Great American Beer Fest

Sunday, September 27, 2009

The Great American Beer Fest, held in Denver, Colorado, broke all the records again this year. Besides for thousands of people enjoying thousands of great beers, there is a nation-wide brewing competition. This is the country's premier brewing competition, and the gold medal winners have plenty of bragging rights.

First, some general stats:
**457 breweries in the festival hall
**2,100 beers served at the festival
**49,000 attendees (includes brewers, volunteers and ticket holders)
**3,000 volunteers
**495 breweries in the competition
**3,308 beers judged in the competition
**78 categories judged + Pro-Am category
**132 judges from ten countries (I wasn't one of them this year :( ...)
**Average number of competition beers entered in each category: 42
**Category with highest number of entries: 134, American Style India Pale Ale

The largest competition I have ever judged had 950 entries; a far cry from 3,308! It took from 9 until 6 to judge 950 beers with 50 judges and even then we were being pushed a bit. Good thing it takes more than 1 day to judge!

Michigan constituted 4% of all beers entered in the competition (138 entries), and 4% of all the winners (9 winners) putting our fine state in 6th place overall. Not too bad, given beer giants Colorado (45 winners), California (39), Oregon (22), Washington (13) and Pennsylvania (12) were ahead of us.

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
Flying Dog Brewery, Frederick, MD; Robert Malone

Small Brewing Company and Small Brewing Company Brewer of the Year
Dry Dock Brewing Company, Aurora, CO; Dry Dock Brewing Team

Large Brewpub and Large Brewpub Brewer of the Year
Pizza Port Carlsbad, Carlsbad, CA; Pizza Port Brew Guys

Small Brewpub and Small Brewpub Brewer of the Year
Chuckanut Brewery, Bellingham, WA; Will Kemper

Instead of listing all winners, wich would be an unnecessarily long post, just go here.

But I do want to post the Michigan winners, so for your enjoyment, here's the pride of Michigan:

"Session Beer" Bronze Medal: Bam Biere from Jolly Pumpkin in Dexter.

"Experimental Beer" Silver Medal: Bloody Beer from Shorts Brewing Co. in Bellaire.

"Wood and Barrel-Aged Strong Beer" Gold Medal: Cereal Killer from Arcadia Brewing Company in Battle Creek.

"Bohemian Style Pilsner" Bronze Medal: Bells' Lager Beer from Bells in Kalamazoo.

"Saison" Bronze Medal: Saison Du Bastone from Bastone Brewery in Royal Oak.

"Belgian-Style Lambic" Silver Medal: Red Rock from Big Rock Chop House in Birmingham.

"Robust Porter" Bronze Medal: Pirate's Porter from Black Forest Brew Haus and Grill in Frankenmuth.

"Sweet Stout" Silver Medal: Cream Stout from Redwood Brewing Company in Flint.

"Old/Strong Ale" Bronze Medal: Dementia Old Ale from Kuhnhenn's in Warren.

Congrats to our Michigan winners! Be sure to patronize these breweries and give a nod to the fine brewers there.


steves 2:14 PM  

Which of those is available locally (Lansing)?

Smitty 7:44 AM  

Oades typically carries Cereal Killer, Bam Biere and Bell's Lager. Check their Belgian Fridge to see if they carry Bastone yet.

For everything else, take the day trip to drink their stuff. Redwood Lodge was last year's Small Brewery winner.

Sopor 7:31 PM  

Bastone bottles? Cool, did not know that!

Man some Dementia would be nice right now. This is TOTALLY barleywine weather. I'm drinking a Pilgrim's Dole right now...

steves 7:58 PM  

For everything else, take the day trip to drink their stuff.

A hard sell in my family, as I am the only one who likes beer.

Bob 7:40 AM  

"A hard sell in my family, as I am the only one who likes beer."


Sopor 7:46 AM  

Then perhaps a group road-trip is on order!

Bob 9:11 AM  

"Then perhaps a group road-trip is on order!"

We have discussed a ATK road trip. Not a bad idea.

steves 3:36 PM  

Count me in.

leighton 7:39 PM  

I tried to get tickets to this, but they had sold out before I could get my order in. I went to the Oktoberfest-in-September street fair instead, which as usual was a disappointment.

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