Benefit For Pete’s Sake At Spartan Stadium In San Jose

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You may not have heard the name of Peter Cogan. He’s not a household name, not a rock star brewer and does not make a point of making sure people know who he is. He just does his job, and makes things happen. Born in England, Peter has been helping promote the beer scene in the South Bay as long as anybody can remember and has been working for Hermitage Brewing and the Tied House in Mountain View since 1990. He also helped launch the beerfest there, one of the biggest and most important early Bay Area beer festivals.

Peter Cogan, from the Tied House
Peter Cogan in 2009.

So what does that have to do with a beer festival on November 19 called “For Pete’s Sake?” Well, recently Peter was diagnosed with cancer, specifically lymphoma, and is undergoing chemotherapy treatment to beat back his cancer. For Pete’s Sake is a benefit to the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society (LLS), and also for Peter. Take my word for it, Peter is a great person and if there’s any stranger you help this year, let it be him. But besides a great cause, it should be a great time, too.

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Your ticket includes admission to see the San Jose Spartans play Air Force in college football, plus a beer festival with unlimited samples from at least twenty local breweries. This all takes place on Saturday, November 19, 2016 at Spartan Stadium, located at 1257 South 7th Street, CEFCU Stadium, in San Jose. The brewfest starts and 2:30 PM and lasts for four hours, until 6:30 PM. Then at 7:30 PM, the game kicks off, and you’ll have a seat on the 50 to 30 yard line. Tickets are $40 in advance, and $50 on the day of the event. Tickets are available online. Use the promo code “FORPETESSAKE2016.” Visit the For Pete’s Sake Brewfest webpage for all of the details.

So even if you’ve never met Peter, if you’ve ever enjoyed a craft beer in the Bay Area, you probably owe him at least a small debt of gratitude. And what better way to thank him then to attend a beer festival and drink some more beer and have a great time. Is that too much to ask? Let’s all help Peter beat cancer.

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Peter, with Steve Donohue, now with Santa Clara Valley Brewing, at the 21st Celebrator Anniversary Party.

GABF Awards 2016

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On Saturday, October 8, the winners of the 34th Great American Beer Festival were announced. A record 7,227 beers were judged in 96 categories by 264 judges, of which I was again privileged to be one. First, here’s some statistics about the festival:

  • 35th anniversary of the festival; 30th edition of the GABF competition
  • 780 breweries in the festival hall
  • 3,800+ beers served at the festival
  • 60,000 attendees
  • 3,600 volunteers (festival and competition combined)
  • 1,752 breweries in the competition from 50 states plus Washington, D.C.
  • 254 medal-winning breweries
  • 286 total medals awarded
  • 7,227 beers judged (not including 88 Pro-Am competition entries), a nearly 9 percent increase over 2015
  • 96 style categories judged, plus the Pro-Am competition
  • 264 judges from 12 different countries
  • Average number of competition beers entered in each category: 75 (excludes Pro-Am beers)
  • Category with highest number of entries: American-Style India Pale Ale: 312

This year’s GABF competition saw seven new style categories:

  • Pumpkin/Squash Beer (category 6)
  • Four new historical beer categories were added: Finnish Sahti, Swedish Gotlandsricke, and Pale and Dark Breslau Schoeps (categories 21e, 21f, 21g, 21h)
  • German Leichtbier (category 36c)
  • Specialty Saison (category 79)

Since 2002, the most-entered category has been American-Style India Pale Ale (IPA), which saw 312 entries in 2016 compared to 336 entries in 2015.The top five entered categories were:

  1. American-Style India Pale Ale (312 entries)
  2. Imperial India Pale Ale (211 entries)
  3. American-Style Strong Pale Ale (169 entries)
  4. Coffee Beer (168 entries)
  5. Wood- and Barrel-Aged Strong Beer (159 entries)

gabf-medals

Only one brewery won 4 medals (Überbrew), but three won 3 (Brown Truck, Fat Head’s, Karl Strauss). By ratio, Wyoming did best (45 entries and 5 medals) for .111. In second was Hawaii (28 entries and 3 medals) with .107 and third was Virginia (200 entries and 14 medals) with .07. 464 breweries entered the competition for the first time, and of those, 41 won a medal.

Medals Won by State:

  1. California = 68
  2. Colorado = 38
  3. Oregon = 21
  4. North Carolina = 17
  5. Washington = 14
  6. TIE: Illinois / Virginia = 13
  7. TIE: Michigan / Texas = 10
  8. Ohio = 8
  9. Pennsylvania = 7
  10. TIE: Montana / New Mexico = 6

In addition two states won 6, two won 5 and three won 4. Two won 3 medals, 10 won 2, and 7 won a single medal. Thirteen states, plus DC, did not win a medal.

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The 2016 Great American Beer Festival Winners

Category 1: American-Style Wheat Beer – 37 Entries
Gold: Tumblewheat, Altitude Chophouse and Brewery, Laramie, WY
Silver: Shredder’s Wheat, Barley Brown’s Beer, Baker City, OR
Bronze: Flash Bang, Excel Brewing Co., Breese, IL

Category 2: American-Style Wheat Beer With Yeast – 31 Entries
Gold: White Noise, Überbrew, Billings, MT
Silver: Medley of Moods, Gibb’s Hundred Brewing Co., Greensboro, NC
Bronze: Boulder Bend Dunkelweizen, Fish Brewing Co., Olympia, WA

Category 3: American-Style Fruit Beer – 106 Entries
Gold: Slingback, High Heel Brewing, St. Louis, MO
Silver: Miss IPPA, Peter B’s Brewpub, Monterey, CA
Bronze: Apricot Cream Ale, Vertigo Brewing, Hillsboro, OR

Category 4: Fruit Wheat Beer – 84 Entries
Gold: Mexican Spring, 515 Brewing Co., Clive, IA
Silver: Mango Wheat, Blue Moon Brewing Co., Denver, CO
Bronze: Apricot Hefeweizen, Wasatch Brewery, Salt Lake City, UT

Category 5: Belgian-Style Fruit Beer – 61 Entries
Gold: Apricot Wheat, Wiens Brewing Co./Wiens Family Cellars, Temecula, CA
Silver: Cherry Busey, Sun King Brewing Co., Indianapolis, IN
Bronze: Cerasus, Logsdon Farmhouse Ales, Hood River, OR

Category 6: Pumpkin/Squash Beer – 10 Entries
Gold: None awarded
Silver: None awarded
Bronze: Butt-Ah Nut, BTU Brasserie, Portland, OR

Category 7: Field Beer – 92 Entries
Gold: Imperial Coconut Porter, Maui Brewing Co. – Production, Kihei, HI
Silver: Slam Piece, Coppertail Brewing, Tampa, FL
Bronze: Redbud with Cucumber, Independence Brewing Co., Austin, TX

Category 8: Chili Beer – 112 Entries
Gold: Rocky Mtn Saison, 14er Brewing Co., Denver, CO
Silver: The Contender IPA with Fresh Chilis, Duck Foot Brewing Co., San Diego, CA
Bronze: Vengeance! Jalapeno Cream Ale, Jack Pine Brewery, Baxter, MN

Category 9: Herb and Spice Beer – 114 Entries
Gold: NoDajito, NoDa Brewing Co. – Davidson, Charlotte, NC
Silver: Ginger American Ale, Broken Compass Brewing, Breckenridge, CO
Bronze: 1634 Ale, Brewer’s Alley Restaurant & Brewery, Frederick, MD

Category 10: Pumpkin Spice Beer – 39 Entries
Gold: Pump Action Imperial Pumpkin Ale, 4 Noses Brewing Co., Broomfield, CO
Silver: Twisted Gourd, South Street Brewery, Charlottesville, VA
Bronze: 5 Phantoms Pumpkin Spice Barleywine, Philipsburg Brewing Co., Philipsburg, MT

Category 11: Chocolate Beer – 46 Entries
Gold: Chaos, RAM/Big Horn Brewery – Wheeling, Wheeling, IL
Silver: The Ticket Chocolate Beer, ZwanzigZ Brewing, Columbus, IN
Bronze: 4th Gear (4th Anniversary), Kinetic Brewing Co., Lancaster, CA

Category 12: Coffee Beer – 168 Entries
Gold: Gusto Crema, Georgetown Brewing Co., Seattle, WA
Silver: Dusk ‘til Dawn – SC, Pizza Port San Clemente, San Clemente, CA
Bronze: Zumbar Chocolate Coffee Imperial Stout, New English Brewing Co., San Diego, CA

Category 13: Specialty Beer – 54 Entries
Gold: Campfire Stout, High Water Brewing, Stockton, CA
Silver: Good Conduct, Fieldwork Brewing Co., Berkeley, CA
Bronze: GAZPROM!, Lion Bridge Brewing Co., Cedar Rapids, IA

Category 14: Rye Beer – 81 Entries
Gold: Breakside Rye Curious?, Breakside Brewery, Portland, OR
Silver: Rock-Biter Roggenbier, Hop Dogma Brewing Co., El Granada, CA
Bronze: Runaround Rye Ale, Roundhouse Brewery, Brainerd, MN

Category 15: Honey Beer – 64 Entries
Gold: Jetty Cream Ale, Great South Bay Brewery, Bay Shore, NY
Silver: Spring Fever, FiftyFifty Brewing Co., Truckee, CA
Bronze: Belgian Honey Blonde Ale, No Clue Craft Brewery, Rancho Cucamonga, CA

Category 16: Session Beer – 52 Entries
Gold: PSB Session IPL, Perry Street Brewing Co., Spokane, WA
Silver: Oatmeal Stout, Benchmark Brewing Co., San Diego, CA
Bronze: Slippery When Wit, South Street Brewery, Charlottesville, VA

Category 17: Session India Pale Ale – 118 Entries
Gold: Trump Hands, Cannonball Creek Brewing Co., Golden, CO
Silver: Pace Car Racer, Bear Republic Brewing Co. – Production Facility, Cloverdale, CA
Bronze: Mosaic Session IPA, Karl Strauss Brewing Co. – San Diego, San Diego, CA

Category 18: Other Strong Beer – 46 Entries
Gold: Anodyne Wheat Wine, Revolver Brewing, Granbury, TX
Silver: Black Muddy River, Fat Head’s Brewery & Saloon, North Olmsted, OH
Bronze: Muir Woods Coastal Red, Barebottle Brewing Co., San Francisco, CA

Category 19: Experimental Beer – 87 Entries
Gold: Dry Hopped Systema Naturae – Scuppernong & Lily, D9 Brewing Co., Cornelius, NC
Silver: Wineification II, The Bruery, Placentia, CA
Bronze: Oyster Weiss, Scratch Brewing Co., Ava, IL

Category 20: Fresh or Wet Hop Ale – 45 Entries
Gold: Melvin IPA, Melvin Brewing – Jackson, Jackson, WY
Silver: Acequia IPA, Bosque Brewing Co., Albuquerque, NM
Bronze: IBUsive, Fat Head’s Brewery & Saloon, North Olmsted, OH

Category 21: Historical Beer – 43 Entries
Gold: Valhalla, El Rancho Brewing, Evergreen, CO
Silver: Grosse Teufel, Hardywood Park Craft Brewery, Richmond, VA
Bronze: Wild & Crazy Rye, BJ’s Restaurant & Brewery – Boulder, Boulder, CO

Category 22: Gluten-Free Beer – 37 Entries
Gold: Dark Ale, Ground Breaker Brewing, Portland, OR
Silver: Copperhead, Greenview Brewing, Madison, WI
Bronze: Grapefruit IPA, Ghostfish Brewing Company, Seattle, WA

Category 23: American-Belgo-Style Ale – 70 Entries
Gold: Mischief, The Bruery, Placentia, CA
Silver: #4.5 Hops with Saison Added, Brown Truck Brewery, High Point, NC
Bronze: White Wall Wit, Crank Arm Brewing Co., Raleigh, NC

Category 24: American-Style Sour Ale – 142 Entries
Gold: Queen of Tarts, Karl Strauss Brewing Co. – San Diego, San Diego, CA
Silver: Heart of Gold, Great Notion Brewing, Portland, OR
Bronze: Excommunication, Forte Cerise, Max Lager’s Wood-Fired Grill & Brewery, Atlanta, GA

Category 25: Brett Beer – 53 Entries
Gold: Touch of Brett, Alesong Brewing & Blending, Eugene, OR
Silver: Dreamy Thing, Cerebral Brewing, Denver, CO
Bronze: Brett Saison, Ardent Craft Ales, Richmond, VA

Category 26: Mixed-Culture Brett Beer – 65 Entries
Gold: Fünke Hop Farm, Sudwerk Brewing Co., Davis, CA
Silver: White Label, Almanac Beer Co., San Francisco, CA
Bronze: DAM Wild Marionberry Pink Peppercorn, Flat Tail Brewing Co., Corvallis, OR

Category 27: Wood- and Barrel-Aged Beer – 66 Entries
Gold: Drama Queen, Denver Beer Co. – Canworks, Denver, CO
Silver: Brett Saison, Blackberry Farm Brewery, Walland, TN
Bronze: Rye Robustito, Drake’s Brewing Co., San Leandro, CA

Category 28: Wood- and Barrel-Aged Strong Beer – 159 Entries
Gold: Silent Warrior, TAPS Fish House & Brewery – Corona, Corona, CA
Silver: Mélange À Trois, Nebraska Brewing Co. – Papillion, Papillion, NE
Bronze: 15th Anniversary Ale, Island Brewing Co., Carpinteria, CA

Category 29: Wood- and Barrel-Aged Strong Stout – 131 Entries
Gold: Barrel-Aged Darkness, Surly Brewing Co., Brooklyn Center, MN
Silver: The Event Horizon, Olde Hickory Brewery, Hickory, NC
Bronze: Little Nonsense, Verboten Brewing, Loveland, CO

Category 30: Wood- and Barrel-Aged Sour Beer – 64 Entries
Gold: Sour Project Ale, Adirondack Pub and Brewery, Lake George, NY
Silver: Avant-Chard, Historic Brewing Co., Flagstaff, AZ
Bronze: Angelina, Brewery Vivant, Grand Rapids, MI

Category 31: Fruited Wood- and Barrel-Aged Sour Beer – 82 Entries
Gold: Razz-Jerry Tart, BJ’s Restaurant & Brewery – Brea, Brea, CA
Silver: Saint Dekkera Reserve Sour Framboise, DESTIHL, Normal, IL
Bronze: Pi, Propolis Brewing, Port Townsend, WA

Category 32: Aged Beer – 40 Entries
Gold: Doc’s Scotch Ale, Millersburg Brewing, Millersburg, OH
Silver: Expedition Stout, Bell’s Brewery, Inc., Comstock, MI
Bronze: Winter Wheatwine 2007, Rubicon Brewing Company Pub, Sacramento, CA

Category 33: Kellerbier or Zwickelbier – 69 Entries

Gold: Sunnyside Dweller, Ocelot Brewing, Sterling, VA
Silver: Kelly Alt, Snake River Brewing Co., Jackson, WY
Bronze: Pilsner, Marble Brewery, Albuquerque, NM

Category 34: Smoke Beer – 65 Entries
Gold: Raucher, Wolverine State Brewing Co., Ann Arbor, MI
Silver: Cowboy Curtis, Arts District Brewing Co., Los Angeles, CA
Bronze: Croydon Is Burning, Neshaminy Creek Brewing Co., Croydon, PA

Category 35: American-Style or International-Style Pilsener – 66 Entries
Gold: Robot Crush, Aeronaut Brewing Co., Somerville, MA
Silver: Pelicano Extra!, Pelican Brewing Co., Tillamook, OR
Bronze: Mexican Logger, SKA Brewing, Durango, CO

Category 36: American-Style Light Lager or German-Style Light Lager – 21 Entries
Gold: #10 American Lager, Brown Truck Brewery, High Point, NC
Silver: Lightner Creek Lager, Carver Brewing Co., Durango, CO
Bronze: Coors Light, Coors Brewing Co., Golden, CO

Category 37: American-Style Lager or Ice Lager or Malt Liquor – 34 Entries
Gold: Pabst Blue Ribbon (PBR), Pabst Brewing Co., Los Angeles, CA
Silver: Coors Banquet, Coors Brewing Co., Golden, CO
Bronze: Lager, Craft Brew Alliance – Omission, Portland, OR

Category 38: American-Style Cream Ale – 65 Entries
Gold: El Sully, 21st Amendment Brewery, San Leandro, CA
Silver: Old Style Lager, Pabst Brewing Co., Los Angeles, CA
Bronze: Broadway Light, Detroit Beer Co., Detroit, MI

Category 39: American-Style Amber Lager or Dark Lager – 108 Entries

Gold: Casa Azul, El Segundo Brewing Co., El Segundo, CA
Silver: Tragedy of the Commons, Iowa Brewing Co., Cedar Rapids, IA
Bronze: Lighter Than I Look, Figueroa Mountain Brewing – Buellton, Buellton, CA

Category 40: German-Style Pilsener – 115 Entries
Gold: Industry, The Austin Beer Garden Brewing Co., Austin, TX
Silver: Bosque Lager, Bosque Brewing Co., Albuquerque, NM
Bronze: Lokahi Pilsner, Kohola Brewery, Lahaina, HI

Category 41: Bohemian-Style Pilsener – 62 Entries
Gold: Sweet Ride, Bagby Beer Co., Oceanside, CA
Silver: Polaris Pilsner, Chainline Brewing Co., Kirkland, WA
Bronze: Torch Pilsner, Foothills Brewing Co., Winston-Salem, NC

Category 42: Munich-Style Helles – 84 Entries
Gold: Chuckanut Helles, Chuckanut Brewery, Bellingham, WA
Silver: Helles, Dry Dock Brewing Co. – South Dock, Aurora, CO
Bronze: Hell Yes, The Austin Beer Garden Brewing Co., Austin, TX

Category 43: Dortmunder or German-Style Oktoberfest – 46 Entries
Gold: Dortmunder Mifflin, Emmett’s Tavern & Brewing Co. – Palatine, Palatine, IL
Silver: Longboard Island Lager, Craft Brew Alliance – Kona Brewery, Kailua-Kona, HI
Bronze: Figtoberfest, Figueroa Mountain Brewing – Westlake Village, Westlake Village, CA

Category 44: Vienna-Style Lager – 67 Entries
Gold: Vienna Lager, Devils Backbone Brewing Co. – Outpost Production Facility, Lexington, VA
Silver: 13.FIVE Ofest, Blue Mountain Barrel House and Organic Brewery, Arrington, VA
Bronze: Churchville Lager, Neshaminy Creek Brewing Co., Croydon, PA

Category 45: German-Style Maerzen – 79 Entries
Gold: Zirkusfest Oktoberfest Lager, Hi-Wire Brewing – Big Top Production Facility, Asheville, NC
Silver: Seven Bridges, Jekyll Brewing, Alpharetta, GA
Bronze: Fruhauf Oktoberfest, Pollyanna Brewing Co., Lemont, IL

Category 46: European-Style Dark Lager/Munich-Style Dunkel – 38 Entries
Gold: I Dunkled in My Pants, Figueroa Mountain Brewing – Buellton, Buellton, CA
Silver: Piney Ridge Dunkel, Front Range Brewing Co., Lafayette, CO
Bronze: Prunkle’s Dunkle, Horse Thief Hollow Brewery, Chicago, IL

Category 47: German-Style Schwarzbier – 47 Entries
Gold: General Schwarz, Central Coast Brewing Co., San Luis Obispo, CA
Silver: Alternate Present, Fiction Beer Co., Denver, CO
Bronze: Once You Go Schwarz…, Figueroa Mountain Brewing – Arroyo Grande, Arroyo Grande, CA

Category 48: Bock – 36 Entries
Gold: Breakline Bock, Rip Current Brewery, San Marcos, CA
Silver: Numbskull, Swamp Rabbit Brewery & Taproom, Travelers Rest, SC
Bronze: Bridge Street Bock, Iron Hill Brewery & Restaurant – Phoenixville, Phoenixville, PA

Category 49: German-Style Doppelbock or Eisbock – 29 Entries
Gold: Warning Sign, Rockyard American Grill & Brewing Co., Castle Rock, CO
Silver: Frankenwald Eisbock, ZwanzigZ Brewing, Columbus, IN
Bronze: Apocalyptinator, Nevin’s Brewing Co., Plainfield, IL

Category 50: Baltic-Style Porter – 41 Entries
Gold: Danzig, Devils Backbone Brewing Co. – Basecamp, Roseland, VA
Silver: Apogee Baltic Porter, Morgan Territory Brewing, Tracy, CA
Bronze: Siberian Silk, La Cumbre Brewing Co., Albuquerque, NM

Category 51: Golden or Blonde Ale – 115 Entries
Gold: Kirby, Echo Brewing Co., Frederick, CO
Silver: Miss Conduct, Moonraker Brewing Co., Auburn, CA
Bronze: German Blonde Ale, Bemidji Brewing Co., Bemidji, MN

Category 52: German-Style Koelsch – 111 Entries

Gold: Light of Cologne, Ornery Beer Co., Woodbridge, VA
Silver: Vacation, Daredevil Brewing Co., Indianapolis, IN
Bronze: Lü, Solemn Oath Brewery, Naperville, IL

Category 53: English-Style Summer Ale – 68 Entries
Gold: Hometown Blonde, RAM/Big Horn Brewery – Lakewood, Lakewood, WA
Silver: Ridgway Blonde, Colorado Boy Pub & Brewery, Ridgway, CO
Bronze: Liquid AC, Karl Strauss Brewing Co. – La Jolla, La Jolla, CA

Category 54: Classic English-Style Pale Ale – 38 Entries
Gold: Extra Pale Ale, Summit Brewing Co., Saint Paul, MN
Silver: Breakside ESB, Breakside Brewery, Portland, OR
Bronze: HopFish IPA, Flying Fish Brewing Co., Somerdale, NJ

Category 55: English-Style India Pale Ale – 43 Entries
Gold: Gatecrasher, Temperance Beer Co., Evanston, IL
Silver: Face Plant, Lost Rhino Brewing Co., Ashburn, VA
Bronze: Live Wire, Roak Brewing Co., Royal Oak, MI

Category 56: Australian-Style or International-Style Pale Ale – 90 Entries
Gold: Drop Bear Australian Pale Ale, Lynnwood Brewing Concern, Raleigh, NC
Silver: Mai Tai P.A., Alvarado Street Brewery, Salinas, CA
Bronze: Breakside Lunch Break ISA, Breakside Brewery & Taproom, Milwaukie, OR

Category 57: American-Style Pale Ale – 157 Entries
Gold: Stick’s Pale Ale, Bootstrap Brewing Co., Niwot, CO
Silver: Monterey Street, Central Coast Brewing Co., San Luis Obispo, CA
Bronze: The Charlatan, Maplewood Brewery, Chicago, IL

Category 58: American-Style Strong Pale Ale – 169 Entries
Gold: Good Green, Highland Park Brewery, Los Angeles, CA
Silver: Rippin, Sunriver Brewing, Sunriver, OR
Bronze: HFS, Alpine Beer Co., San Diego, CA

Category 59: American-Style India Pale Ale – 312 Entries
Gold: Bodhizafa IPA, Georgetown Brewing Co., Seattle, WA
Silver: Super Cali IPA, Riip Beer Co., Huntington Beach, CA
Bronze: Breaking Bud, Knee Deep Brewing Co., Auburn, CA

Category 60: Imperial India Pale Ale – 211 Entries
Gold: Humulus Insani, Überbrew, Billings, MT
Silver: Nobility, Noble Ale Works, Anaheim, CA
Bronze: Hop JuJu Imperial IPA, Fat Head’s Brewery, Middleburg Heights, OH

Category 61: American-Style Amber/Red Ale – 114 Entries
Gold: Ole Prospector Red Ale, BNS Brewing & Distilling Co., Santee, CA
Silver: Better Off Red, Vintage Brewing Co., Madison, WI
Bronze: Sabre-Toothed Squirrel, Smog City Brewing Co., Torrance, CA

Category 62: Double Red Ale – 78 Entries
Gold: The Red Glove, Boxing Bear Brewing Co., Albuquerque, NM
Silver: Average at Best, Überbrew, Billings, MT
Bronze: RIPA, Carson’s Brewery, Evansville, IN

Category 63: Imperial Red Ale – 62 Entries
Gold: Paradocs Red Imperial IPA, Raised Grain Brewing Co., Waukesha, WI
Silver: reDANKulous – Backstage Series, Founders Brewing Co., Grand Rapids, MI
Bronze: Wreak Havoc, Bootstrap Brewing Co., Niwot, CO

Category 64: English-Style Mild Ale – 44 Entries
Gold: Workman’s Compensation, Lion Bridge Brewing Co., Cedar Rapids, IA
Silver: Saddle Bronc Brown, Black Tooth Brewing Co., Sheridan, WY
Bronze: Old Town Brown, Auburn Alehouse, Auburn, CA

Category 65: Ordinary or Special Bitter – 39 Entries
Gold: DBA (Double Barrel Ale), Firestone Walker Brewing Co., Paso Robles, CA
Silver: Drop Top Amber Ale, Craft Brew Alliance – Widmer, Portland, OR
Bronze: Special Bitter, Redwood Curtain Brewing Co., Arcata, CA

Category 66: Extra Special Bitter – 71 Entries
Gold: Redfeather, Black Raven Brewing Co., Redmond, WA
Silver: Red Fish, Flying Fish Brewing Co., Somerdale, NJ
Bronze: Mother Earth ESB, Mother Earth Brew Co., Vista, CA

Category 67: Scottish-Style Ale – 46 Entries
Gold: White Street Scottish Ale, White Street Brewing Co., Wake Forest, NC
Silver: Scottish Ale, Two Kilts Brewing, Sherwood, OR
Bronze: McGreagor Scottish Ale, Kootenai River Brewing Co., Bonners Ferry, ID

Category 68: Irish-Style Red Ale – 80 Entries
Gold: Highlander Devil’s Hump Red Ale, Missoula Brewing Co., Missoula, MT
Silver: St. James Irish Red Ale, Glenwood Canyon Brewing Co., Glenwood Springs, CO
Bronze: Riley’s Irish Red, The Packinghouse Brewing Co., Riverside, CA

Category 69: English-Style Brown Ale – 47 Entries
Gold: Tri-Town Brown, Echo Brewing Cask and Barrel, Erie, CO
Silver: Sir Williams, Grapevine Craft Brewery, Grapevine, TX
Bronze: Not Brown, CooperSmith’s Pub & Brewing, Fort Collins, CO

Category 70: American-Style Brown Ale – 84 Entries
Gold: Brown, Culture Brewing Co., Solana Beach, CA
Silver: Upslope Brown Ale, Upslope Brewing Co. – Flatiron Park, Boulder, CO
Bronze: Face Down Brown, Telluride Brewing Co., Telluride, CO

Category 71: American-Style Black Ale – 61 Entries
Gold: Once You Go, Lynnwood Brewing Concern – Production Facility, Raleigh, NC
Silver: Midnight Moonlight, Fat Head’s Brewery, Middleburg Heights, OH
Bronze: Alpha Force Double Tap, Überbrew, Billings, MT

Category 72: German-Style Sour Ale – 141 Entries
Gold: Gose, Reuben’s Brews, Seattle, WA
Silver: Gose, Kulshan Brewing Co., Bellingham, WA
Bronze: Farmers Market Citrus Gose, Sudwerk Brewing Co., Davis, CA

Category 73: German-Style Altbier – 57 Entries
Gold: Little Red Cap, Grimm Brothers Brewhouse, Loveland, CO
Silver: Deep Roots, Red Cypress Brewery, Winter Springs, FL
Bronze: On-Sight Alt, Hutton & Smith Brewing Co., Chattanooga, TN

Category 74: South German-Style Hefeweizen – 111 Entries
Gold: Windansea Wheat, Karl Strauss Brewing Co. – San Diego, San Diego, CA
Silver: Weißbier, Prost Brewing, Denver, CO
Bronze: Shotgun Betty, Lonerider Brewing Co., Raleigh, NC

Category 75: German-Style Wheat Ale – 33 Entries
Gold: AlpenGlow, Fat Head’s Brewery & Saloon, North Olmsted, OH
Silver: Slam Dunkel, Steamworks Brewing Co., Durango, CO
Bronze: Küsterer Original Weissbier, Cedar Springs Brewing Co., Cedar Springs, MI

Category 76: Belgian-Style Blonde Ale or Pale Ale – 61 Entries

Gold: Solid Gold, Cannonball Creek Brewing Co., Golden, CO
Silver: Lunatic, Wicked Weed Brewing – Asheville, Asheville, NC
Bronze: Sunken Road, Spencer Devon Brewing, Fredericksburg, VA

Category 77: Belgian-Style Witbier – 85 Entries
Gold: Ommegang Witte Ale, Brewery Ommegang, Cooperstown, NY
Silver: Wit’s End Ale, Great American Restaurants – Sweetwater Tavern, Centreville, VA
Bronze: Witbier, Community Beer Co., Dallas, TX

Category 78: Classic Saison – 88 Entries
Gold: Achtertuin Seizoen Farmhouse Ale, The Post Brewing Co., Lafayette, CO
Silver: Meriwether, Perennial Artisan Ales, St. Louis, MO
Bronze: Saison, Baere Brewing Co., Denver, CO

Category 79: Specialty Saison – 92 Entries
Gold: Six Finger Sam Saison, Two Rivers Brewing Co., Easton, PA
Silver: #4 Saison, Brown Truck Brewery, High Point, NC
Bronze: Creme de Peche, The Commons Brewery, Portland, OR

Category 80: Belgian- and French-Style Ale – 27 Entries
Gold: Domaine DuPage, Two Brothers Brewing Co., Warrenville, IL
Silver: Swingin’ Single, Piece Brewery, Chicago, IL
Bronze: Antonym, 2SP Brewing Co., Aston, PA

Category 81: Belgian-Style Lambic or Sour Ale – 74 Entries
Gold: Hexotic, Two Roads Brewing Co., Stratford, CT
Silver: Chaos is a Friend of Mine, Beachwood Blendery, Long Beach, CA
Bronze: Roes Red, Pure Project, San Diego, CA

Category 82: Belgian-Style Dubbel or Quadrupel – 63 Entries
Gold: Abbey Dubbel, Elm City Brewing Co., Keene, NH
Silver: Responsibly, Nebraska Brewing Co. – Papillion, Papillion, NE
Bronze: Flyin’ Monks, Adelbert’s Brewery, Austin, TX

Category 83: Belgian-Style Tripel – 92 Entries
Gold: Allagash Tripel, Allagash Brewing Co., Portland, ME
Silver: PDA, Black Bottle Brewery, Fort Collins, CO
Bronze: Tripel Dog Dare, Big Dog’s Brewing Co., Las Vegas, NV

Category 84: Belgian-Style Strong Specialty Ale – 70 Entries
Gold: Old Split-Foot, Broken Bow Brewery, Tuckahoe, NY
Silver: Monk in Public, Maize Valley Craft Brewery, Hartville, OH
Bronze: Treachery, 12Degree Brewing, Louisville, CO

Category 85: Other Belgian-Style Ale – 31 Entries
Gold: Blond, Copper Kettle Brewing Co., Denver, CO
Silver: Standard Issue, Central Standard Brewing, Wichita, KS
Bronze: Petite Classique, The Commons Brewery, Portland, OR

Category 86: Brown Porter – 61 Entries
Gold: FivePine Chocolate Porter, Three Creeks Production, Sisters, OR
Silver: Black Shack Porter, Wachusett Brewing Co., Westminster, MA
Bronze: Porter, Back East Brewing, Bloomfield, CT

Category 87: Robust Porter – 94 Entries
Gold: Tabula Rasa Toasted Porter, Second Chance Beer Co., San Diego, CA
Silver: Shallow Grave, Heretic Brewing Co., Fairfield, CA
Bronze: Point Reyes Porter, Marin Brewing Co., Larkspur, CA

Category 88: Classic Irish-Style Dry Stout – 41 Entries

Gold: Big Drought Stout, Solid Rock Brewing, Spicewood, TX
Silver: Love Stout, Yards Brewing Co., Philadelphia, PA
Bronze: Bangin The Mash, Latitude 42° Brewing Co., Portage, MI

Category 89: Export Stout – 43 Entries
Gold: Dirty Frank Stout, River’s Edge Brewing Co., Milford, MI
Silver: Fade to Black, Volume 1, Left Hand Brewing Co., Longmont, CO
Bronze: Starway Stout, Barrel Mountain Brewing, Battle Ground, WA

Category 90: American-Style Stout – 55 Entries
Gold: P2P, 10 Barrel Brewing Co., Bend, OR
Silver: Black Cliffs, Boise Brewing, Boise, ID
Bronze: The Volcanist, Societe Brewing Co., San Diego, CA

Category 91: Sweet Stout or Cream Stout – 71 Entries
Gold: Chocolate Milk Stout, Boxing Bear Brewing Co., Albuquerque, NM
Silver: Duck-Rabbit Milk Stout, Duck-Rabbit Craft Brewery, Farmville, NC
Bronze: Good Mooed Milk Stout, Railtown Brewing Co., Dutton, MI

Category 92: Oatmeal Stout – 61 Entries
Gold: Sless’ Oatmeal Stout, Iron Springs Pub & Brewery, Fairfax, CA
Silver: Backside Stout, Steamworks Brewing Co., Durango, CO
Bronze: Feelin’ Your Oats, SLO Brew, San Luis Obispo, CA

Category 93: Imperial Stout – 91 Entries
Gold: The Russian, 2SP Brewing Co., Aston, PA
Silver: Gatling Gun Imperial Stout, BNS Brewing & Distilling Co., Santee, CA
Bronze: Iron Triangle Jawbone, Iron Triangle Brewing Co., Los Angeles, CA

Category 94: Scotch Ale – 76 Entries
Gold: Real Heavy, Real Ale Brewing Co., Blanco, TX
Silver: Oh My Darlyn!, Revelry Brewing Co., Charleston, SC
Bronze: Going Plaid, Fifty West Brewing Co., Cincinnati, OH

Category 95: Old Ale or Strong Ale – 38 Entries
Gold: Irish Walker, Olde Hickory Brewery, Hickory, NC
Silver: COLOSSAL FIVE, Port City Brewing Co., Alexandria, VA
Bronze: Old Silenus Ale, Migration Brewing Co., Portland, OR

Category 96: Barley Wine-Style Ale – 60 Entries
Gold: AleSmith Old Numbskull, AleSmith Brewing Co., San Diego, CA
Silver: Barley Wine Ale, Dick’s Brewing Co., Centralia, WA
Bronze: Toad Choker Barley Wine, Nine-Band Brewing Co., Allen, TX

Great American Beer Festival Pro-Am Competition – 88 Entries
Gold: Just Rye’te, Panther Island Brewing Co., Fort Worth, TX
     Brewmaster Panther Island Brewing, AHA Member Clifton Ellis
Silver: Vernal Equinox, Starr Hill Brewery, Crozet, VA
     Brewmaster Starr Hill Brewing Team, AHA Member Gary Layton
Bronze: The Kolsch Experiment, Altitude Chophouse and Brewery, Laramie, WY
     Brewmaster Jesse Brown, AHA Member Shawn Miller

2016 Brewery and Brewer of the Year Awards

Small Brewpub and Small Brewpub Brewer of the Year
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ZwanzigZ Brewing, Columbus, IN
Mike Rybinski & Trent Fleener

Mid-Size Brewpub and Mid-Size Brewpub Brewer of the Year
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Boxing Bear Brewing Co., Albuquerque, NM
Justin Hamilton and Dylan Davis

Large Brewpub and Large Brewpub Brewer of the Year
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The Austin Beer Garden Brewing Co., Austin, TX
Amos Swifty Kim

Very Small Brewing Company and Very Small Brewing Company Brewer of the Year
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Brown Truck Brewery, High Point, NC
Team Brown Truck

Small Brewing Company and Small Brewing Company Brewer of the Year
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Überbrew, Billings, MT
Über Cru

Mid-Size Brewing Company and Mid-Size Brewing Company Brewer of the Year
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Karl Strauss Brewing Co. – San Diego, San Diego, CA
Team Karl

Mid-Size Brewing Company and Mid-Size Brewing Company Brewer of the Year *
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Fat Head’s Brewery & Saloon, North Olmsted, Ohio
Matt Cole and Mike Zoscak

Large Brewing Company and Large Brewing Company Brewer of the Year
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Pabst Brewing Co., Los Angeles, CA
Gregory Deuhs


* – Note: During the awards ceremony, for the brewery and brewmaster of the year awards, Karl Strauss was awarded Mid-Size Brewpub and Mid-Size Brewpub Brewer of the Year, while Fat Head’s Brewery received the award for Mid-Size Brewing Company and Mid-Size Brewing Company Brewer of the Year. Afterwards, a correction was sent out indicating that Karl Strauss was considered a brewing company rather than a brewpub, and the points were re-calculated. As a result, Karl Strauss’ award moved from brewpub to brewing company, Boxing Bear Brewing was awarded the mid-size brewpub award vacated by Karl Strauss, and Fat Head’s was stripped of their award. What I heard (but haven’t confirmed) is that it may have been a paperwork error on Karl Strauss’ part in filling out their GABF entry form (which is understandable since they operate both a production brewery and brewpubs). As I understand it, brewpubs are considered brewing companies if they sell 25% or more beer on-site, so therefore Karl Strauss is a brewing company, and apparently that’s reflected in their membership. One could argue that Karl Strauss should have filled out the entry form correctly (assuming what I heard is correct) and if they didn’t … well, then it’s on them. I know that in some sports or contests, that’s cause for being disqualified. But the BA maybe could have caught it earlier since the form didn’t match their membership. To be fair, I doubt there was a procedure to check for that since you wouldn’t expect anyone to get that wrong. There are only a few companies like Karl Strauss where there might be any confusion. In the end, I think the BA was right to correct the error as soon as someone caught it. Even though I can’t really quibble with that, the one thing I wish they might have considered was not taking the award away from Fat Head’s and letting them share it this year with Karl Strauss. I feel confident that Karl Strauss would have been alright with that, especially if it was indeed their clerical error. That just seems like the kinder, fairer result.

Firestone Walker Invitational Beer Festival 2016

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On Saturday, the 5th annual Firestone Walker Invitational Beer Festival was held in Paso Robles, California. Although a relatively new festival, it has quickly become one of my favorite not-to-be-missed events of the season. The brewery describes it like this: “The Firestone Walker Invitational Beer Fest is an epic yet intimate gathering of 50 leading brewers from around the nation and world, celebrating craft beer in our hometown Paso Robles.” What sets it apart is great organization, a well-curated selection of brewers (who are each asked to bring a sesssionable beer and something special), lots of food, music (and perhaps more importantly, lots of areas that are quieter should you prefer that), along with many, many small details, diversions and things to do. This was another great year, with plenty of wonderful sensations to eat and drink. Here is a photo essay of the day.

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Our weekend started by picking up the teardrop camper we rented the night before.

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Which we set up in the camp set aside for brewers and media at the Paso Robles Event Center, on the grounds of where the festival would take place the next day.

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Two shots of the festival grounds before it began Saturday morning. The calm before the storm.

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This year, a separate tent housed all of the breweries from outside the U.S.

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For example, Pete Gillespie from New Zealand’s Garage Project Brewery, was pouring a very interesting beer, with a great presentation. Essentially a deconstructed Imperial Porter, Cherry Bomb, first they pour the cherry-based beer, and then on top of that is added chocolate foam from another tap that was drawn into a metal cop. It stayed fairly well separated until you drank it, then it began to mix together.
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In fact, Garage Project had well-deserved long lines all day long.

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Travis Smith and Mike Sardina, both from Societe Brewing of San Diego, with David Walker, co-founder of Firestone Walker.

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Rodger Davis, from Faction Brewing, and Kyle Smith, from Kern River Brewing, behind their respective booths.

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My wife Sarah with the great Jeremy Danner, from Boulevard Brewing in Kansas City.

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It was a fairly hot day, 100+ degrees, but we were prepared. I wore my Amish hat, and both Ken Weaver, from All About Beer, and I both brought spray bottle fans. When we posed with them, I sprayed Ken just as this photo, taken by Jon Page, was snapped.

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Firestone Walker brewmaster Matt Brynildson with Logan Plant, from Beavertown Brewery in London.

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As usual, the food was great, and even one of the vendors was serving frites, specifically truffle fries with parmesan, which I shared with Vinnie Cilurzo.

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Jeremy Danner again, this time with Boulevard brewmaster Steven Pauwels.

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With Chuck Silva (middle), former brewmaster for Green Flash Brewing, who’s working on his own place, Silva Brewing, which he’s hoping will be open by fall of this year.

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Terence Sullivan, from Sierra Nevada Brewing, beating up a buddy from Chico at Firestone Walker’s photo booth. And this is our own series of photos from the photo booth.
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The Russian River Brewing booth was also busy all day, which kept their staff busy.

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At precisely 2:23 PM, Russian River Brewing opened three seven-year-old bottles of Supplication.

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Then both Vinnie and Natalie each poured samples from each of their 6L bottles to people in the crowd, and continued pouring until they were empty.
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At the end of the festival, the voting for people’s choice was announced, and this year was one by Side Project Brewing from St. Louis.

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Me, Matt Brynildson, Logan Plant and another Firestone Walker brewer.

Historic Beer Birthday: Bert Grant

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Today would have been Bert Grant’s 88th birthday, and he is still definitely missed. Bert opened the country’s first brewpub in 1982 in Yakima, Washington and was a fixture in the industry until his death in late July of 2001. Join me tonight in lifting a pint to Bert’s memory.

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Bert Grant and me at OBF in the mid-1990s.

Corks & Suds Benefit For Autism Friday Night In Novato

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Tomorrow night in Novato, at the Unity In Marin church, located at 600 Palm Drive, a benefit for Autism — a cause near and dear to me — will be held. Corks & Suds will take place from 7:00-10:00 PM, and will feature music by “The Decades” and special guest piano performance by young man with autism.

Lagunitas, Anchor Brewing, Iron Springs and many more special guest beers from San Francisco Brewing Collective, Food from Alta Cuisine and Sonoma wines plus much more will be there! An evening of fun for a great cause.

Tickets are available at both Eventbrite and Global Offerings and there’s more information at the event’s Facebook page. I’m not sure how long this coupon will work, but put in Coupon code “CAS-SPECIAL” and get your ticket for $45 instead of $70!

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World Beer Cup Awards 2016

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The 2016 World Beer Cup Awards were announced this evening in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. This was the 11th time for the biennial international competition, with a record 6,596 entries from 1,907 breweries in 55 countries, judged by 253 judges (including yours truly). This year, 287 awards were given in 96 separate categories to breweries in 16 countries. Congratulations to all the winners.

This is the second time that the competition used a lottery system. Any brewery that wants to enter their beer first registers their desire to participate in the World Beer Cup over a set period of time. Once the number of interested breweries is known, then the number of different beers each one can enter is determined. This year, every brewery could enter up to four beers. As a result, the winners were far more diverse than in any previous year. Of all 287 award winners, six breweries won three awards and 22 breweries won two, with 225 winning only one.

Not surprisingly, the category with the highest number of entries was American-Style IPA, with 275. Second was Imperial India Pale Ale, with 181 entries, and the third most-entered category was American-Style Pale Ale, with 167. The average number of entries for each category was 69 beers.

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Overall, the United States won the most medals, with 230. Germany was second, with 17, and Japan came in third, with 9. Canada won eight and the United Kingdom won seven. Belgium picked up 3 awards, while Austria and Australia each brought home two.

Within the U.S., California won the most medals, with 49. Colorado was second with 37 and Oregon was third, with 19. Pennsylvania won 11, Virginia brought home 9 and New Mexico won 7. Ohio nabbed six, Massachusetts picked up 4 and Utah 3, while Connecticut, Maine, Nebraska and New Jersey each won two.

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Category: 1 American-Style Wheat Beer – 28 Entries
Gold: Whammy Bar Wheat, Amplified Ale Works, San Diego, CA
Silver: Whacked Out Wheat, Telluride Brewing Co., Telluride, CO
Bronze: Flash Bang, Excel Brewing Co., Breese, IL
Category: 2 American-Style Wheat Beer with Yeast – 39 Entries
Gold: Fuzztail, Sunriver Brewing, Sunriver, OR
Silver: Haybag Hefeweizen, Philipsburg Brewing Co., Philipsburg, MT
Bronze: Lost Meridian Wit, Base Camp Brewing Co., Portland, OR
Category: 3 Fruit Beer – 77 Entries
Gold: Shady Spot, Susquehanna Brewing Co., Pittston, PA
Silver: Razz Against the Machine, Little Machine, Denver, CO
Bronze: That Guava Beer, Legacy Brewing Co., Oceanside, CA
Category: 4 Fruit Wheat Beer – 46 Entries
Gold: First Peach Ale, Blue Moon Brewing Co., Golden, CO
Silver: Mr. Pineapple, SanTan Brewing Co., Chandler, AZ
Bronze: Raspberry Wheat Beer, Meantime Brewing Co., London, United Kingdom
Category: 5 Belgian-Style Fruit Beer – 58 Entries
Gold: Rosetta, Brewery Ommegang, Cooperstown, NY
Silver: Coal Kriek, Gravity Brewing, Louisville, CO
Bronze: Sunken City, Insight Brewing Co., Minneapolis, MN
Category: 6 Pumpkin Beer – 25 Entries
Gold: Pump Action Imperial Pumpkin Ale, 4 Noses Brewing Co., Broomfield, CO
Silver: Tributary Jacques, Tributary Brewing Co., Kittery, ME
Bronze: Pumpkin Down, Ballast Point Brewing & Spirits – Scripps Ranch, San Diego, CA
Category: 7 Field Beer – 57 Entries
Gold: Ponce, Quest Brewing Co., Greenville, SC
Silver: Coconut Delight, Lickinghole Creek Craft Brewery, Goochland, VA
Bronze: Cranberry Beet Wild Night, Swamp Head Brewery, Gainesville, FL
Category: 8 Chili Beer – 58 Entries
Gold: Yellow Fever, Comrade Brewing Co., Denver, CO
Silver: Hellcat, Fort George Brewery + Public House, Astoria, OR
Bronze: Thunder Axe, Brew Hub, Lakeland, FL
Category: 9 Herb and Spice Beer – 129 Entries
Gold: Sakura Mankai Lager, Chateau Kamiya Ushiku Brewery, Ushiku, Japan
Silver: Squatters Bumper Crop Honey Ale, Squatters Pub Brewery, Salt Lake City, UT
Bronze: Vanilla Bean Buffalo Sweat, Tallgrass Brewing Co., Manhattan, KS
Category: 10 Chocolate Beer – 80 Entries
Gold: Pasteur Street Cyclo Stout, Pasteur Street Brewing Co., Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam
Silver: Airporter Chocolate Porter, Marin Brewing Co., Larkspur, CA
Bronze: Kerplunk! Imperial Chocolate Stout, Spring House Brewing Co., Lancaster, PA
Category: 11 Coffee Beer – 154 Entries
Gold: Mocha Machine, Beachwood BBQ & Brewing, Long Beach, CA
Silver: Overload Stout, Iron Hill Brewery & Restaurant – West Chester, West Chester, PA
Bronze: Portola Breakfast Stout, Tustin Brewing Co., Tustin, CA
Category: 12 Specialty Beer – 60 Entries
Gold: Maple Bacon Coffee Porter, Funky Buddha Brewery, Oakland Park, FL
Silver: Maple Tripple Ale, Lawson’s Finest Liquids, Warren, VT
Bronze: Nut Smasher, Willoughby Brewing Co., Willoughby, OH
Category: 13 Rye Beer – 54 Entries
Gold: Rye Dawn, Breakwater Brewing Co., Oceanside, CA
Silver: Grimlock, Loowit Brewing Co., Vancouver, WA
Bronze: Uncle Dave’s Rye IPA, Discretion Brewing, Soquel, CA
Category: 14 Honey Beer – 55 Entries
Gold: Honey Chamomile Wheat, Nexus Brewery, Albuquerque, NM
Silver: Cross-Pollination, Magic Rock Brewing, Huddersfield, United Kingdom
Bronze: Long Sun Brewing Honey Beer, Long Sun Brewing, New Taipei City, Taiwan
Category: 15 Session Beer – 34 Entries
Gold: Otra Vez, Sierra Nevada Brewing Co., Mills River, NC
Silver: La Fete, 7venth Sun Brewery, Dunedin, FL
Bronze: Golden Dragon, Ise Kadoya Brewery, Ise, Japan
Category: 16 Session India Pale Ale – 111 Entries
Gold: Little Secret, Triptych Brewing, Savoy, IL
Silver: Down to Earth, 21st Amendment Brewery, San Leandro, CA
Bronze: Eternal, Northern Monk Brew Co., Leeds, United Kingdom
Category: 17 Other Strong Beer – 47 Entries
Gold: Brilliant, 10 Barrel Brewing Co., Bend, OR
Silver: Laissez-Faire, Monday Night Brewing, Atlanta, GA
Bronze: Winter Woman, Revolution Brewing Brewpub, Chicago, IL
Category: 18 Experimental Beer – 86 Entries
Gold: Arima Japan Ale, Konishi Brewing Co., Itami, Japan
Silver: Cerise Mousseux Nouveau, Manitou Brewing Co., Manitou Springs, CO
Bronze: Iwate Kura Beer Oyster Stout, Iwate Kura Beer, Ichinoseki, Japan
Category: 19 Fresh or Wet Hop Ale – 10 Entries
Silver: High Ground IPA, Manitou Brewing Co., Manitou Springs, CO
Bronze: Double Conundrum Imperial Red Fresh Hop, Aspen Brewing Co., Aspen, CO
Category: 20 Historical Beer – 27 Entries
Gold: Archetype Historical IPA, Circle Brewing Co., Austin, TX
Silver: Great Odin’s Beard Oat Ale, Third Street Aleworks, Santa Rosa, CA
Bronze: Dortmunder Adambier, Blue Pants Brewery, Madison, AL
Category: 21 Gluten-Free Beer – 40 Entries
Gold: Glutenberg India Pale Ale, Brasseurs Sans Gluten, Montreal, Canada
Silver: Glutenberg Lapsang d’Automne, Brasseurs Sans Gluten, Montreal, Canada
Bronze: A Dark Night, Departed Soles Brewing Co., Jersey City, NJ
Category: 22 American-Belgo-Style Ale – 61 Entries
Gold: Snowcat White IPA, Rock Bottom – Chicago, Chicago, IL
Silver: Tank 7 Farmhouse Ale, Boulevard Brewing Co., Kansas City, MO
Bronze: Salad Days, Pale Fire Brewing Co., Harrisonburg, VA
Category: 23 American-Style Sour Ale – 84 Entries
Gold: Confliction, Sloop Brewing, Elizaville, NY
Silver: Ensorcelled, The Rare Barrel, Berkeley, CA
Bronze: DAM Wild – Hops and Lemon Verbena, Flat Tail Brewing Co., Corvallis, OR
Category: 24 Brett Beer – 70 Entries
Gold: Blushing Star, Liquid Riot Bottling Co., Portland, ME
Silver: Sauvage, NOLA Brewing, New Orleans, LA
Bronze: La Bonte Pear, Wicked Weed Brewing, Asheville, NC
Category: 25 Wood- and Barrel-Aged Beer – 66 Entries
Gold: Bourbon Barrel Aged Koffi Porter, La Quinta Brewing Co., Palm Desert, CA
Silver: Rye Robustito, Drake’s Brewing Co., San Leandro, CA
Bronze: Wild Warehouse, Wander Brewing, Bellingham, WA
Category: 26 Wood- and Barrel-Aged Strong Beer – 151 Entries
Gold: Bourbon Barrel Aged Jinx Remover, Fall Brewing Co., San Diego, CA
Silver: Omega Point, Olde Hickory Brewery Co., Hickory, NC
Bronze: Samuel Adams Utopias, Boston Beer Co., Boston, MA
Category: 27 Wood- and Barrel-Aged Strong Stout – 152 Entries
Gold: A Night to End All Dawns, Kane Brewing, Ocean, NJ
Silver: Darkstar November, Bottle Logic Brewing, Anaheim, CA
Bronze: Ruse, Hardywood Park Craft Brewery, Richmond, VA
Category: 28 Wood- and Barrel-Aged Sour Beer – 115 Entries
Gold: Love Among the Ruins, Thornbridge, Bakewell, United Kingdom
Silver: Days of Creation, Thornbridge, Bakewell, United Kingdom
Bronze: Bramble On Rose, Toolbox Brewing Co., Vista, CA
Category: 29 Aged Beer – 40 Entries
Gold: Nine-Tailed Fox, Nasu Kohgen Beer Co., Nasumachi, Japan
Silver: Solzhenitsyn, Iron Hill Brewery & Restaurant – Media, Media, PA
Bronze: 2012 Dr. Strangelove Barleywine, Strange Craft Beer Co., Denver, CO
Category: 30 Kellerbier or Zwickelbier – 69 Entries
Gold: Baumgartner Junghopfenpils, Brauerei Jos. Baumgartner, Schaerding, Austria
Silver: Ulmer Hexensud, Familienbrauerei Bauhoefer, Renchen, Germany
Bronze: Pilsner, Marble Brewery, Albuquerque, NM
Category: 31 Smoke Beer – 79 Entries
Gold: Ashes from the Grave, Monkey Paw Brewing, San Diego, CA
Silver: Breakside Smoked Porter, Breakside Brewery – Pub Brewery, Portland, OR
Bronze: Raucher, Wolverine State Brewing Co., Ann Arbor, MI
Category: 32 Light Lager – 45 Entries
Gold: Miller Lite, Miller Brewing Co., Milwaukee, WI
Silver: Asahi The Dream, Asahi Breweries, Tokyo, Japan
Bronze: Landshark, Margaritaville Brewing Co., Wildwood, MO
Category: 33 International-Style Lager – 103 Entries
Gold: BEER, La Cumbre Brewing Co., Albuquerque, NM
Silver: Amend This!, TAPS Fish House & Brewery – Brea, Brea, CA
Bronze: Wonderstuff, Bauhaus Brew Labs, Minneapolis, MN
Category: 34 Baltic-Style Porter – 44 Entries
Gold: Apogee Baltic Porter, Morgan Territory Brewing, Tracy, CA
Silver: Cobaltic Porter, Bottle Logic Brewing, Anaheim, CA
Bronze: Black Aria Baltic Porter, Mountain Sun Breweries, Denver, CO
Category: 35 German-Style Pilsener – 108 Entries
Gold: Trumer Pils, Trumer Brauerei, Berkeley, CA
Silver: Pilsner, Dry Dock Brewing Co. – South Dock, Aurora, CO
Bronze: Saalfelder Premium, Buergerliches Brauhaus Saalfeld, Saalfeld, Germany
Category: 36 Bohemian-Style Pilsener – 65 Entries
Gold: Duchovni, Medusa Brewing Co., Hudson, MA
Silver: High Plains Pils, Canteen Brewhouse, Albuquerque, NM
Bronze: Pilsner, River Rat Brewery, Columbia, SC
Category: 37 Muenchner-Style Helles – 76 Entries
Gold: Loewenbraeu Original, Loewenbraeu, Muenchen, Germany
Silver: Aktien Hell, ABK Betriebsgesellschaft der Aktienbrauerei Kaufbeuren, Kaufbeuren, Germany
Bronze: Beach Blonde, Crystal Lake Brewing Co., Crystal Lake, IL
Category: 38 Dortmunder/Export or German-Style Oktoberfest – 52 Entries
Gold: Festbier, Muellerbraeu, Pfaffenhofen, Germany
Silver: Tauras Tradicinis, Kalnapilio-Tauro Grupe, Panevezys, Lithuania
Bronze: Eder’s Export, Eder & Heylands Brauerei, Grossostheim, Germany
Category: 39 Vienna-Style Lager – 57 Entries
Gold: Dock Time, Stony Creek Brewery, Branford, CT
Silver: Firebrick, August Schell Brewing Co., New Ulm, MN
Bronze: Puesta del Sol, WeldWerks Brewing Co., Greeley, CO
Category: 40 German-Style Maerzen – 34 Entries
Gold: Hissy Fit Marzen Lager, Bitter Sisters Brewing Co., Addison, TX
Silver: Rhinofest, Lost Rhino Brewing Co., Ashburn, VA
Bronze: Ur-Saalfelder, Buergerliches Brauhaus Saalfeld, Saalfeld, Germany
Category: 41 European-Style Dark/Muenchner Dunkel – 56 Entries
Gold: I Dunkled in My Pants, Figueroa Mountain Brewing Co. – Arroyo Grande, Santa Barbara, CA
Silver: Mother in Lager, Karbach Brewing Co., Houston, TX
Bronze: Yee-Haw Dunkel, Yee-Haw Brewing, Johnson City, TN
Category: 42 German-Style Schwarzbier – 51 Entries
Gold: Schwartz Bier, Devils Backbone Brewing Co. – Outpost, Lexington, VA
Silver: Magnetron Schwarzbier, Metropolitan Brewing, Chicago, IL
Bronze: TAPS Schwarzbier, TAPS Fish House & Brewery – Brea, Brea, CA
Category: 43 German-Style Bock or Maibock – 75 Entries
Gold: Maibock, Stoudts Brewing Co., Adamstown, PA
Silver: Pivo Bublina, Ploughshare Brewing Co., Lincoln, NE
Bronze: Engel Bock Dunkel, Biermanufaktur ENGEL, Crailsheim, Germany
Category: 44 German-Style Doppelbock or Eisbock – 53 Entries
Gold: Lucubrator, Occidental Brewing Co., Portland, OR
Silver: Warning Sign, Rockyard Brewing Co., Castle Rock, CO
Bronze: ATOR 20, Brauerei S. Riegele, Augsburg, Germany
Category: 45 American-Style Lager – 82 Entries
Gold: Rainier Lager, Pabst Brewing Co., Los Angeles, CA
Silver: High Life, Miller Brewing Co., Milwaukee, WI
Bronze: Rocket 100, The Austin Beer Garden Brewing Co., Austin, TX
Category: 46 American-Style Amber Lager – 59 Entries
Gold: Steam Engine Lager, Steamworks Brewing Co., Durango, CO
Silver: Ringside Red, Boxing Cat Brewery, Shanghai, China
Bronze: Holsteiner, Argus Brewery, Chicago, IL
Category: 47 American-Style Dark Lager – 29 Entries
Gold: Jump Seat Black Lager, Lancaster Brewing Co., Lancaster, PA
Silver: El Moreno, TAPS Fish House & Brewery – Brea, Brea, CA
Bronze: Saint Patrick’s Black, Saint Patrick’s Brewing Co., Littleton, CO
Category: 48 Australian- or International-Style Pale Ale – 84 Entries
Gold: Triumvirate, Reuben’s Brews, Seattle, WA
Silver: Breakside Lunch Break ISA, Breakside Brewery, Milwaukie, OR
Bronze: Bosque IPA, Bosque Brewing Co., Albuquerque, NM
Category: 49 German-Style Koelsch – 75 Entries
Gold: Claritas, Mike Hess Brewing Co. – North Park, San Diego, CA
Silver: Feder Monde, All Rise Brewing Co., Chicago, IL
Bronze: Straub Kolsch, Straub Brewery, St. Marys, PA
Category: 50 German-Style Altbier – 56 Entries
Gold: 90 Shilling, Odell Brewing Co., Fort Collins, CO
Silver: Little Red Cap, Grimm Brothers Brewhouse, Loveland, CO
Bronze: Breakside Will’s Alt, Breakside Brewery – Pub Brewery, Portland, OR
Category: 51 German-Style Sour Ale – 78 Entries
Gold: Volkssekt, Bend Brewing Co., Bend, OR
Silver: Gosebusters, Noble Ale Works, Anaheim, CA
Bronze: Original Ritterguts Gose, Ritterguts Gose, Borna, Germany
Category: 52 South German-Style Hefeweizen – 100 Entries
Gold: Weihenstephaner Hefeweissbier, Bayerische Staatsbrauerei Weihenstephan, Freising, Germany
Silver: Premier OB Weizen, Oriental Brewery Co., Icheon-si, South Korea
Bronze: Baumgartner Weisse Hell, Brauerei Jos. Baumgartner, Schaerding, Austria
Category: 53 German-Style Wheat Ale – 62 Entries
Gold: Franziskaner Weissbier Royal, Spaten-Franziskaner-Braeu, Muenchen, Germany
Silver: Weihenstephaner Kristallweissbier, Bayerische Staatsbrauerei Weihenstephan, Freising, Germany
Bronze: Plank Original Hefeweizen, Brauerei Michael Plank, Laaber, Germany
Category: 54 South German-Style Weizenbock – 33 Entries
Gold: Ladenburger Weizenbock Hell, Brauerei Ladenburger, Neuler, Germany
Silver: Plank Heller Weizenbock, Brauerei Michael Plank, Laaber, Germany
Bronze: Plank Dunkler Weizenbock, Brauerei Michael Plank, Laaber, Germany
Category: 55 Belgian-Style Witbier – 78 Entries
Gold: Hoegaarden Wit, Hoegaarden Brewery, Inbev Belgium, Hoegaarden, Belgium
Silver: Gentleman’s Wit, Camden Town Brewery, London, United Kingdom
Bronze: Plum Island White, Newburyport Brewing Co., Newburyport, MA
Category: 56 French & Belgian-Style Saison – 116 Entries
Gold: Classic Saison, Blackberry Farm Brewery, Walland, TN
Silver: La Saison du Tracteur, Microbrasserie Le Trou Du Diable, Shawinigan, Canada
Bronze: Soleil Saison, 12Degree Brewing, Louisville, CO
Category: 57 Belgian- and French-Style Ale – 42 Entries
Gold: Barrel Aged Woodthrush, Little Fish Brewing Co., Athens, OH
Silver: Farnam House Biere de Garde, Farnam House Brewing Co., Omaha, NE
Bronze: Domaine DuPage, Two Brothers Brewing Co., Warrenville, IL
Category: 58 Belgian-Style Pale Ale or Blonde Ale – 60 Entries
Gold: La Trappe Trappist Blond, Bierbrouwerij de Koningshoeven, Berkel-Enschot, Netherlands
Silver: Raise the Roost, Portland Brewing, Portland, OR
Bronze: Golden Ghost, Lost Highway Brewing, Denver, CO
Category: 59 Belgian-Style Sour Ale – 46 Entries
Gold: Oude Geuze Boon Black Label, Brouwerij Boon, Lembeek, Belgium
Silver: Lindemans Oude Kriek Cuvee Rene, Lindemans Brewery, Vlezenbeek, Belgium
Bronze: Red Angel, Wicked Weed – Funkatorium, Asheville, NC
Category: 60 Belgian-Style Flanders Oud Bruin or Oud Red Ale – 36 Entries
Gold: Yearling, Eagle Rock Brewery, Los Angeles, CA
Silver: Oude Tart, Bruery Terreux, Placentia, CA
Bronze: 2014 Vintage Blue Sunday, New Holland Brewing Co., Holland, MI
Category: 61 Belgian-Style Dubbel or Quadrupel – 73 Entries
Gold: Sanitarium, Bier Brewery and Taproom, Indianapolis, IN
Silver: Hertog Jan Dubbel, Hertog Jan Brouwerij, Arcen, Netherlands
Bronze: Three Philosophers, Brewery Ommegang, Cooperstown, NY
Category: 62 Belgian-Style Tripel – 76 Entries
Gold: Bedotter, Iron Hill Brewery & Restaurant – Lancaster, Lancaster, PA
Silver: 33 Acres of Euphoria, 33 Acres Brewing Co., Vancouver, Canada
Bronze: Gnomegang, Brewery Ommegang, Cooperstown, NY
Category: 63 Belgian-Style Pale Strong Ale – 48 Entries
Gold: Treachery, 12Degree Brewing, Louisville, CO
Silver: Sanctuary Golden Strong Ale, Gemini Beer Co., Westminster, CO
Bronze: Deceit, Funkwerks, Fort Collins, CO
Category: 64 Belgian-Style Dark Strong Ale – 37 Entries
Gold: The Sixth Glass, Boulevard Brewing Co., Kansas City, MO
Silver: Four Swords, Deep Ellum Brewing Co., Dallas, TX
Bronze: La Grivoise de Noel, Microbrasserie Le Trou Du Diable, Shawinigan, Canada
Category: 65 Other Belgian-Style Ale – 43 Entries
Gold: Supernatural, Crooked Run Brewing, Leesburg, VA
Silver: Chump Change, Oak Highlands Brewery, Dallas, TX
Bronze: Sugarfoot Belgian Table Beer, Spangalang Brewery, Denver, CO
Category: 66 English-Style Mild Ale – 38 Entries
Gold: Song In Your Heart, Discretion Brewing, Soquel, CA
Silver: Triple Crown Brown, The Mitten Brewing Co., Grand Rapids, MI
Bronze: Brockwell, Heist Brewery, Charlotte, NC
Category: 67 English-Style Summer Ale – 30 Entries
Gold: James Squires The Swindler Summer Ale, West End Brewery, Thebarton, Australia
Silver: Pacific Ale, Stone & Wood Brewing Co., Byron Bay, Australia
Bronze: True Blonde Ale, SKA Brewing Co., Durango, CO
Category: 68 Ordinary or Special Bitter – 36 Entries
Gold: Amber, Dry Dock Brewing Co. – North Dock, Aurora, CO
Silver: Sawtooth Ale, Left Hand Brewing Co., Longmont, CO
Bronze: Broken Dial, Harviestoun, Alva, United Kingdom
Category: 69 Classic English-Style Pale Ale – 33 Entries
Gold: Caldera Ashland Amber, Caldera Brewing Co., Ashland, OR
Silver: Puddlers Row ESB, Conshohocken Brewing Co., Conshohocken, PA
Bronze: Breakside ESB, Breakside Brewery – Pub Brewery, Portland, OR
Category: 70 Extra Special Bitter – 68 Entries
Gold: ESB, Bier Brewery and Taproom, Indianapolis, IN
Silver: End of Summer Beer, Mother Earth Brew Co., Vista, CA
Bronze: Old Jalopy Pale Ale, Powell Street Craft Brewery, Vancouver, Canada
Category: 71 English-Style India Pale Ale – 41 Entries
Gold: Independence Pass Ale, Aspen Brewing Co., Aspen, CO
Silver: Punjabi Pale Ale, CooperSmith’s Pub & Brewing, Fort Collins, CO
Bronze: Big Wave Bay IPA, Hong Kong Beer Co., Chai Wan, Hong Kong
Category: 72 Scottish-Style Ale – 41 Entries
Gold: Kilt Lifter, Four Peaks Brewing Co. – Wilson Street, Tempe, AZ
Silver: Druthers 80 Shilling, Druthers Brewing Co., Albany, NY
Bronze: Maltopia Scotch Ale, Hermitage Brewing Co., San Jose, CA
Category: 73 English-Style Brown Ale – 50 Entries
Gold: Boar Brown, Pig Pounder Brewery, Greensboro, NC
Silver: Sweet George’s Brown, Dillon Dam Brewery, Dillon, CO
Bronze: Brewers Special Brown Ale, New English Brewing Co., San Diego, CA
Category: 74 Brown Porter – 66 Entries
Gold: Capella Porter, Ecliptic Brewing, Portland, OR
Silver: Polygamy Nitro Porter, Utah Brewers Cooperative, Salt Lake City, UT
Bronze: Blue Nose Brown, Red Leg Brewing Co., Colorado Springs, CO
Category: 75 Robust Porter – 92 Entries
Gold: P.M. Porter, BJ’s Restaurant & Brewery – West Covina, West Covina, CA
Silver: Gaspar’s Porter, Florida Beer Co., Cape Canaveral, FL
Bronze: Stranger than Fiction Porter, Collective Arts Brewing, Hamilton, Canada
Category: 76 Sweet Stout or Cream Stout – 63 Entries
Gold: Chocolate Milk Stout, Boxing Bear Brewing Co., Albuquerque, NM
Silver: Buried at Sea, Galway Bay Brewery, Galway, Ireland
Bronze: Udder Love, Beachwood BBQ & Brewing, Long Beach, CA
Category: 77 Oatmeal Stout – 67 Entries
Gold: Scaredy Cat, Vintage Brewing Co., Madison, WI
Silver: Stumblers Stout, Columbia River Brewing Co., Portland, OR
Bronze: Sasquatch Shadow, Elk Horn Brewery, Eugene, OR
Category: 78 Scotch Ale – 70 Entries
Gold: Clan Warrior Scotch Ale, Odyssey Beerwerks, Arvada, CO
Silver: AleSmith Wee Heavy, AleSmith Brewing Co., San Diego, CA
Bronze: Glasgow Butcher, Crooked Ewe Brewery & Ale House, South Bend, IN
Category: 79 British-Style Imperial Stout – 53 Entries
Gold: Arch Devil Imperial Stout, DevilCraft, Shinagawa-ku, Japan
Silver: Russian Imperial Stout, Iron Hill Brewery & Restaurant – Media, Media, PA
Bronze: Corvo Negro, Novo Brazil Brewing Co., Chula Vista, CA
Category: 80 Old Ale or Strong Ale – 55 Entries
Gold: Ninja Pirate, Black Lotus Brewing Co., Clawson, MI
Silver: Heini’s Good Cheer, Roundabout Brewery, Pittsburgh, PA
Bronze: Irish Walker, Olde Hickory Brewery Co., Hickory, NC
Category: 81 Barley Wine-Style Ale – 71 Entries
Gold: 2013 10&2 Barleywine, Fifty West Brewing Co., Cincinnati, OH
Silver: Old Bounder, Boundary Bay Brewery, Bellingham, WA
Bronze: Stormwatcher’s Winterfest, Pelican Brewing Co. – Pacific City, Pacific City, OR
Category: 82 Irish-Style Red Ale – 66 Entries
Gold: Reilly’s Red, Devils Backbone Brewing Co. – Outpost, Lexington, VA
Silver: Piper Down, Ballast Point Brewing & Spirits, San Diego, CA
Bronze: Red Molly, Pale Fire Brewing Co., Harrisonburg, VA
Category: 83 Classic Irish-Style Dry Stout – 42 Entries
Gold: Minoh Beer STOUT, A·J·I Beer, Minoh, Japan
Silver: Irish Stout, Carver Brewing Co., Durango, CO
Bronze: O’Connor’s Dry Irish Stout, O’Connor Brewing Co., Norfolk, VA
Category: 84 Export Stout – 52 Entries
Gold: Fade to Black, Volume 1, Left Hand Brewing Co., Longmont, CO
Silver: Spetsnaz, The Grumpy Troll Brewpub, Mount Horeb, WI
Bronze: Dirty Frank Stout, River’s Edge Brewing Co., Milford, MI
Category: 85 Golden or Blonde Ale – 82 Entries
Gold: Power & Light Pale, Independence Brewing, Austin, TX
Silver: Squatters Chasing Tail Golden Ale, Squatters Pub Brewery, Salt Lake City, UT
Bronze: German Blonde, Bemidji Brewing Co., Bemidji, MN
Category: 86 American-Style Pale Ale – 167 Entries
Gold: Pistol River Pale, Arch Rock Brewing Co., Gold Beach, OR
Silver: Pale Ale, North High Brewing, Columbus, OH
Bronze: Knotty Pine Pale Ale, Lumberyard Brewing Co., Flagstaff, AZ
Category: 87 American-Style Strong Pale Ale – 118 Entries
Gold: Lucky Day, Central Coast Brewing Co., San Luis Obispo, CA
Silver: IPA 2016, Yo-Ho Brewing Co., Saku, Japan
Bronze: Paladin, Wicks Brewing Co., Riverside, CA
Category: 88 American-Style India Pale Ale – 275 Entries
Gold: I Love It!, Noble Ale Works, Anaheim, CA
Silver: IPA, Great North Aleworks, Manchester, NH
Bronze: Santilli, Night Shift Brewing, Everett, MA
Category: 89 Imperial India Pale Ale – 181 Entries
Gold: Hop JuJu Imperial IPA, Fat Head’s Brewery – Middleburg Heights, Middleburg Heights, OH
Silver: Trebuchet, Second Street Brewery, Santa Fe, NM
Bronze: Nobility, Noble Ale Works, Anaheim, CA
Category: 90 American-Style Amber/Red Ale – 96 Entries
Gold: Epiphany Red Ale, Iron Springs Pub & Brewery, Fairfax, CA
Silver: Sabre-Toothed Squirrel, Smog City Brewing Co., Torrance, CA
Bronze: Beast of Bray Road, Second Salem Brewing Co., Whitewater, WI
Category: 91 Double Red Ale – 51 Entries
Gold: Summit Sunrise, Denver Beer Co. – Canworks, Denver, CO
Silver: Valentinus IPA, Iron Hill Brewery & Restaurant – Wilmington, Wilmington, DE
Bronze: Toaster Pastry, 21st Amendment Brewery, San Leandro, CA
Category: 92 Imperial Red Ale – 37 Entries
Gold: Blood Junkie, Three Weavers Brewing Co., Inglewood, CA
Silver: December Nights Imperial Red, Thorn Street Brewery, San Diego, CA
Bronze: Wreak Havoc, Bootstrap Brewing, Niwot, CO
Category: 93 American-Style Brown Ale – 81 Entries
Gold: Granola Brown Ale, Black Hog Brewing, Oxford, CT
Silver: Open Road Brown Ale, Troubled Monk Brewery, Red Deer, Canada
Bronze: Upslope Brown Ale, Upslope Brewing Co. – Flatiron Park, Boulder, CO
Category: 94 American-Style Black Ale – 67 Entries
Gold: Turmoil, Barley Brown’s Brew Pub, Baker City, OR
Silver: Carlton, Melvin Brewing – Jackson, Jackson, WY
Bronze: Midnight Moonlight, Fat Head’s Brewery – Middleburg Heights, Middleburg Heights, OH
Category: 95 American-Style Stout – 51 Entries
Gold: The Defender, Haymarket Pub & Brewery, Chicago, IL
Silver: Kilgore, Beachwood BBQ & Brewing, Long Beach, CA
Bronze: P2P, 10 Barrel Brewing Co. – Boise, Boise, ID
Category: 96 American-Style Imperial Stout – 62 Entries
Gold: Blot Out the Sun, Three Floyds Brewing Co., Munster, IN
Silver: HoliDAVE, Artifex Brewing Co., San Clemente, CA
Bronze: Happy Ending, SweetWater Brewing Co., Atlanta, GA

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Champion Brewery and Brewer Awards

Very Small Brewing Company Category
Arch Rock Brewing Co.
James Smith
Small Brewing Company Category
Noble Ale Works
Evan and The Giants
Mid-Size Brewing Company Category
Brewery Ommegang
Brewery Ommegang Brewing Team
Large Brewing Company Category
Miller Brewing Co.
Miller Brewing Co. Brewing Team
Small Brewpub Category
12Degree Brewing
Jon Howland and Tor O’Brien
Large Brewpub Category
Beachwood BBQ & Brewing
Julian Shrago, Ian McCall and Gene Wagoner

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500th Anniversary Of The Reinheitsgebot

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It’s hard to believe it’s been 500 years since Bavaria signed what’s considered the first food purity law, the Reinheitsgebot, also known as the Bavarian Beer Purity Law, and later the German Beer Purity Law. That’s because in 1516, when the law was decreed, Germany did not yet exist, and wouldn’t for nearly 300 years, with the formation of the German Confederation in 1815, longer if you go by the German Empire, founded in 1871. Modern Germany consists of sixteen federal states, called Bundesländers, of which Bavaria is one.
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And it was in Bavarian town of Ingolstadt on April 23, 1516, that William IV, Duke of Bavaria wrote and signed the law, along with his younger brother Louis X, Duke of Bavaria. That 1516 law was itself a variation of earlier laws, at least as early as 1447 and another in independent Munich in 1487. When Bavaria reunited, the new Reinheitsgebot applied to the entirety of the Bavarian duchy. It didn’t apply to all of Germany until 1906, and it wasn’t referred to as the Reinheitsgebot until 1918, when it was coined by a member of the Bavarian parliament. But while today most people think of it as all about food purity, that was in reality only a small part of it, and probably not even the most important.

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Here’s a translation of the Reinheitsgebot, from a 1993 issue of Zymurgy:

We hereby proclaim and decree, by Authority of our Province, that henceforth in the Duchy of Bavaria, in the country as well as in the cities and marketplaces, the following rules apply to the sale of beer:

From Michaelmas to Georgi [St. George’s Day], the price for one Mass [Bavarian Liter 1,069] or one Kopf [bowl-shaped container for fluids, not quite one Mass], is not to exceed one Pfennig Munich value, and

From Georgi to Michaelmas, the Mass shall not be sold for more than two Pfennig of the same value, the Kopf not more than three Heller [Heller usually one-half Pfennig].

If this not be adhered to, the punishment stated below shall be administered.

Should any person brew, or otherwise have, other beer than March beer, it is not to be sold any higher than one Pfennig per Mass.

Furthermore, we wish to emphasize that in future in all cities, markets and in the country, the only ingredients used for the brewing of beer must be Barley, Hops and Water. Whosoever knowingly disregards or transgresses upon this ordinance, shall be punished by the Court authorities’ confiscating such barrels of beer, without fail.

Should, however, an innkeeper in the country, city or markets buy two or three pails of beer (containing 60 Mass) and sell it again to the common peasantry, he alone shall be permitted to charge one Heller more for the Mass or the Kopf, than mentioned above. Furthermore, should there arise a scarcity and subsequent price increase of the barley (also considering that the times of harvest differ, due to location), WE, the Bavarian Duchy, shall have the right to order curtailments for the good of all concerned.

Notice that the first two decrees have to do with pricing and when beer can be sold. It isn’t until paragraph six, the second last one, that the issue of what ingredients will be allowed comes up. If it had been the most important part, is seems more likely they would have led with it. Even then, it wasn’t about purity, but again commerce. Barley was designated as the only grain so that others, notably wheat and rye, were set aside to be used for baking bread.

Also, a lot of hay has been made about it not mentioning yeast, with the idea that it was because yeast wasn’t discovered until Louis Pasteur in the 19th century. But early brewers did know something about yeast, even if they didn’t have the full scientific understanding that came later. Otherwise, they wouldn’t have been able to make consistent batches of beer. At the end of your brew, you’ll find a layer of billowing foam and other indeterminate matter at the bottom of the fermenter, which the Germans called “Zeug,” which means “stuff.” And early German brewers had a person, called a “hefener,” whose job it was to scoop out the Zeug, which was in effect the leftover yeast, and pitch it in the next batch of beer. So it’s hard to say they didn’t have some understanding of yeast.

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A German postage stamp celebrating the 450th anniversary of the Reinheitsgebot in 1983.

The Germans, of course, have set up a website for the 500th anniversary, and so does the Bayerischer Brauerbund, which is a a Bavarian brewers trade group along with the German Brewers Group. They also created a 50-second film marking the anniversary.

And the media is covering the Reinheitsgebot’s Quincentenary. A few examples include the BBC, Food and Wine, NPR, Spiegel, and Wired. But by far the most thorough examination of the Reinheitsgebot was by Jeff Alworth in All About Beer magazine, Attempting to Understand the Reinheitsgebot.

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It’s great that it’s been 500 years, and that German brewers are justly proud of the Reinheitsgebot. It’s clearly helped create the unique German beer scene and their many native styles. But it’s also been used as a shameless marketing tool, been used as an exclusionary tactic, and has even had little-known exceptions to its rules for years, ones that most people are not even aware of, not to mention the use of other items in the brewing process that are also not mentioned by the law, but which because they’re not strictly “ingredients” more modern brewers have interpreted as not being prohibited.

Many people have voiced criticisms against it over the years. One that’s particularly thorough is The German Reinheitsgebot — Why it’s a Load of Old Bollocks. The German magazine Spiegel’s recent coverage is entitled Attacking Beer Purity: The Twilight of Germany’s Reinheitsgebot.

Back in 2001, Fred Eckhardt wrote an entertaining tale for All About Beer entitled The Spy who Saved the Reinheitsgebot, about how a brewer was able to prove Beck’s was using adjuncts and was not in adherence with the German law.

In another recent article in First We Feast, Sam Calagione, of the Dogfish Head Craft Brewery, is quoted with an opinion I suspect many American brewers hold. “I hate the concept of the Reinheitsgebot, but I am essentially happy it exists.”

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Deutsche Post’s 2016 commemorative stamp.

FredFest Coming May 15

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If you’re not familiar with FredFest, it was created to mark the 80th birthday of legendary Portland beer writer Fred Eckhardt. That first festival took place in 2006 and the festival became an annual event put on by Hair of the Dog Brewing. Last year’s event celebrated Fred’s 89th birthday. Unfortunately, in August of last year, Fred passed away, which means this will be the first FredFest that he will be unable to attend. Hair of the Dog brewmaster and owner, Alan Sprints, wants to make this year a special one and make the festival a celebration of Fred’s life and his contributions to craft beer, especially in Portland. So it certainly sounds like this is the one to be at, and I’m planning on flying up for it, as well. It’s a short hop of a flight from the Bay Area, and there will be some great beers, and people, there.

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Alan Springs and Fred Eckhardt during OBF Week at the Hair of the Dog Brewery in 2008.

If you want to join me and celebrate Fred’s life, tickets are available at the Events page at Hair of the Dog. The events itself is from 1:00 to 5:00 PM on Sunday, May 15 at the Hair of the Dog Brewery located at 61 SE Yamhill Street, in Portland. A ticket gets you “a commemorative glass, endless beer food buffet, and over 25 Beers from a special selection of Brewers.” Also, since “100% of FredFest ticket sales go to charity” — Hair of the Dog covers all expenses for the event — they “encourage you to pay more than the suggested ticket price,” to help support the charities, which are the Mittleman Jewish Community Center (where Fred was once an instructor) and Guide Dogs for the Blind.

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Fred and me after the OBF Parade in 2011.

The breweries expected to pour their beer at the fest include 10 Barrel, Avery, Barley Brown’s, Beachwood, Bear Republic, Berryessa, Big Island, Block 15, Breakside, Crooked Stave, Chuckanut, Commons, Ecliptic, Firestone Walker, Golden Valley, Hill Farmstead, Hair of the Dog, Holy Mountain, Jester King, Shelton Brothers (importers), Sixpoint, Stone Brewing, and Upright, with a few more to be announced as we get closer to the event.

The only remaining questions are how can I get there, and “What Would Fred Drink?” (WWFD?). Figure out the first, and we’ll help with the second. See you in Portland.

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Bistro IPA Festival Winners 2016

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Today was only a little wet in Hayward for the 19th annual IPA Festival at the Bistro. It was perfect beer-drinking weather once we emerged from judging in the basement all morning. This year’s big winner was Today Was a Good Day IPA, from Pizza Port Carlsbad, which was chosen best in show, out of 64 IPA offerings. The full list of winners is below.

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Perfect Beer Drinking Weather.

Spring Brews Festival This Weekend

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One of the best Bay Area beer festivals is taking place this Saturday — tomorrow — in Concord. It’s usually a winter festival taking place in January, but because of the brouhaha with SF Beer Week moving because of the Super Bowl in San Francisco sucking up all the event spaces and hotel rooms (or tripling their prices) they decided to move out of the way, and wait until spring. So this year, the Brewing Network is putting on their annual festival, temporarily renamed the Spring Brews Festival. It will take place on Saturday, April 2nd, 2016, from Noon to 4 pm at Todos Santos Plaza.

Here’s more info from the Eventbtrite page where you can also buy tickets:

The Brewing Network’s Winter Brews Festival returns to in Concord to celebrate its seventh year as one of the best craft beer festivals in the Bay Area. And while we are a little late this year due to schedule conflicts and the threat of inclement weather, we’re bringing the same great lineup of amazing beer and another awesome day for beer lovers in Concord!

Tickets are now on sale and are $40 pre-sale or $50 at the gate and include unlimited pours and a commemorative glass. Designated Drivers are just $5, however this is a 21 and over only event so all attendees must be of legal drinking age.

The event is conveniently located just two blocks away from the Concord BART station so mark your calendars for a craft beer infused day for a wonderful cause.

We are very proud that this year’s event is a benefit for the TSBA Arts Foundation, which helps fund the summer music program in Todos Santos Park, as well as youth music programs around Concord.

Unlimited Tasting From Over 50 Craft Breweries

Live Music From Purple Haze Jimi Hendrix Tribute Band

The brewery list is still being built so stay tuned, but below is a look at who will be there as of now to give you a good idea of how many wonderful breweries attend:

21st Amendment Brewery – San Leandro
Drake’s Brewing Co.
White Labs
Ale Industries
Almanac Beer Co
Altamont Beer Works
Anderson Valley Brewing Company
Ballast Point Brewing & Spirits
Beechwood Bbq & Brewing
Bear Republic Brewing Co.
Berryessa Brewing co
Black Diamond Brewery
Cali Craft Brewing Co.
Cider Brothers
Cleophus Quealy Beer Company
Coronado Brewing Company
Deschutes Brewery & Public House
Dust Bowl Brewing Company
Eagle Rock Brewery
Eight Bridges Brewing
E.J. Phair Brewing Company
Epidemic Ales
Faction Brewing
Fieldwork Brewing Company
Firestone Walker Brewing Co.
Flat Tail Brewing
Gillman Brewing Company
Gordon Biersch Brewing Company
Half Moon Bay Brewing Company
Heretic Brewing Company
Hermitage Brewing Company
Highwater Brewing Company
Iron Springs Pub & Brewery
Kinetic Brewing Company
Lagunitas Brewing Co
Libertine Brewing Company
Linden Street Brewery
Lost Coast Brewery
Magnolia Gastropub & Brewery
Marin Brewing Company
Moonlight Brewing Company
Moylan’s Brewing Company
Mraz Brewing Company
Nectar Creek
New Belgium Brewing
North Coast Brewing Company
Pizza Port Brewing Co.
The Rare Barrel
Russian River Brewing Company
Sierra Nevada
Societe Brewing Company
Sonoma Springs Brewing Company
Speakeasy Ales & Lagers
Sudwerk Brewing Co.
Three Weavers Brewing Company
Triple Rock Brewery and Alehouse
Working Man Brewing Company

For more information on the event please visit: BNbrewfest.com.

Rain or shine, we’ve got you covered. And with the Concord BART station just two blocks away, this afternoon event will be sure to satisfy locals wanting to enjoy some beers for a great cause. SORRY, NO DOGS OR CHLDREN WITHIN FESTIVAL GATES. NO SMOKING IN TODOS SANTOS PARK OR DOWNTOWN CONCORD (INCLUDING E-CIGARETTES).

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