. Those were good enough to secure the award for mid-sized brewery of the year. (I suspect pFriem’s pretty happy those two beers, which they are very proud of, were acknowledged.)

  • The English pale ale category was very unusual. The silver went to ancient (by American standards) MacTarnahan’s Amber, while the gold went to Omission Pale, a gluten-free beer.

  • Multiple-winners from Oregon included Alesong (3, and two in one category), 10 Barrel (3), pFriem (2), and Sunriver (2). Breakside, a perennial medals champeen, went home empty this year. Kudos to Wayfinder for picking up their first GABF medal.

  • Finally, in our last Oregon bullet point, Portland edged Bend 7-5, but if you throw in Sunriver and Sisters, Central Oregon again came out on top.

  • Washington state brought home 17 medals, and California added 72, which means the West Coast accounted for 36% of the medals. If you feel that’s leaning heavily on California, note that the Pacific Northwest took home 13% of the medals while constituting just 3.5% of the population. 💪  Colorado won just 30 medals, which is a lot, but they used to absolutely crush everyone—and this illustrates the way medals are starting to spread out and out.

  • If you want to know how these numbers compare to other states, the ones I’ve mentioned are way up the list. Many states won no medals at all (and only Mississippi didn’t have an entrant). Aside from those mentioned, here are the other states that did well: Texas (18), Ohio (14), North Carolina (13), Minnesota (12), and Illinois (11).

  • Special commendation goes to South Carolina, which picked up seven medals—far outpacing other Southern states. I have a hunch New England doesn’t participate much—their totals were quite small relative to the quality of breweries. Vermont, for example, won no medals.

  • 2,404 breweries entered 8,496 beers. There were 537 first-time entrants, and 31 first-time winners.

  • In terms of glamor categories, here are your winners. Hazy pale: Voodoo, Tin Roof Brewing Co., Baton Rouge, LA. Hazy IPA: Le Jus, Alarmist Brewing, Chicago, IL. Hazy Double IPA: New England Style Double IPA, Black Market Brewing Co., Temecula, CA. American IPA: Root Down Brewing Co., Phoenixville, PA. Imperial IPA: Nobility, Noble Ale Works, Anaheim, CA. Classic saison: Saison, Bent Paddle Brewing Co., Duluth, MN. Bohemian Pilsner:  Bohemian Pilsner, Gordon Biersch Brewery Restaurant - Tysons Corner, McLean, VA (Yes, saison and světlé pivo; you have your glamor categories, I have mine.)

Jeff AlworthComment