Great breweries that never or rarely medal at GABF

Discussion in 'Beer Talk' started by ifnkovhg, Oct 8, 2019.

  1. ifnkovhg

    ifnkovhg Initiate (183) Aug 12, 2008 California

    Does anyone have a favorite brewery that they feel deserves more awards than it receives?
     
  2. ScaryEd

    ScaryEd Poo-Bah (1,943) Feb 19, 2012 New Hampshire

    Well Tree House never even enters so does that count?
     
  3. JackHorzempa

    JackHorzempa Poo-Bah (4,150) Dec 15, 2005 Pennsylvania
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    @ScaryEd wins a gold star here.

    You have to enter to win. Only the Brewers Association folks and the individual breweries know who entered beers into the GABF competition.

    The reason that beer brand x from brewery y did not win a medal could simply be because they chose to not enter this beer into the GABF competition.

    Cheers!
     
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  4. Bitterbill

    Bitterbill Poo-Bah (6,827) Sep 14, 2002 Wyoming
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    What Jack and Ed said. Of course, we aren't privy to all the breweries that sent in submissions...
     
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  5. honkey

    honkey Zealot (569) Aug 28, 2010 Arizona
    Society Industry

    Plus, even if you do know what was entered, not winning a medal shouldn’t “take away” from the beer. I got shut out on medals this year, but I have a high degree of confidence in the quality of the 5 beers I submitted this year. I can’t wait to see the judge’s comments and compare them to the countless other blind tastings we utilize on a regular basis
     
  6. ifnkovhg

    ifnkovhg Initiate (183) Aug 12, 2008 California

    Huh. I did not know that. Thanks!
     
  7. JackHorzempa

    JackHorzempa Poo-Bah (4,150) Dec 15, 2005 Pennsylvania
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    In the past how closely did beer competition feedback mirror the evaluations of the other blind tastings you conducted?

    Cheers!
     
  8. Domingo

    Domingo Poo-Bah (2,618) Apr 23, 2005 Colorado
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    Beyond the luck involved we don't always know who got close but didn't medal. The breweries are alerted if they reach the medal table and sometimes a place might end up on the medal table for a bunch of beers. I know of at least one place that ended up in that situation. After 1-3, most of us don't know who got 4th vs. 204th.
     
  9. Bitterbill

    Bitterbill Poo-Bah (6,827) Sep 14, 2002 Wyoming
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    Sorry I don't know but which brewery are you associated with?
     
  10. honkey

    honkey Zealot (569) Aug 28, 2010 Arizona
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    It depends on the type of tasting. The ones where we are using BJCP judges and judging to style are pretty consistent. It’s a bit hard to say since with GABF you don’t get a numerical score. You get a comment card along with a sliding scale for attributes saying wether the beer is true to style for each attribute. One of the beers we entered (German style Pils) can be divisive since it is more aromatic than a lot of judges believe Pils should be and some judges think it’s a great example... interpretation of the style guideline is a major factor in these competitions.

    Frequently, our beers are not brewed to fit a guideline and our blind tastings that are focused only on favoritism can have very different results than our “style” tastings.
     
  11. honkey

    honkey Zealot (569) Aug 28, 2010 Arizona
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    Tombstone Brewing Company
     
  12. JackHorzempa

    JackHorzempa Poo-Bah (4,150) Dec 15, 2005 Pennsylvania
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    It will be interesting to read what they have to say here. Firestone Walker has won four medals for Pivo Pils in past GABF competitions and that beer is quite aromatic (when fresh).

    How would you personally describe the aroma of your German Pilsner?

    Cheers!
     
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  13. honkey

    honkey Zealot (569) Aug 28, 2010 Arizona
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    Augustiner Pils was my favorite Pils in Germany. According to one of my professors, it is hop bursted with Mittelfreu... so I started with that as a base and dry hopped with Saphir, the same dry hop used in Pivo if that gives a clue as to the hop profile you’d expect. I think of it as being very floral with a hint of lemongrass. It is a little more estery than some German pilseners because we use yeast that was propagated from Augustiner and the strain is known for its estery profile. I seem to recall that you’re familiar with that strain...?
     
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  14. honkey

    honkey Zealot (569) Aug 28, 2010 Arizona
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    Of the beers that medaled in that category, I have only had the Hardywood and I would agree that it’s a world class Pils... It’s frequently available at Quarterdeck in D.C. and I’m there a couple times a year. I love that beer. It tastes a little more malty sweet and features bittering hops much more than the Pils I submitted. It’s a different approach within the same category.
     
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  15. MNAle

    MNAle Poo-Bah (1,561) Sep 6, 2011 Minnesota
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    Summarizing, we don't know who entered, but if your favorite did not win a medal, it can ONLY be because they did not enter.

    :grin:
     
  16. Dan_K

    Dan_K Zealot (508) Nov 8, 2013 Colorado
    Trader

    I've been told by various people that "no one cares" about GABF medals/ awards. Clearly some people do, but it doesn't usually translate into hype.
     
  17. MNAle

    MNAle Poo-Bah (1,561) Sep 6, 2011 Minnesota
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    Sounds like something someone who doesn't win would say... :wink:
     
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  18. Bitterbill

    Bitterbill Poo-Bah (6,827) Sep 14, 2002 Wyoming
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    Lol! Sarcasm at its best.
     
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  19. TheIPAHunter

    TheIPAHunter Poo-Bah (2,094) Aug 12, 2007 Pennsylvania
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    If Tree House entered and didn't win in the hazy category, it would deliver a blow to their brand. That is why they will NEVER enter. That said, I love their beers.
     
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  20. Bitterbill

    Bitterbill Poo-Bah (6,827) Sep 14, 2002 Wyoming
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    With an average of 4.5 for their beers on BA, I doubt that there would be a blow to their reputation. Shrugs.
     
  21. TheIPAHunter

    TheIPAHunter Poo-Bah (2,094) Aug 12, 2007 Pennsylvania
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    I've been drinking their beers from the very beginning. I will say this: One thing I've found from the hype breweries is that they don't enter competitions. Look at Heady. Legendary. Kimmich's wife flat-out told me they had no interest. I think there is more to what I'm saying than you realize. But peace, brother.
     
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  22. honkey

    honkey Zealot (569) Aug 28, 2010 Arizona
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    I can tell you that as a brewer that entered and wasn’t awarded this year, I care... If no one cared, brewers wouldn’t enter. A lot of styles don’t translate into hype, but a win is something to be proud of. Not winning though is nothing to be ashamed of... maybe with a different panel or different order of appearance, the results would be different... maybe your beer truly isn’t deserving of consideration... either way, you get feedback by entering the competition and you can use those results to make changes if necessary or stay the course if that’s what customers want.
     
  23. Bitterbill

    Bitterbill Poo-Bah (6,827) Sep 14, 2002 Wyoming
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    If they did enter beers and only come away with, say, a bronze, would you think any less of them because judges at a beerfest judged them less than what you expected?
    I know that I have disagreed with their assessment of beers; take Black Tooth Saddle Bronc Brown for example. I have never come to terms with them listing it as a Dark Mild! The whole system has its flaws imho.
     
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  24. TheIPAHunter

    TheIPAHunter Poo-Bah (2,094) Aug 12, 2007 Pennsylvania
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    No, I would not. That said, we live in a world that relies on media for their information. For people that have never had it before, yes, it would damage their brand.
     
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  25. TheIPAHunter

    TheIPAHunter Poo-Bah (2,094) Aug 12, 2007 Pennsylvania
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    I love this. I truly do. I want to drink beers from people that are passionate about putting out the best product possible. Cheers!!!
     
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  26. TongoRad

    TongoRad Poo-Bah (2,647) Jun 3, 2004 New Jersey
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    That sounds awesome! Wooly Pig in OH uses that strain, and their Helles is probably the best US brewed version I've had. Definitely brings Augustiner to mind, too; not just the esters but that "fresh mountain air" sulfury compound, as soon as you pop the cap. I'm sure it's even better in a Pils.
     
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  27. MNAle

    MNAle Poo-Bah (1,561) Sep 6, 2011 Minnesota
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    They (if you mean the BA) didn't list it as such... that was the style the brewer entered the beer to compete it. The tastings are blind, so the judges were only going by their interpretation of the style guidelines and the beer's implementation of that style.
     
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  28. Bitterbill

    Bitterbill Poo-Bah (6,827) Sep 14, 2002 Wyoming
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    I don't know.
    I see a lot of bronze metals garnered by outstanding breweries that don't seem to suffer at all from their "lowly" placing. A GABF can't break you if your beers are appreciated by the vast majority of drinkers. Jmho.
     
  29. TheIPAHunter

    TheIPAHunter Poo-Bah (2,094) Aug 12, 2007 Pennsylvania
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    I have a feeling that Tree House wouldn't even medal. Call me crazy. And I love their beers.
     
  30. Bitterbill

    Bitterbill Poo-Bah (6,827) Sep 14, 2002 Wyoming
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    Yeah but Black Tooth Saddle Bronc Brown is listed as an English Brown Ale on their website.

    https://www.blacktoothbrewingcompany.com/the-beer/

    Why was it entered as a Dark Mild?
     
  31. drtth

    drtth Poo-Bah (4,006) Nov 25, 2007 Pennsylvania

    Ask the Brewer. It was their decision.
     
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  32. Bitterbill

    Bitterbill Poo-Bah (6,827) Sep 14, 2002 Wyoming
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    I reckon that I will do that.

    And I posted that query on their Facebook page.
     
    #32 Bitterbill, Oct 9, 2019 at 12:34 AM
    Last edited: Oct 9, 2019 at 12:41 AM
  33. drtth

    drtth Poo-Bah (4,006) Nov 25, 2007 Pennsylvania

    Only way you'll find out for sure.
     
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  34. ScaryEd

    ScaryEd Poo-Bah (1,943) Feb 19, 2012 New Hampshire

    I'll have you know I brewed an amazing hoppy lager in my garage. I didn't enter, but I am 100% confident that if I did, I would have been asked firmly to never send another beer in again.
     
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  35. Bitterbill

    Bitterbill Poo-Bah (6,827) Sep 14, 2002 Wyoming
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    I don't really expect an answer because of their past track record when I asked them a question but who knows?
     
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  36. JackHorzempa

    JackHorzempa Poo-Bah (4,150) Dec 15, 2005 Pennsylvania
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    No, I have never brewed with the Augustiner strain. I have read that Wyeast provides this strain as a PC strain but it has never been available when I brewed my lagers.

    I suppose that Imperial Yeast makes this strain available now? I have only brewed with Imperial Yeast strains a handful of times.

    Cheers!
     
  37. JackHorzempa

    JackHorzempa Poo-Bah (4,150) Dec 15, 2005 Pennsylvania
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    I have had the Hardywood Pils a number of times and while I have enjoyed drinking those draft pints this was never a 'favorite' Pils for my palate. I suppose I am spoiled by the wealth of riches brewed locally - both commercially and in my homebrewery.

    I have only had the pleasure of drinking fresh Pivo Pils a few times (3 times?) and I am a HUGE fan of this beer when fresh. I enjoy Pivo Pils when it is a bit older (e.g., over 1-2 months old) but I much prefer it when it is very fresh. It seems to me the aromatics of this beer fall off rather quickly in this beer.

    Cheers!
     
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  38. hopfenunmaltz

    hopfenunmaltz Meyvn (1,464) Jun 8, 2005 Michigan

    Imperial Harvest is said to be Augustiner's lager strain. I used it on a Helles last year, liked it.
     
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  39. VitisVinifera

    VitisVinifera Initiate (124) Feb 25, 2013 California

    Right, lots of breweries don't enter. Or maybe they just do while they are starting up, looking for a few nice results to get some exposure, then don't need to do so any more. Or maybe they don't while they are starting up, because it's expensive, and if they do win a big award, they'll sell out of the tiny amount they have available that they would have sold anyways. Or, it could be top-notch breweries, where if they get a bronze but some start up gets the gold in the same category, it actually makes them look bad.

    Similar things happen in the wine industry with wine comps. It's very often not a smart decision to enter, or there's just not enough upside to make it worth it, and there are many reasons for this.
     
  40. Ranbot

    Ranbot Champion (875) Nov 27, 2006 Pennsylvania
    Society

    See also Hill Farmstead, Alchemist, Other Half, Tired Hands, Russian River, etc. If you are already king of the mountain entering in these competitions doesn't get you any higher if you win, but a loss could cause you to slip.
     
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