Dismiss Notice
Extreme Beer Fest:Los Angeles

Join us December 9th in Los Angeles for the ultimate throwdown of craft beer creativity!

Learn more...
Dismiss Notice
Introducing: Project Extreme Brewing (a Dogfish Head + BeerAdvocate project)

News Great American Beer Festival (GABF): 2017 Winners List

Discussion in 'Beer News & Releases' started by Todd, Oct 7, 2017.

  1. Todd

    Todd Founder (5,527) Aug 23, 1996 California
    Staff Subscriber

    293 Professional Medals Awarded to 266 Breweries

    Boulder, Colo., October 7, 2017—The 2017 Great American Beer Festival (GABF) competition awarded 293 medals to some of the best commercial breweries in the United States, plus three GABF Pro-Am medals to teams of homebrewers paired with professionals. Presented by the Brewers Association (BA), GABF is the largest commercial beer competition in the world and the premier symbol of brewing excellence.

    Overview: Great American Beer Festival Competition

    In a ceremony at the Colorado Convention Center in Denver, award-winning breweries received prestigious gold, silver and bronze medals in 98 beer categories covering 161 different beer styles (including all subcategories), establishing the best examples of each style in the country.

    Winners were chosen out of 7,923 competition entries from 2,217 breweries in 50 states plus Washington, D.C. (a 15 percent and 24 percent increase respectively from the 7,301 entries and 1,783 breweries in 2016).

    The competition took place in six sessions over a period of three days and was judged by 276 beer experts from 13 countries, including the U.S. In addition to commercial brewery entries, the judging panel also evaluated 118 Pro-Am entries. The competition was made possible with the help of 365 volunteers.

    Read more: https://www.brewersassociation.org/press-releases/2017-great-american-beer-festival/

    Winners list: https://www.greatamericanbeerfestival.com/the-competition/winners/

    PDF: https://www.greatamericanbeerfestival.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/10/2017-GABF-Winners.pdf

     
  2. ZAP

    ZAP Poo-Bah (3,462) Dec 1, 2001 Minnesota

    JMN44 likes this.
  3. scream

    scream Disciple (396) Dec 6, 2014 Wisconsin

    Lot's of names I do not recognize. Is that because I am out of touch, or because of who chooses to go to GABF these days-I wonder.
     
  4. Lingenbrau

    Lingenbrau Poo-Bah (2,074) Apr 9, 2011 Oregon
    Beer Trader

    Pretty shocked Great Notion didn't medal anywhere. Love you anyhoo GN. See you in a few!
     
    Sabtos likes this.
  5. Retroman40

    Retroman40 Devotee (488) Dec 7, 2013 Florida

    After looking at the list there's one thing for sure - I'll never see 95+% of any of these great beers unless I do a serious road trip! Great to see the geographic diversity - congrats to all the winners!
     
    CSpoons and warrendietrich2001 like this.
  6. brentk56

    brentk56 Poo-Bah (8,237) May 13, 2004 North Carolina
    Subscriber Beer Trader

    It would really be interesting to see a list of the breweries that submitted entries. I didn't recognize a number of the winning breweries either and wondered whether some of the more recognizable names around here choose not to compete.
     
    cello, Andy311x, jmdrpi and 2 others like this.
  7. EnronCFO

    EnronCFO Devotee (496) Mar 29, 2007 Massachusetts
    Beer Trader

    You see diversity, I see massive west of the Mississippi bias.
     
  8. JBogan

    JBogan Champion (826) Jul 15, 2007 California

    I guess the judges, who come from all over the country and beyond and did the tasting blind, just thought the beers from west of the Mississippi were better for the most part.
     
  9. Bitterbill

    Bitterbill Poo-Bah (5,176) Sep 14, 2002 Wyoming
    Supporter Beer Trader

    Yay Wyoming!!
     
    SFACRKnight likes this.
  10. mcd432

    mcd432 Initiate (144) Jul 23, 2015 North Carolina
    Beer Trader

    I recognize that it doesn't answer your question about who, in total, chose to compete within a given style but it does detail who showed up (or planned to).

    https://www.greatamericanbeerfestival.com/breweries-beers/breweries-at-the-festival/

    It would seem that year over year the big hitters are sitting this one out which I guess is okay as judges don't need to deal with the psychological heft of a notable brewery when judging a beer. That would seem to further open the door to lesser known breweries.
     
  11. drtth

    drtth Poo-Bah (3,197) Nov 25, 2007 Pennsylvania

    Or more breweries east of the Miss. simply chose not to enter.
     
  12. JBogan

    JBogan Champion (826) Jul 15, 2007 California

    After taking a quick glance at the entrants list for this year that does not appear to be the case. I don't have time to do an actual count at the moment but it looks pretty evenly spread between west and east.
     
  13. drtth

    drtth Poo-Bah (3,197) Nov 25, 2007 Pennsylvania

    Where did you find the entrants list?
     
    #13 drtth, Oct 8, 2017
    Last edited: Oct 8, 2017
  14. drtth

    drtth Poo-Bah (3,197) Nov 25, 2007 Pennsylvania

    The judging is done blind so the judges have no psychological heft from knowing who brewed the beer(s) they are judging.
     
  15. JBogan

    JBogan Champion (826) Jul 15, 2007 California

  16. drtth

    drtth Poo-Bah (3,197) Nov 25, 2007 Pennsylvania

    Thanks, but I don't think that's the list of medal competitors though. I didn't count but it doesn't look to me like that list is anywhere near 2300+ breweries long. (The number of entrants in the competition for medals.)

    The Festival has two components, those who get a booth to pour their beers and meet the public and those who enter the competition. So there are lots of folks who enter the competiton who don't get booth space and there is no requirement that you enter the medal competition to have a booth on the exhibit floor for pouring samples, etc.

    Pretty sure that list is the folks who got to have a table in the great hall. (Notice the right hand column.)
     
    sharpski and JBogan like this.
  17. Bitterbill

    Bitterbill Poo-Bah (5,176) Sep 14, 2002 Wyoming
    Supporter Beer Trader

  18. drtth

    drtth Poo-Bah (3,197) Nov 25, 2007 Pennsylvania

    Remember, it isn't the list of medal competitors.
     
  19. hopfenunmaltz

    hopfenunmaltz Meyvn (1,301) Jun 8, 2005 Michigan

    jmdrpi and drtth like this.
  20. ShawnoftheD3ad

    ShawnoftheD3ad Initiate (183) Mar 20, 2016 Illinois
    Beer Trader

    Lol. Manta ray got gold for DIPA. Lol
     
  21. hopfenunmaltz

    hopfenunmaltz Meyvn (1,301) Jun 8, 2005 Michigan

    Some breweries don't enter. If you think your favorite brewery got shut out, ask them if they entered.

    The 4 states with the most are CA, WA, CO, OR, IIRC. CO breweries have the competition in their home state, so shipping will do minimal damage.
     
    SFACRKnight, jmdrpi and sharpski like this.
  22. Bitterbill

    Bitterbill Poo-Bah (5,176) Sep 14, 2002 Wyoming
    Supporter Beer Trader

    Melvin is on that list and they won 2 golds.
     
    SFACRKnight likes this.
  23. JBogan

    JBogan Champion (826) Jul 15, 2007 California

    Ok, thanks for clearing that up.
     
  24. mcd432

    mcd432 Initiate (144) Jul 23, 2015 North Carolina
    Beer Trader

    Agreed. But, you don't think these judges can tell when they are tasting one of the top rated beers from a more widely recognized brewery? My comment was simply intended to say that picking David over Goliath might be a bit of a tough call. Heck... It's Sunday and I must have too much good vs bad officiating on my mind?
     
    drtth likes this.
  25. drtth

    drtth Poo-Bah (3,197) Nov 25, 2007 Pennsylvania

    Yes, they were on that list because the got the opportunity to have a booth. (Notice the far right column.)
     
    Bitterbill likes this.
  26. hopfenunmaltz

    hopfenunmaltz Meyvn (1,301) Jun 8, 2005 Michigan

    @Bitterbill
    Rockford brewing won two medals and small Brewpub of the year. No booth at the festival, and no one was there to get the awards.
     
    jmdrpi and Bitterbill like this.
  27. cbcrunch

    cbcrunch Meyvn (1,106) Jan 21, 2012 Wyoming

    Melvin, Snake River, Black Tooth, and Cold Creek TAP are all medal winners.
    GO WYO!
     
    SFACRKnight, nc41, cavedave and 3 others like this.
  28. drtth

    drtth Poo-Bah (3,197) Nov 25, 2007 Pennsylvania

    Actually, having chatted with some judges about the procedure they follow, no I don't think they can "know." They can suspect all they want but that's not the same as knowing and the procedures are set up to reduce of eliminate any such effect. So they are all focused on sensory evaluation of the sample in front of them (and they also discuss their tasting results, etc.)

    The ratings on here are actually more biased in that most of us do know which beer we are reviewing and knowing the brewery can create a "halo" effect.
     
  29. JackHorzempa

    JackHorzempa Poo-Bah (3,017) Dec 15, 2005 Pennsylvania
    Supporter

    And the opposite effect as well. For example some BA reviewers may have a bias that a brewery from County A can not properly brew a Country B beer style.

    Cheers!
     
    stevesbeer, sharpski, drtth and 2 others like this.
  30. JackHorzempa

    JackHorzempa Poo-Bah (3,017) Dec 15, 2005 Pennsylvania
    Supporter

    An interesting observation concerning Category 95: Imperial Stout:

    Gold: The Russian, 2SP Brewing Co., Aston, PA

    Silver: Russian Imperial Stout, Iron Hill Brewery & Restaurant, Media, PA

    For many years Bob Barrar was the head brewer at Iron Hill – Media and he won several medals for his beer of Russian Imperial Stout. A couple of years ago he left Iron Hill to start (with others) 2SP Brewing Co. So this year Bob won Gold with his 2SP version of a Russian Imperial Stout and Iron Hill won Silver brewing Bob’s ‘old’ recipe. Bob and his Iron Hill associates must know how to (consistently) brew a hell of a RIS!

    Here is an interesting article from 2012 about Bob Barrar entitled “The Medal Machine”.

    Cheers to 2SP and Iron Hill for their brewing prowess!!
     
    Samlover55, meefmoff, Lucular and 8 others like this.
  31. mcd432

    mcd432 Initiate (144) Jul 23, 2015 North Carolina
    Beer Trader

    Informative and valid points, guys.
     
  32. JackHorzempa

    JackHorzempa Poo-Bah (3,017) Dec 15, 2005 Pennsylvania
    Supporter

    Metalsnota likes this.
  33. Oktoberfiesta

    Oktoberfiesta Aspirant (288) Nov 16, 2013 New Mexico
    Beer Trader

    No VT breweries? Someone mentioned shipping time and distance. it makes sense that this is geared toward the West of the Mississippi crowd. Quite a few obscure NM breweries entered and medaled (as well as those that werent as obscure that did NOTHING). So I guess it all balances out. Distance does help. The ones that won would never have entered if it was more than a 10 hour drive. The ones that didnt medal would likely have gone as far as 20 hours out of their way.The obscure Midwest and SW type breweries are winning out for SURE. Just the sheer volume of them.

    So many hyped breweries not there. I'm conflicted on so many levels. I like to see obscure beers win big awards and go onto bigger and better things. I also like to know what I am drinking isnt just hype.. That is never the case for so many of these IPA/DIPAss. I feel like I need some validation that Im not just drinking hype but these beers are never in competitions.

    I wanted manta ray but was just sitting at a February 25th bottling date at my area TW.

    I'm torn on what this is all about anymore
     
  34. hopfenunmaltz

    hopfenunmaltz Meyvn (1,301) Jun 8, 2005 Michigan

    I mentioned shipping time/distance. I think some of your post is tongue in check.

    If breweries were serious, they can minimize that with insulated packages, freezer packs in with the beer, and next day air. I’m sure there are those that do all of that. Hell, hombrewers like me go to lengths like me, well I use 2 day air for home brew comps far from home.

    Once the winners list can be sorted by state, it will be interesting to see which states did well.

    Oh, I think NM makes some great beer, and punches above its weight, so to speak. I will be there next month drinking some of those beers.
     
  35. Oktoberfiesta

    Oktoberfiesta Aspirant (288) Nov 16, 2013 New Mexico
    Beer Trader

    ^Hmm It was sortable by state for me yesterday.. Not so much today

    Nm took home 6 medals (they entered about 87 beers total). CO breweries must have entered at least 400 beers to get to their 38 total mark. Some general regions show less regard or need for these "medals" to show how "good" they are vs. other regions. So I get why some areas go about doing this.

    I am not trying to downgrade my entire state. I definitely agree we punch above our weight. But seeing some of the ones that DID medal, vs. the other 81 beers that did not makes me question a lot of things.

    Check out the SW forum if you need any tips or help.. BA ratings are a vague representation of what our overall scheme is all about.
     
  36. rgordon

    rgordon Crusader (725) Apr 26, 2012 North Carolina

    I would suppose that to be proprietary information and possibly unattainable. I would also suppose/suggest that this particular event means less every year. Things have truly changed.
     
    cavedave likes this.
  37. MissFeisty

    MissFeisty Initiate (147) Dec 18, 2012 California
    Beer Trader

    Is it really that difficult a concept to grasp that maybe hype breweries did enter their beers and the judges just couldn’t taste the scarcity?
     
    DISKORD, Leebo, josephhaugen and 8 others like this.
  38. MissFeisty

    MissFeisty Initiate (147) Dec 18, 2012 California
    Beer Trader

    Imagine a concept where the judges taste these beers blind and are not exposed to whether the brewery in question is independent or not. What a world.
     
    sgudino, stevesbeer, shand and 2 others like this.
  39. sharpski

    sharpski Champion (847) Oct 11, 2010 Oregon
    Beer Trader

    Why do you think it means less every year? I'd say blind tasting by qualified judges is more important than ever in recognizing brewing talent over marketing talent. A competition as large as GABF is still just a snapshot of the beers that were entered, and while I think their sample size is significant it's never going to include every single brewery. It's not perfect, but I think judged competitions are better than any of the alternatives.

    Full disclosure: I produce a beer competition.
     
    TomFoley, stevesbeer and MissFeisty like this.
  40. ShawnoftheD3ad

    ShawnoftheD3ad Initiate (183) Mar 20, 2016 Illinois
    Beer Trader

    Oh I know the rules. It's called sarcasm dear.
     
  • About Us

    Founded in Boston in 1996, BeerAdvocate (BA) is your go-to resource for beer powered by an independent community of enthusiasts and professionals dedicated to supporting and promoting better beer.

    Learn More
  • Our Community

    Comprised of consumers and industry professionals, many of whom started as members of this site, our community is one of the oldest, largest, and most respected beer communities online.
  • Our Events

    Since 2003 we've hosted over 60 world-class beer festivals to bring awareness to independent brewers and educate attendees.
  • Our Magazine

    Support uncompromising beer advocacy and award-winning, independent journalism with a print subscription to BeerAdvocate magazine.