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GABF Winners: Rants n Raves

Discussion in 'Beer Talk' started by beertunes, Oct 13, 2012.

  1. wd09601

    wd09601 Aficionado (135) Maryland Jul 29, 2012

    These guys just started a few months ago. Winning gold isn't too shabby.
    Category: 64 German-Style Altbier, 35 Entries
    Gold: Balt Altbier, Union Craft Brewing Co., Baltimore, MD
     
    beandip and DRBiser like this.
  2. I enjoy seeing my local win a medal, but I am surprised they have never one with one of their sours. Not sure what they enter every year either.
     
  3. yazoo hefe got a bronze, which i'm happy about. also, the isle of sky took silver for a red ale. both are locals for me and well liked
     
  4. miketd

    miketd Advocate (510) Ohio Mar 2, 2006

    I remember trying Red Hook Treblehook because it took a medal at GABF. Figured I would hate it, but it was pretty good.

    I know these awards are big for the brewers. I was at Fat Head's yesterday when Alpenglow won Silver and you would have thought the Browns won a superbowl by the way the owners and head brewer reacted.
     
  5. Corbet

    Corbet Savant (330) Michigan Nov 7, 2010

    Really? You've never tried to track down a beer after you heard it won an award and never heard of it?
     
  6. SalukiAlum

    SalukiAlum Advocate (530) Colorado Dec 19, 2010

    I have tracked down some and wondered how they won an award :)
     
  7. kzoobrew

    kzoobrew Champion (840) Michigan May 8, 2006

    I may have at some point in my younger days, if so I cannot recall. After having enough "award winning beers" you realize that it has nothing to do with comparative "quality" or your own tastes. I see little reason to use medals as my basis for purchase.
     
  8. StubFaceJoe

    StubFaceJoe Initiate (0) Colorado Nov 24, 2011

    The Alstrom Bros. did stop at Yak and Yeti on this trip to CO. I think it may really help the WAY smaller breweries/pubs.
     
  9. Never. It's one contest with one set of judges tasting samples. Any result can come out of that type of scenario, and it often leaves one scratching their head.
     
  10. the categoriesstyles are kind of a joke, i mean a pale ale(zombie dust) was awarded in a IPA
     
  11. kzoobrew

    kzoobrew Champion (840) Michigan May 8, 2006

    Medals are great for advertising and publicity. Notable people visiting a brewery or drinking a beer can be useful as well. If you have a good understanding of breweries, styles and your own tastes than medals really do not have any importance to you.
     
  12. kzoobrew

    kzoobrew Champion (840) Michigan May 8, 2006

    Zombie Dust won as an APA, though style guidelines place it in an IPA category.
     
  13. If they use the BJCP standards, every part of Zombie Dust fits in as an IPA

    Vital Statistics:
    OG: 1.056 – 1.075
    IBUs: 40 – 70 FG: 1.010 – 1.018
    SRM: 6 – 15 ABV: 5.5 – 7.5%
     
    nanobrew likes this.
  14. so what does that say about the categories?
     
  15. The only rant I'd like to offer that hasn't already been mentioned is Leinenkugel's Summer Shandy winning a silver for Fruit Wheat Beer. Gimme a break.
     
  16. Keffa

    Keffa Advocate (505) Ohio Jan 8, 2009

    Maybe because it's entered into a category, and the judges are supposed to score it based on the style guidelines of the category it's entered into. The first beer I brewed was a pale ale recipe, but because of several "mistakes" it ended up almost 6.5%, almost orange, and very IPA like. When I had Jay at Weasel Boy try it, he told me "Whatever you do, if you enter that recipe into any competitions, don't enter it as a Pale Ale. They'll rip your score apart if you do. Enter it as an IPA, and it won't be docked as much." Maybe Three Floyds entered it as an APA and just didn't give a shit that it didn't fit the style guidelines, who knows? Obviously the judges liked it...
     
  17. They don't use BJCP guidelines, as those are for homebrewing competitions. Can't blame the BJCP for these styles.

    The GABF uses guidelines from the brewers association. You can download the pdf from this page. The brewery can enter where they think they can do best.
    http://www.greatamericanbeerfestival.com/brewers/beer-styles/
     

  18. does zombie dust fit in the GABF of apa?
     
  19. No, at 6.4% it fits into the IPA category, but just barely. GABF=6.37.5% ABV.
     
  20. Food is excellent, beer is good but not noteworthy.
     
    chanokokoro likes this.
  21. dirtylou

    dirtylou Champion (785) Washington May 12, 2005

    There is nothing less meaningful than winning a GABF medal
     
  22. aasher

    aasher Champion (900) Indiana Jan 27, 2010

    The few beers from Destihl that I've had were excelleent. Is that bottled?
     
  23. I would agree with you if it weren't for the likelihood that these medals are awarded more on the basis of politics than the objective opinion of the panel of judges. That being said, I too love The Bruery and don't really care what the critics have to say about them.
     
  24. gustogasmic

    gustogasmic Savant (295) Michigan Jan 13, 2012

    Yeah! I was about to post this in the "Beer you'll never drink again" forum!
     
    JWU likes this.
  25. ThickNStout

    ThickNStout Savant (495) Georgia Mar 8, 2011

    Absolutely true!
     
  26. No beers qualified for Gold - it happens occasionally.
     
  27. Keffa

    Keffa Advocate (505) Ohio Jan 8, 2009

    So what politics would explain Weasel Boy winning for their Russian Imperial Stout? I mean seriously, a brewery from a town less than 30k people, who are on a system that's less than 15 barrels. Give me a break.
     
    fickenmeimirish likes this.
  28. Spider889

    Spider889 Advocate (650) Ohio Mar 24, 2010

    Just to make a few points to those who are complaining for various reasons...
    • Beers are rated to style. Not the style in your head or what's printed on the label, but the style guidelines set forth by the brewers association in the category the brewery decides to enter their beer into. This means that the best tasting DIPA you ever had should win gold in your eyes, but if it doesn't fit the parameters of the style it can't win.
    • Your favorite beer from your favorite brewery didn't win. You're sick and pissed off over it. We get it, but that doesn't make it the winner or the best. I'd wager that No One (other than the judges) has tried every beer entered in a given category. Some little brewpub you never heard of is just as capable of brewing the best IPA in the world as FW or FFF or whomever you like.
    • Beers that pass each round of judging must be re-judged in subsequent rounds. The gold medalists aren't based on a single desensitized sip.
    • Not every brewery in the country entered beers, and not every beer they make is entered. Look up the entries before fretting that the most-hyped whale didn't get a medal.
    • A brewery doesn't have to pour their entries on the floor of the fest. If they do, they don't have to pour every entry. But from what I understand, every beer poured on the floor was entered for competition.
    • Some beers are so unique that they are tough to hide identity, but realistically, for 99.9999% of the entries, how can politics possibly decide a winner over multiple blind tastings by multiple trained judges?
    Not trying to pick a fight with anyone, but please just understand the nature of the competition. There are countless other factors that might have affected your hometown favorite's chances that I can't possibly name such as freshness, ability to travel, random unknowns such as carbonation issues/infection/etc in single bottles - homebrewers know what that's like, etc, etc, etc.

    The main thing to take away from this is that there's a ton of amazing beer out there that we haven't even tried yet or heard of yet. Talented brewers dot the country, even where most of us would never expect - WY anyone?

    I got to see the awards firsthand and it was inspiring to see how proud these brewers are of their product. You may not think the awards are meaningful, but they were enough to bring the likes of Jim Koch, Tomme Arthur, and Kim Jordan down on stage to proudly wear their brewery's medals.

    I say congratulations to all of the winners! And if after all of this you're still sore about it, I'll be waitin'! ;) Or to be better put, sit back with your favorite beer (winner or no) and enjoy it for what you see in it.
     
  29. match1112

    match1112 Initiate (0) Illinois Mar 2, 2011



    Nope, they don't bottle anything yet, but they have label designs for everything so something might be in the works.
     
  30. erway

    erway Aficionado (220) New Mexico Jul 28, 2006

    That is one hell of a charge and quite frankly a direct slap in the face of Brewers Association and a man (Charlie Papazian) who is more responsible for the success of craft brewing than any other single person. It's also a slap in the face of the judges (of which I am proud to be) who give up 4 of their days to spend in a brightly lit room tirelessly critiquing over 4,000 beers. And really, you think the BA really gives a crap about a nano in Jackson enough to give it 3 medals even though it didn't even pay to be on the floor? Likewise with Church. And Shiner? You really think they want to champion Shiner? Common.
     
    Vav, Errto, fickenmeimirish and 4 others like this.
  31. DSlim71

    DSlim71 Savant (495) New Jersey Mar 3, 2010

    I didn't look through the whole thread but is there any more info on the BS Gold?
     
  32. Rempo

    Rempo Initiate (0) Indiana Jan 18, 2010

  33. bmony

    bmony Initiate (0) Wisconsin Jan 27, 2011

    I was happy to see Central Waters won a gold for their anniversary beer 1414!!
     
  34. You have already been set straight by a good Craft brewer who has won medals, and is a judge - the post by Jeff Erway above.

    You need to realize that the judges and organizers would try to keep it all on the up and up, or no one would be entering.

    Edit - We were out with some friends on Saturday, they had been out to Yellowstone and the Tetons, and were talking about a little Thai place that made some good beer for in house sales. Thai Me Up. Said, just heard about this one today, and it wins a bunch of medals.
     
  35. DSlim71

    DSlim71 Savant (495) New Jersey Mar 3, 2010

  36. Thumbs up to the Philly guys.

    Enjoy
     
  37. joeebbs

    joeebbs Savant (360) Pennsylvania Apr 29, 2009

    I feel like this is a thread that happens every year.
     
    NotACommunist likes this.
  38. All judging is done blind. The judges do not know what beer they are tasting so how can politics come into play?

    I believe the format is the judging panel gets a certain number of unidentified beers of a specific style, they select the best few and those move on to the next round and there are multiple panels and rounds until the finals where they have to select the top 3 for medals.
     
  39. mikeyrb1

    mikeyrb1 Zealot (75) Colorado Feb 15, 2011

    The real winner is the consumers. Over four thousand beers from 666 breweries, and you are bummed that your local brewery didn't win? Yeah, guess what, there are a lot of great beers that didn't win, but their brewers aren't crying in their beer, instead, they are congratulating their colleagues on a job well done and going back home to brew more great beer for their fans.
     
  40. nanobrew

    nanobrew Initiate (0) California Dec 31, 2008

    maybe beer geeks don't buy more of GABF winners (though I am guessing there is now more interest in Thai Me Up brewery), but I know since Pizza Port Ocean beach won a bunch of medals in 2010 and 2011 they have had to brew a lot more of those beers. Which has been limiting (somewhat, they now have 6 wet hop ales on) other things they can brew.
     

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