Last week brewers and the people who love them descended upon Denver from all over the country. The Great American Beer Festival is a “hoptastic” event that features 600 breweries and over 2800 beers. This beer fest is so big it’s in the Guinness Book of World Records!
One of the biggest compenents of this festival is the competition. A panel of professional judges awards bronze, silver, and gold medals for excellence in 84 beer-style categories. It’s a tough contest and not every style will have medal-winning beers if the judges don’t feel that the best in a particular category is an excellent representative.
Beer styles range from the traditional, like American-Style or International-Style Pilsener and Dortmunder or German-style Oktoberfest, to categories like Wood- and Barrel-Aged Beers, Smoke Beer, and Pumpkin Beer. There’s even a category for Gluten-Free Beer!
This year Chicago-area breweries brought home a few medals. See who won, and then pick some up and try them for yourself!
- Beer: Defender
- Brewery: Haymarket Pub & Brewery
- Category: American-Style Stout
- Beer: Sour Beer #2
- Brewery: Two Brothers Brewing Company
- Category: Wood- and Barrel-Aged Sour Beer
- Beer: Heyoka
- Brewery: Half Acre Beer Company
- Category: American-Style India Pale Ale
- Beer: Gatecrasher IPA
- Brewery: Temperance Beer Company
- Category: English-Style India Pale Ale
- Beer: 5 Rabbit Golden Ale
- Brewery: 5 Rabbit Cerveceria
- Category: Golden or Blonde Ale
- Beer: White Eagle Smoked Wheat
- Brewery: RAM Restaurant & Brewery, Schaumburg
- Category: Historical Beer
- Beer: Shadow of the Moon Imperial Stout
- Brewery: Flossmoor Station Brewing Co.
- Category: Other Strong Beer
- Beer: 18th Rebellion
- Brewery: Horse Thief Hollow
- Category: Kellerbier or Zwickelbier
Photo courtesy Great American Beer Festival