The 35th Great American Beer Festival (GABF) returned in person this year for the world’s largest commercial beer competition. Awards were handed out to 265 breweries across the country at a ceremony held in Denver, Colo. as part of the Craft Brewers Conference.
A total of 2,192 breweries from all 50 States (including Washington D.C. and Puerto Rico) entered the competition portion of the festival. Over the course of 17 days, a record 9,680 entries were judged based on a set of criteria. Overall, 290 medals were given out in the gold, silver, and bronze categories.
While the festival portion of the event could not take place due to the pandemic, heightened health and safety precautions were in place during the judging process. The ceremony was also live-streamed for fans who could not attend the awards in person.
“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,” competition director Chris Swersey stated in a press release. “Judges continue to be impressed with the quality and innovation of all entries they evaluated […] We look forward to celebrating in person together next year.”
GABF judges selected the standout beers from 97 categories and 175 beer styles. Like last year, the Juicy or Hazy India Pale Ale category saw the most entries (427), followed by American-Style India Pale Ale (404).
The winners of each category can be found below.
Juicy or Hazy India Pale Ale (427 entries)
- Gold: DeadHead IPA Series: TourBus – DESTIHL Brewery, Normal, Ill.
- Silver: Art is Hard – North Park Beer Co., San Diego, Calif.
- Bronze: Blissed – Attitude Brewing Co., San Diego, Calif.
American-Style India Pale Ale (404 entries)
- Gold: Volatile Substance – Von Ebert Brewing – Pearl, Portland, Ore.
- Silver: JAF IPA – JAFB Wooster Brewery, Wooster, Ohio
- Bronze: Bullitt – All Season Brewing Co., Los Angeles, Calif.
Fruited American Sour Ale (249 entries)
- Gold: Sherbet Drip – Fall River Brewing Co., Redding, Calif.
- Silver: Tropical Hurt Locker – Short Fuse Brewing Co., Schiller Park, Ill.
- Bronze: Rasmine – Lynnwood Brewing Concern, Raleigh, N.C.
German-Style Wheat Ale (226 entries)
- Gold: Hefeweizen – JAFB Wooster Brewery, Wooster, Ohio
- Silver: Küsterer Original Weissbier – Cedar Springs Brewing Co., Cedar Springs, Mich.
- Bronze: Hazy Skies Hefeweizen – Pilot Brewing Co., Charlotte, N.C.
German-Style Pilsner (210 entries)
- Gold: Meanwhile Pilsner – Meanwhile Brewing Co., Austin, Texas
- Silver: Rail Pass – Bingo Beer Co., Richmond, Va.
- Bronze: Golem Czech Pils – Gemüt Biergarten, Columbus, Ohio
Moontown Brewing Co. in Whitestown, Ind. took home three medals — the most won by an individual brewery. Overall, 15 breweries won two medals and the GABF saw 30 first-time entrants win awards (up from 19 last year).
The full list of GABF 2021 winners can be found here.