The Great American Beer Festival (GABF) Competition continued its record setting ways, crushing last year's entries by 16%. GABF remains the largest commercial beer competition in the world with 3,308 entries.
Colorado and California typically dominate the competition each year for the most medals won by each state, with Colorado breweries and brewpubs coming out ahead for 2009.
The top five medal winning states were: CO (45), CA (39), OR (22), WA (13), PA (12).
The GABF competition attracted 132 international beer judges from ten countries. Award-winning brewers received prestigious gold, silver and bronze medals in 78 beer categories, establishing the best examples of each style in the U.S.
2009 Brewery and Brewer of the Year Awards:
Large Brewing Company and Large Brewing Company Brewer of the Year
Coors Brewing Company, Golden, CO; Dr. David Ryder
Mid-Size Brewing Company and Mid-Size Brewing Company Brewer of the Year
Sponsored by Crosby & Baker Ltd.
Flying Dog Brewery, Frederick, MD; Robert Malone
Small Brewing Company and Small Brewing Company Brewer of the Year
Sponsored by Microstar Keg Management
Dry Dock Brewing Company, Aurora, CO; Dry Dock Brewing Team
Large Brewpub and Large Brewpub Brewer of the Year
Sponsored by Brewers Supply Group
Pizza Port Carlsbad, Carlsbad, CA; Pizza Port Brew Guys
Small Brewpub and Small Brewpub Brewer of the Year
Sponsored by Briess Malt & Ingredients Co.
Chuckanut Brewery, Bellingham, WA; Will Kemper
The most competitive category was American Style India Pale Ale with 134 entries. The gold medal went to Firestone Walker Brewing Co., Paso Robles, CA for Union Jack for the second straight year. The second most hotly contested category was Wood- and Barrel-Aged Strong Beer with 110 entries (up from 79 in 2008). The gold medal went to Arcadia Brewing Co., Battle Creek, MI for Cereal Killer Barleywine.
Great American Beer Festival 2009 Statistics:
457 breweries in the festival hall
2,100 beers served at the festival
49,000 attendees (includes brewers, volunteers and ticket holders)
495 breweries in the competition
3,308 beers judged in the competition
78 categories judged + Pro-Am category
132 judges from ten countries
Average number of competition beers entered in each category: 42
Category with highest number of entries: 134, American Style India Pale Ale