Best in Show: The Year’s Best Beers Honored at 2018 Great American Beer Festival

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306 medals recognizing brewing excellence awarded to 280 breweries

DENVER • September 22, 2018 — The Brewers Association (BA) awarded 306 medals to 280 breweries across the United States at the 2018 Great American Beer Festival (GABF) competition. In a ceremony at the Colorado Convention Center in Denver, award-winning breweries received prestigious gold, silver and bronze medals in 102 beer categories covering 167 different beer styles (including all subcategories), establishing the best examples of each style in the country and earning a symbol of brewing excellence.

View the 2018 winners or download a PDF list of the winners.

GABF Competition Statistics

  • 32nd edition of the GABF competition
  • 8,496 entries plus 101 Pro-Am and 49 Collaboration entries
  • 2,404 breweries in the competition from 49 states plus Washington, D.C. (no Mississippi)
  • 293 judges from 13 countries
  • Average number of competition beers entered in each category: 83
  • Category with the highest number of entries: Juicy or Hazy India Pale Ale (391 entries)
  • 280 medal-winning breweries (including Pro-Am and Collaboration)
  • 306 total medals awarded plus three (3) each for Pro-Am and Collaboration
  • 537 first-time GABF entrants
  • 31 first-time GABF winners

Great American Beer Festival Awards 2018

Most-Entered Style Categories

In its GABF competition debut, the Juicy or Hazy India Pale Ale style category was the most-entered with 391 entries. Since 2002, the most-entered category was American-Style India Pale Ale (IPA), which saw 311 entries in 2018.

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

Category 63: Juicy or Hazy India Pale Ale (391 entries)

  • GOLD: Alarmist Brewing – Le Jus, Chicago, IL
  • SILVER: Kros Strain Brewing Co., Fairy Nectar London Double Dry Hopped – La Vista, NE
  • BRONZE: Eris Brewery and Cider House, Foiken Haze – Chicago, IL

Category 62: American-Style India Pale Ale (311 entries)

  • GOLD: Root Down Brewing Co. – Bine, Phoenixville, PA
  • SILVER: Appalachian Mountain Brewery, Portsmouth, Not an IPA (P.S. it’s an IPA) – Portsmouth, NH
  • BRONZE: Green Cheek Beer Co. – West Coast IPA is Dead! – Orange, CA

Category 29: Wood- and Barrel-Aged Strong Stout (177 entries)

  • GOLD: Against the Grain Brewery, 70K Amburana – Louisville, KY
  • SILVER: Kane Brewing, A Night to End All Dawns – Ocean, NJ
  • BRONZE: FiftyFifty Brewing Co., Eclipse – Truckee, CA

Category 59: American-Style Pale Ale (170 entries)

  • GOLD: Ocean Beach Brewery – B.Right On Pale Ale – San Diego, CA
  • SILVER: Ventura Coast Brewing Co. – Neighborhood – Ventura, CA
  • BRONZE: Maplewood Brewing Co. – Charlatan – Chicago, IL

Category: 28 Wood- and Barrel-Aged Strong Beer (162 entries)

  • GOLD: Drake’s Brewing Co. – Santa’s Brass – San Leandro, CA
  • SILVER: The Wrecking Bar Brewpub, Willett Barrel-Aged Ye Old Sprinklerhead Barleywine – Atlanta, GA
  • BRONZE: Revolution Brewing, Straight Jacket – Chicago, IL

Great American Beer Festival Awards 2018

New Competition Categories

In addition to Juicy or Hazy IPA, the following categories were also new to the competition this year:

Category 60: Juicy or Hazy Pale Ale (132 entries)

  • GOLD: Tin Roof Brewing Co., Voodoo – Baton Rouge, LA
  • SILVER: Kings Brewing Co., Sippin on Dank – Rancho Cucamonga, CA
  • BRONZE: Fiction Beer Co., Madame Psychosis – Denver, CO

Category 65: Juicy or Hazy Imperial or Double India Pale Ale (150 entries)

  • GOLD: Black Market Brewing Co., New England Style Double IPA – Temecula, CA
  • SILVER: Corridor Brewery & Provisions, Color of Life – Chicago, IL
  • BRONZE: Alvarado Street Brewery, Contains No Juice – Salinas, CA

Category 35: American-Style Pilsener: (91 entries)

  • GOLD: The Austin Beer Garden Brewing Co., Rocket 100 – Austin, TX
  • SILVER: Wolverine State Brewing Co., NZ Pils – Ann Arbor, MI
  • BRONZE: The Post Brewing Co., Howdy Beer – Lafayette, CO

Category 57: Australian-Style Pale Ale (46 entries)

  • GOLD: Butcherknife Brewing Co., Sunshine Express – Steamboat Springs, CO
  • SILVER: Worthy Brewing Co., Strata IPA – Bend, OR
  • BRONZE: Austin Beerworks, Flavor Country – Austin, TX

Great American Beer Festival Awards 2018

Most Medaled Breweries

Most medals won by a single brewery: 3

  • 10 Barrel Brewing Co., Bend, OR – 3 medals
    • GOLD – Baywindow, category 77: Berliner-Style Weisse
    • GOLD – Passionate Envy, category 4: Fruit Wheat Beer
    • SILVER – P2P, category 96: American-Style Stout
  • Alesong Brewing and Blending, Eugene, OR – 3 medals
    • SILVER – Terroir Pinot Noir, category 19: Experimental Beer
    • SILVER – Terroir Pinot Gris, category 25: Brett Beer
    • BRONZE – Touch of Brett Mandarina, category 25: Brett Beer
  • Lewis & Clark Brewing Co., Helena, MT – 3 medals
    • GOLD – Miner’s Gold, category 2 American-Style Wheat Beer with Yeast
    • SILVER – Pompey’s Pilsner, category 42 Bohemian-Style Pilsener
    • BRONZE – Prickly Pear, category 55 Classic English-Style Pale Ale

Brewery and Brewer 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 2017

Brink Brewing Co. – Cincinnati, OH; Brewmaster: Kelly Montgomery


Small Brewing Company of the Year – Sponsored by ABS Commercial

1,000 – 14,999 barrels produced in 2017

Lewis & Clark Brewing Co. – Helena, MT; Brewmaster: Lewis & Clark Brewing and Packaging Crew


Mid-Size Brewing Company of the Year – Sponsored by MicroStar Logistics

15,000 – 6,000,000 barrels produced in 2017

pFriem Family Brewers – Hood River, OR; Brewmaster: pFriem Family Brewers



Small Brewpub of the Year – Sponsored by Briess Malt & Ingredients

<750 barrels produced in 2017

Ocean Beach Brewery – San Diego, CA; Brewmaster: Jim Millea & Scott Watkins


Mid-Size Brewpub of the Year – Sponsored by Brewers Supply Group

750 – 1,500 barrels produced in 2017

Root Down Brewing Co. – Phoenixville, PA; Brewmaster: Root Down Brew Team


Large Brewpub of the Year – Sponsored by The Country Malt Group

Over 1,500 barrels produced in 2017

The Austin Beer Garden Brewing Co. – Austin, TX; Brewmaster: Amos Swifty Kim


Large Breweries or Multiple Location Breweries

Brewery Group of the Year – Sponsored by Live Oak Bank

Over 6,000,000 barrels produced in 2017 or multi-location breweries wishing to compete as a group

FiftyFifty Brewing Co. – Truckee, CA; Brewmaster: FiftyFifty BrewCrew

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: Little Harpeth Brewing Co. – Nashville, TN

  • Deer Crossing, Munich-Style Helles Lager
  • Brewmaster: Jesse Brown and Mike Onofray
  • Homebrewer: Chris Allen

SILVER: Rock Bottom Brewery – Warrenville, IL

  • Gone for a Burton, English-Style Brown Ale
  • Brewmaster: Erik Pizer
  • Homebrewer: Jim Todd

BRONZE: Cheluna Brewing Co. – Aurora, CO

  • La Bomba; Belgian-Style Pale Strong Ale
  • Brewmaster: Jennifer Perez
  • Homebrewer: Chris Cardillo

Collaboration Competition

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

GOLD: New Belgium Brewing Co. – Ft. Collins, CO

  • TransAtlantique Kriek
  • Collaboration Brewery: Oud Beersel – Beersel, Belgium

SILVER: Firestone Walker Barrelworks – Buellton, CA

  • Pixie Dusted
  • Collaboration Brewery: Firestone Walker Brewing Co. – Paso Robles, CA

BRONZE: Quarter Celtic Brewpub – Albuquerque, NM

  • Mocha Hipster Bomb
  • Collaboration Brewery: Palmer Brewery and Cider House – Albuquerque, NM

GABF Statistics

  • 37th anniversary of the festival
  • Over 800 breweries in expanded festival hall
  • 4,000+ beers served at the festival
  • 62,000 attendees
  • 4,086 volunteers (festival and competition combined)
  • 584,000 square feet of festival hall

The 2018 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.



Abby Cohen, on behalf of the Brewers Association, (646) 695-7044

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




About the Brewers Association

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