Local Winners at the 2013 Great American Beer Festival

Local Winners at the 2013 Great American Beer Festival
The sampling glass for this year's one-ounce pours. Photo © Brewers Association

Last weekend the  32nd Annual Great American Beer Festival was staged by the Brewers Association at the Colorado Convention Center in Denver. As part of the festivities, the GABF hosted a judging of beers in 84 categories, representing 138 different beer styles. 201 beer experts from 11 countries evaluated 4,809 entries, and ended up awarding 252 medals.

Following is the breakdown of regional brewers who won medals.

Category 14: Experimental Beer, 66 Entries
Silver: Dragon’s Milk Reserve - Smaug’s Breath, New Holland Brewing Co., Holland, MI

Category 18: American-Belgo-Style Ale, 81 Entries
Gold: BrickStone Belgo-APA, BrickStone Brewery, Bourbonnais, IL

Category 21: Wood- and Barrel-Aged Beer, 49 Entries
Gold: Hellshire III, Oakshire Brewing, Eugene, OR (We like to mention this brewery because its brewmaster, Matt van Wyk was for some time the brewing wizard at Flossmoor Station.
Silver: Barrel-Aged Frostbite Lager, Ram Restaurant and Brewery, Wheeling, IL

Category 23: Wood- and Barrel-Aged Strong Stout, 89 Entries
Gold: Blot Out the Sun, Three Floyds Brewing Co., Munster, IN

Category 33: American-Style Lager or Light Lager, 42 Entries
Gold: Budweiser Select, Anheuser-Busch, St. Louis, MO
Silver: Miller High Life, Miller Brewing Co., Milwaukee, WI
Bronze: Special Export, Pabst Brewing Co., Los Angeles, CA

Category 34: American-Style Cream Ale, 37 Entries
Gold: Natural Ice, Anheuser-Busch, St. Louis, MO
Silver: Old Style, Pabst Brewing Co., Los Angeles, CA
Bronze: Rainier, Pabst Brewing Co., Los Angeles, CA

(I stuck these in as an example of the kind of category the "big boys" are allowed to win. And to point out the currently location of Old Style's owners, for those who still think of it as "Chicago's Beer." And I still say MillerCoors should be counted as being located in Chicago.)

Category 39: American-Style Dark Lager, 22 Entries
Silver: Leinenkugel’s Creamy Dark, Jacob Leinenkugel Brewing Co., Chippewa Falls, WI

Category 45: German-Style Kölsch, 60 Entries
Gold: Leinenkugel’s Canoe Paddler, Jacob Leinenkugel Brewing Co., Chippewa Falls, WI

Category 53: Imperial India Pale Ale, 149 Entries
Silver: Permanent Funeral, Three Floyds Brewing Co., Munster, IN

Category 66: South German-Style Hefeweizen, 77 Entries
Silver: Ebel’s Weiss, Two Brothers Brewing Co., Warrenville, IL

Category 67: German-Style Wheat Ale, 28 Entries
Silver: Bavarian Sun, Ram Restaurant and Brewery, Wheeling, IL

Overall, medals went to a lot of smaller brewers this year, many which would seem to be first-timers. You can download a PDF list of 2013 winner here, or go to an interactive database of winners throughout GABF history.


And what would a GABF be without a Chicago area resident winning the Samuel Adams LongShot American Homebrew Contest competition?

Cesar Marron of Evanston was named one of two homebrewing winner for his  Grätzer, a light, Polish smoked wheat beer and a traditional style that was added to the 2013 Beer Style Guidelines earlier this year. It's related to the better-know Göse, and Goose Island had a commercial version named Casimir on tap earlier this year.

Russ Brunner of Tamarac, FL was the other winning homebrewer, with an "American Stout." The winning Sam Adams employees was Teresa Bury’s Pineapple India Pale Ale, as in with real pineapples. The winning beers will be sized up for a LongShot sixpack to be distributed nationwide next year.

Marron is the third Chicago area resident to win a LongShot competition, joing Joe Formanek, who won in 2011, and Rodney Kibzey, who won in 2007 and again in 2010.

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