Brewers Take Home Top Honors at the 2017 Great American Beer Festival®

293 Professional Medals Awarded to 266 Breweries

Boulder, Colo., October 7, 2017—The 2017 Great American Beer Festival (GABF) competition awarded 293 medals to some of the best commercial breweries in the United States, plus three GABF Pro-Am medals to teams of homebrewers paired with professionals. Presented by the Brewers Association (BA), GABF is the largest commercial beer competition in the world and the premier symbol of brewing excellence.

View the 2017 winners or download a PDF list of the winners

Overview: Great American Beer Festival Competition

In a ceremony at the Colorado Convention Center in Denver, award-winning breweries received prestigious gold, silver and bronze medals in 98 beer categories covering 161 different beer styles (including all subcategories), establishing the best examples of each style in the country.

2017 Great American Beer Festival Winners

Winners were chosen out of 7,923 competition entries from 2,217 breweries in 50 states plus Washington, D.C. (a 15 percent and 24 percent increase respectively from the 7,301 entries and 1,783 breweries in 2016).

The competition took place in six sessions over a period of three days and was judged by 276 beer experts from 13 countries, including the U.S. In addition to commercial brewery entries, the judging panel also evaluated 118 Pro-Am entries. The competition was made possible with the help of 365 volunteers.

2017 Brewery and Brewer of the Year Awards

Packaging Breweries

Very Small Brewing Company and Very Small Brewing Company Brewer of the Year  | <1,000 BBLS

Sponsored by Brewers Supply Group

  • On Tour Brewing Co., Chicago, IL
  • Mark Poffenberger & Mark Legenza

Small Brewing Company and Small Brewing Company Brewer of the Year | 1,000 – 14,999 BBLS

Sponsored by O-I

  • Sunriver Brewing, Sunriver, OR
  • Sunriver Brewing Team

Mid-Size Brewing Company and Mid-Size Brewing Company Brewer of the Year | 15,000 – 6,000,000 BBLS

Sponsored by MicroStar Logistics

  • Saint Arnold Brewing Co., Houston, TX
  • Saint Arnold Brew Crew

Brewpubs

Small Brewpub and Brewmaster of the Year | <750 BBLS

Sponsored by Briess Malt & Ingredients

  • Rockford Brewing Co., Rockford, MI
  • Rockford Brewing Company

Mid-Size Brewpub and Brewmaster of the Year | 750 – 1,500 BBLS

Sponsored by Brewers Supply Group

  • Moon River Brewing Co., Savannah, GA
  • Moon River Brewing Company

Large Brewpub and Brewmaster of the Year | 1,500+ BBLS

Sponsored by The Country Malt Group

  • The Austin Beer Garden Brewing Co., Austin, TX
  • Amos Swifty Kim

Brewery Group and Brewmaster of the Year

Sponsored by Beer Institute

  • Melvin Brewing, Alpine, WY
  • Melvin Brewing
2017 Great American Beer Festival Winners

Overall Competition Highlights

  • Most medals won by a single brewery: Saint Arnold Brewing Co. – 3 medals
  • Top three states by ratio of medals to entries by state:
    • Wyoming – 46 entries, 5 medals
    • Connecticut – 39 entries, 4 medals
    • Missouri- 91 entries, 8 medals
  • First-time GABF competition entrants (self-identified during the registration process) numbered 584. Of those first-time entering breweries, 36 won medals.

Style Categories

Since 2002, the most-entered category has been American-Style India Pale Ale (IPA), which saw 408 entries in 2017 compared to 312 entries in 2016. The top five entered categories and number of entries per category were:

  • Category 60 American-Style India Pale Ale (408 entries)
  • Category 61 Imperial India Pale Ale (221 entries)
  • Category 58 American-Style Pale Ale (199 entries)
  • Category 59 American-Style Strong Pale Ale (182 entries)
  • Category 29 Wood- and Barrel-Aged Strong Beer (175 entries)

The winners in the most-entered (that is, the most competitive) categories were:

Category 60 American-Style India Pale Ale (408 entries)

  • Gold: Prairie Madness, Hailstorm Brewing Co., Tinley Park, IL
  • Silver: Gold Digger IPA, Auburn Alehouse, Auburn, CA
  • Bronze: Breakside IPA, Breakside Brewery & Taproom, Milwaukie, OR

Category 61 Imperial India Pale Ale (221 entries)

  • Gold: Manta Ray, Ballast Point Brewing Co., San Diego, CA
  • Silver: Lupulin River, Knee Deep Brewing Co., Auburn, CA
  • Bronze: Chux, Danville Brewing Co., Danville, CA

Category 58 American-Style Pale Ale (199 entries)

  • Gold: Monterey Street, Central Coast Brewing Co., San Luis Obispo, CA
  • Silver: Mosaic Pale Ale, Lynnwood Brewing Concern – Production Facility; Raleigh, NC
  • Bronze: Triple Tail, SweetWater Brewing Co., Atlanta, GA

Category 59 American-Style Strong Pale Ale (182 entries)

  • Gold: Hubert MPA, Melvin Brewing, Alpine, WY
  • Silver: Wolfback Ridge, Headlands Brewing Co., Mill Valley, CA
  • Bronze: Breakside Stay West, Breakside Brewery + Beer Hall, Portland, OR

Category 29 Wood- and Barrel-Aged Strong Beer (175 entries)

  • Gold: Hurly Burly Port Barrel Aged Barleywine, Out of Bounds Brewing Co., Rocklin, CA
  • Silver: Woods Monk, Odyssey Beerwerks, Arvada, CO
  • Bronze: Barrel Aged Barleywine, Charleville Vineyard & Microbrewery, Sainte Genevieve, MO
2017 Great American Beer Festival Winners

2017 Great American Beer Festival Pro-Am Competition

Sponsored by Briess Malt & Ingredients Co., The Country Malt Group, Yakima Chief-Hopunion and White Labs

Gold, silver and bronze medals were also awarded in the GABF Pro-Am competition, which pairs homebrewers with professional brewers, who scale up the award-winning homebrew recipes. The medal winners, including the winning professional brewers and American Homebrewers Association (AHA) member homebrewers are:

  • Gold: Just Another Pretty Face, Denver Beer Co., Denver, CO Brewmaster: Jason Buehler and Denver Beer Company Brewing Team; Homebrewer: Doug Thiel
  • Silver: Lichtenhainer, Black Bottle Brewery, Fort Collins, CO Brewmaster: Black Bottle Scuba Squad;  Homebrewer: Daniel Tomkins
  • Bronze: Eluxansis, Odell Brewing Co., Fort Collins, CO Brewmaster:  Odell Brew Team; Homebrewer: Mark Boelman

Summary: 2017 Great American Beer Festival Statistics

  • 36th anniversary of the festival; 31st edition of the GABF competition
  • Over 800 breweries in the festival hall
  • 3,900+ beers served at the festival
  • 60,000 attendees
  • 4,308 volunteers (festival and competition combined)
  • 2,217 breweries in the competition from 50 states plus Washington, D.C.
  • 266 medal-winning breweries
  • 293 total medals awarded
  • 7,923 beers judged (not including 118 Pro-Am competition entries)
  • 98 beer categories covering 161 different beer styles judged, plus the Pro-Am competition
  • 276 judges from 13 different countries
  • Average number of competition beers entered in each category: 81
  • Category with the highest number of entries: American-Style India Pale Ale
  • A gold medal was not awarded in the Fruited American-Style Sour Ale category

2017 Great American Beer Festival Official Sponsors

  • MicroStar Logistics
  • Red Robin Gourmet Burgers and Brews
  • CraftBeer.com
  • Dickie’s
  • Yard House

Additional sponsor information can be viewed on the festival website.

Photos for media use are available on the GABF website.

Contact:

Ann Obenchain, Marketing Director, Brewers Association, (303) 447-0816

Matt Sutton, on behalf of the Brewers Association, (212) 255-8478.

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About the Brewers Association

The Brewers Association (BA) is the not-for-profit trade association dedicated to small and independent American brewers, their beers and the community of brewing enthusiasts. The BA represents 4,000-plus U.S. breweries. The BA’s independent craft brewer seal is a widely adopted symbol that differentiates beers by small and independent craft brewers. The BA organizes events including the World Beer CupGreat American Beer Festival®Craft Brewers Conference & BrewExpo America®SAVOR: An American Craft Beer & Food ExperienceHomebrew ConNational Homebrew Competition and American Craft Beer Week®. The BA publishes The New Brewer® magazine, and Brewers Publications is the largest publisher of brewing literature in the U.S.

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