America’s Finest: The Country’s Best Beers Celebrated at 2019 Great American Beer Festival®

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318 medals awarded from 9,497 entries in world’s largest commercial beer competition

DENVER — The finest beers in America were celebrated today as the Brewers Association (BA) awarded 318 medals* to 283 breweries at the 2019 Great American Beer Festival (GABF) competition in Denver. Gold, silver, and bronze medals were awarded in 107 beer categories covering 174 different beer styles (including all subcategories), establishing the best examples of each style in the country.

In the 33rd edition of the most prestigious professional beer competition in the country, judges evaluated 9,497 entries from 2,295 breweries representing all 50 states plus Washington, D.C., Puerto Rico, and the Virgin Islands, along with 113 Pro-Am Competition and 70 Collaboration Competition entries. Judging took place over the course of three days, with awards presented at a ceremony held Saturday morning at the Colorado Convention Center in Denver.

“This year’s GABF competition was the largest and most competitive to date,” said Chris Swersey, competition manager, Great American Beer Festival. “The beers and talent were as impressive as ever, and we congratulate this year’s winners for their achievements in brewing.”

View the 2019 winners or download a PDF list of the winners.

GABF Competition Statistics

  • 33rd edition of the GABF competition
  • 9,497 entries plus 113 Pro-Am and 70 Collaboration entries
  • 2,295 breweries in the competition from all 50 states plus Washington, D.C., Puerto Rico, and the Virgin Islands
  • 322 judges from 18 countries
  • Average number of competition beers entered in each category: 88
  • Category with the highest number of entries: Juicy or Hazy India Pale Ale (348)
  • 283 medal-winning breweries (including Pro-Am and Collaboration)
  • 318 total medals awarded plus three (3) each for Pro-Am and Collaboration
  • 401 first-time GABF entrants
  • 37 first-time GABF winners

Most Entered Style Categories

The winners of the top five most-entered categories were:

Category 64: Juicy or Hazy India Pale Ale (348 entries)
GOLD: Old Irving Brewing Co., Beezer, Chicago, IL
SILVER: City Lights Brewing Co., Hazy IPA, Milwaukee, WI
BRONZE: Pond Farm Brewing Co., Devil’s Gulch, San Rafael, CA

Category 63: American-Style India Pale Ale (342 entries)
GOLD: Comrade Brewing Co., More Dodge Less RAM, Denver, CO
SILVER: Green Cheek Beer Co., Radiant Beauty, Orange, CA
BRONZE: Coronado Brewing Co. – Production Facility, Weekend Vibes IPA, San Diego, CA

Category 25: Fruited American-Style Sour Ale (215 entries)
GOLD: St. Elmo Brewing Co., Roxanne, Austin, TX
SILVER: Storm Peak Brewing Co., Hoochie Mama, Steamboat Springs, CO
BRONZE: Edmund’s Oast Brewing Co., Sour Blackberry Raspberry, Charleston, SC

Category 43: German-Style Pilsener (183 entries)
GOLD: Blind Owl Brewery, Parliament Drive, Indianapolis, IN
SILVER: Family Business Beer Co., Golden Age Pilsner, Dripping Springs, TX
BRONZE: Hardywood West Creek, Pils, Richmond, VA

Category 66: Imperial India Pale Ale (173 entries)
GOLD: Alvarado Street Brewery, Double Cone, Salinas, CA
SILVER: Westbound & Down Brewing Co., Westbound Double IPA, Idaho Springs, CO
BRONZE: Brew Hub, Sharrow, Lakeland, FL

Most Medaled Brewery

  • Rowley Farmhouse Ales, Santa Fe, NM – 3 medals
    • Bronze – Côte d’Or – Double Cerise, 27: Mixed-Culture Brett Beer
    • Silver – Agent Orange – Apple Brandy Barrel, 31: Wood- and Barrel-Aged Sour Beer
    • Gold – Meier, 80: German-Style Sour Ale

Brewery and Brewpub of the Year Awards

(See criteria here)

Packaging Breweries:

Very Small Brewing Company of the Year – Sponsored by Brewers Supply Group
<1,000 barrels produced in 2018
Brink Brewing Co. – Cincinnati, OH; Brewmaster: Brink Brew Crew

Small Brewing Company of the Year – Sponsored by ABS Commercial
1,000 – 14,999 barrels produced in 2018

Comrade Brewing Co. – Denver, CO; Brewmaster: Marks Lanham & David Lin

Mid-Size Brewing Company of the Year – Sponsored by MicroStar Logistics
15,000 – 6,000,000 barrels produced in 2018
Silver City Brewery – Bremerton, WA; Brewmaster: Silver City Brew Team


Small Brewpub of the Year – Sponsored by Briess Malt & Ingredients Co.
<750 barrels produced in 2018

Rowley Farmhouse Ales – Santa Fe, NM; Brewmaster: Rowley Farmhouse Ales

Mid-Size Brewpub of the Year – Sponsored by Brewers Supply Group
750 – 1,500 barrels produced in 2018

Westbound & Down Brewing Co. – Idaho Springs, CO; Brewmaster: Westbound & Down Brewery Team

Large Brewpub of the Year – Sponsored by The Country Malt Group
Over 1,500 barrels produced in 2018

Vintage Brewing Co. – Madison – Madison, WI; Brewmaster: Drinking Fresh Thinking

Large Breweries or Multiple Location Breweries:

Brewery Group of the Year – Sponsored by Live Oak Bank
Over 6,000,000 barrels produced in 2018 or multi-location breweries wishing to compete as a group

Kern River Brewing Co. – Kernville, CA; Brewmaster: KRBC Brew Team

Pro-Am Competition

Sponsored by Briess Malt & Ingredients Co., The Country Malt Group 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 their award-winning homebrew recipes. The medal winners, including the winning professional brewers and American Homebrewers Association (AHA) member homebrewers are:

GOLD: IMBĪB Custom Brews – Reno, NV
Distemper, Wood- and Barrel-Aged Sour Beer
Brewmaster: IMBĪB Custom Brews
Homebrewer: Lance Newlin

SILVER: Precarious Beer Project – Beer Hall – Williamsburg, VA
Leicht, Light Lager
Brewmaster: Greg Fleehart
Homebrewer: Joel Miller

BRONZE: New Belgium Brewing Co. – Fort Collins, CO
Chess with Checkers, Belgian- and French-Style Ale
Brewmaster: The Employee Owners of New Belgium
Homebrewer: Erich Purcell

Collaboration Competition

Medals were also awarded in the second annual GABF Collaboration Competition, which recognizes the collaborative spirit of the professional craft brewing community.

GOLD: Sun King Brewing Co. – Indianapolis, IN
Getting By on Central Time
Collaboration Brewery: Indiana Brewers Guild Beer Brigade

SILVER: Taft’s Brewing Co. – Cincinnati, OH
Are You Pricklish?
Collaboration Brewery: Against the Grain Brewing – Louisville, KY

BRONZE: Public Coast Brewing Co. – Cannon Beach, OR
Willie Big Dog
Collaboration Brewery: Big Dog’s Brewing Company – Las Vegas, NV

The 2019 Great American Beer Festival was made possible in part by the generous support of its sponsors.

Editor’s note: Photos for media use are available on the GABF website.

*Out of a possible 321 medals in 107 beer style categories, 318 were awarded. Gold medals were not given in Category 1, American-Style Wheat Beer, or Category 21, Historical Beer, and a bronze medal was not awarded in Category 65, Emerging India Pale Ale.

Contact: Calvin Bond (on behalf of the Brewers Association) 970-963-4873 x262

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 5,000-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 Cup®Great American Beer Festival®Craft Brewers Conference® & BrewExpo America®, SAVOR: An American Craft Beer & Food Experience, Homebrew ConNational Homebrew Competition and American Craft Beer Week®. The BA publishes The New Brewer® magazine, and Brewers Publications® is the leading publisher of brewing literature in the U.S. Beer lovers are invited to learn more about the dynamic world of craft beer at® and about homebrewing via the BA’s American Homebrewers Association® and the free Brew Guru® mobile app. Follow us on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

The Brewers Association is an equal opportunity employer and does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, national origin, gender, religion, age, disability, political beliefs, sexual orientation, or marital/familial status. The BA complies with provisions of Executive Order 11246 and the rules, regulations, and relevant orders of the Secretary of Labor.

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