Tag Archives: GABF ProAm

Virginia’s Devil’s Backbone wins again at GABF, MillerCoor’s AC Golden Brewing unit also a winner

gabf_medalsBy Alan J. Wax

Top honors at this year’s Great American Beer Festival went to AC Golden Brewing, Devils Backbone Brewing Co.-Outpost, Marble Brewery and Draught Works, each of which medaled in multiple categories.

Meanwhile, brewpubs receiving top honors were Beachwood BBQ & Brewing Beach, Brasserie Saint James and Bastone Brewery.

The winners, announced at the festival in Denver on Oct. 4, emerged from a pool of 5,507 individual commercial beer entries and 89 Pro-Am entries. A total of 268 medals were awarded.

The awards, among the most coveted in the brewing industry, often are compared to winning the Super Bowl or medaling in the Olympics. Winning a medal often translates into higher sales for the winners, if not prestige.

This year, the awards recognized a new category of brewer with the “Very Small Brewing Company and Very Small Brewing Company Brewer Award going to Draught Works, of Missoula, Montana, and its brew team.  The brewery won gold with its Scepter Head in the American Strong Ale Category.

Marble Brewery, of Albuquerque, New Mexico, and its brewing team received the awards for Small Brewing Company and Small Brewing Company Brewer of the Year.  It won gold in the Other Strong Beer Category with its Double White and gold in the Imperial Red Category with its Imperial Red.

The Mid-Size Brewing Company and Mid-Size Brewing Company Brewer of the Year awards went to Devil’s Backbone Brewing Co. – Outpost, of Lexington, Virginia, www.dbbrewingcompany.com/theoutpost.aspx and its brewery team. The 15,000-square-foot Outpost is the newest addition to the Devils Backbone brewing group, which also received awards at the GABF in 2013 and 2012. Outpost took gold in the Germany-Style Schwartz Beer Category with its Schwartz Beer and silver in the Bock and American-style dark lager categories, respectively with its Turbo Cougar and Old Virginia Dark.

The award for Large Brewing Company and Large Brewing Company Brewer of the Year went to AC Golden, of Golden, Colorado, and the AC Golden Brewing Team, which took gold and silver in the American-style Amber Lager Category with its Colorado Native Amber and its Colorado Native Golden, respectively. AC Golden is the development brewing operation of MillerCoors.

Bastone Brewery, of Royal Oak, Michigan, and its brewer, Rockne Van Meter, won honors for Small Brewpub and Small Brewpub Brewer of the Year. The brewpub took a silver medal in the Wood and Barrel Aged Beer Category with its Private Stock  #472 and silver in the Belgian-style Strong Specialty Ale Category with its Thor’s Hammer.

Brasserie Saint James, of Reno, Nevada, and brewers Josh Watterson and Matt Watterson won for Mid-Size Brewpub of the Year and brewer. The brewpub took a gold for its Daily Wages brew in the French-Belgian style Saison category. Its specialty is Belgian-style beer.

The Large Brewpub and Large Brewpub Brewer of the Year award honors went to Beachwood BBQ & Brewing, Long Beach, California and brewers Julian Shrago and Ian McCall. The brewpub’s Mocha Machine took gold in the Coffee Beer Category and its Un Atout won gold in the French-Belgian style Saison Category.

Beachwood BBQ & Brewing, Long Beach, California and brewers Julian Shrago and Ian McCall. The brewpub’s Mocha Machine took gold in the Coffee Beer Category and its Un Atout won gold in the French-Belgian style Saison Category.

Bonnie Prince Charlie’s Scottish 80 Shilling, brewed by Bear Republic Brewing Co. of Healdsburg, California, won the gold in the ProAm competition, which pairs amateur brewers with professional brewers, who scale up the award-winning homebrew recipes. The winning team included Bear Republic brewmaster Richard Norgrove, and AHA member Michael Kelly. Silver went to Spencer Pale Ale, from Kokopelli Beer Co., of Westminster, Colorado, which paired its brew team AHA Member Daniel Christensen. Bronze was awarded to I Wanna Rauch!, Springfield Brewing Co., of Springfield, Missouri, brewed by brewmasters Ashton Lewis and Bruce Johnson, and AHA member Keith Wallis

Industry professionals—222 from 10 countries— judged the competition. They worked together in small groups and, without knowing the brand name, tasted beers in each of 145 specified style categories.

A list of the winners is available on festival’s web site.

Fifty-two first-time entering breweries won awards in the competition and four breweries tied for most medals won, with three medals each: 10 Barrel Brewing Co., Bend Oregon; Barley Brown’s Brew Pub, Baker, Oregon; Devils Backbone Brewing Co.–Outpost, Lexington, Va.; and Left Hand Brewing Co., Longmont, Colorado.

Since 2002, the most-entered category has been American-Style India Pale Ale (IPA), which saw 279 entries in 2014. This year’s gold medalist was Breakside IPA from the Breakside Brewery in Milwaukee, Oregon.

This year’s competition featured three new categories: Belgian-Style Fruit Beer, with 41 entries; Historical Beer, with 12 entries; and Kuyt Beer, which had no entries

Industry professionals—222 from 10 countries— judged the competition. They worked together in small groups and, without knowing the brand name, tasted beers in each of 145 specified style categories.

 

 

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