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Sunday, September 27, 2009

GABF Winners Announced

The Great American Brewers Festival announced winners of 237 medals yesterday. As usual, host state Colorado won the most (45). California, the most-breweried state, finished second with 39. [Correction: California, by dint of its huge brewery advantage, has edged Colorado the last ten years.] Oregon came in third with 22. Washington (13) and Pennsylvania (12) rounded out the top five.

There were a mind-boggling 3300 entries this year. In the next few days, I'll repeat last year's exercise of doing a tally of how states did relative to the number of breweries participated. For now, here are Oregon's winners:

10 Barrel
S1NIST0R Black Ale
Bronze Out of Category
Barley Brown's
Shredders Wheat
Silver AmericanWheat Beer
Barley Brown's
Tumble Off Pale Ale
Bronze American Pale Ale
Bend Brewing
Outback X
Silver Old/Strong Ale
Cascade BreweryBourbonic Plague
Gold Barrel-Aged Sour Beer
Cascade Brewery
Vlad the Imp Aler
Silver Barrel-Aged Sour Beer
Deschutes BreweryMirror Pond Pale Ale
Silver English Style Pale Ale
Deschutes BreweryBlack Butte Porter
Bronze Brown Porter
Deschutes BreweryDeschutes Brewery Quad
Bronze Abbey Ale
Full Sail
Session Black

Gold American-Style Dark Lager
Organic Ace of Spades

Gold Imperial IPA
Organic Rise Up Red
Gold American Amber
Laurelwood .Space Stout
Gold Foreign Style Stout
Organic Deranger Imperial Red
Bronze Imperial Red Ale
OakshireOvercast Espresso Stout
Silver Coffee Flavored Beer
Kiwanda Cream Ale
Silver Golden Ale
Surfer's Summer Ale
Silver English Summer Ale
PelicanMacPelican's Wee Heavy Ale
Bronze Scotch Ale
Rogue AlesImperial Chocolate Stout
Silver Herb/Spice/Chocolate Beer
Rogue AlesMocha Porter
Silver Robust Porter
W '10
Gold Out of Category
Silver American Wheat Beer

The whole list of winners is here.

Update. Widmer and 10 Barrel both won medals in a category labeled, mysteriously, "Out of Category - Traditionally Brewed Beer." If you share my interest in that style, I'll reproduce the guideline here. Full descriptions of every style can be found here.
"There are many excellent and popular ales and lagers that are brewed with mostly traditional ingredients and processes, yet their character may vary from styles currently defined or included in these competition guidelines. For example a brewer may formulate a dark stout but may use lager yeast rather than ale yeast, and/or may dry hop with hops more typically used for German-style pilsener. Or perhaps a beer falls out of the color, alcohol or bitterness range of defined styles. This category recognizes undefined beers. They may be light or dark, strong or weak, hoppy or not hoppy. For purposes of this competition, judges recognize that these beers may or may not be highly experimental, but rather may differ subtly from other established guidelines. To allow for accurate judging the brewer must identify the classic or traditional style being elaborated on by name or category number, and the ingredient(s) and/or process(es) by which the entry differs from the classic style. Beer entries not accompanied by this information will be at a disadvantage during judging."

Update #2. A number of breweries won multiple medals, but those that won three or more medal and multiple golds were few. The beeg winners: Chuckanut (WA), 4 medals/2 gold; Flying Dog (MD), 4 medals/3 gold; and Pizza Port (Carlsbad, CA), 7 medals/4 gold. That Pizza Port total is eye-popping, but there's more. Pizza Port has San Clemente and Solana Beach locations, and they both won a gold apiece. Total Pizza Port take: 9 medals, six of the gold. That's a hell of a year.

In the "failed to meet expectation" camp, I would include Sierra Nevada and Boston Beer, who both won just a single medal each. SN took gold for their Kolsch and Boston Beer a silver for their doppelbock.

Update #3. MacTarnahan's took gold in the English Pale category. As strange as that is, this is even stranger (but in a different way): the flagship brew of erstwhile Portland Brewing was listed under Pyramid's tally, as a Washington brewery. Get used to this kind of cognitive dissonance: as consolidation continues in the craft world, we're going to see a lot of strange stuff like this. In this case, a beer brewed in a state and sold there is credited as a win for another state by virtue of being owned by a larger, out-of-state brewery. At least they let Widmer stand as its own brewery, and credited it as an Oregon concern.