New and Established Breweries Claim Great American Beer Festival Medals

Boulder, CO —The 2013 Great American Beer Festival (GABF) competition awarded 252 medals to some of the best commercial breweries in the United States, including GABF Pro-Am medals. Presented by the Brewers Association, GABF is the largest commercial beer competition in the world and a symbol of brewing excellence. In its 27th year, the 2013 competition surpassed all previous participation records, setting the bar high.

View the 2013 winners or download a PDF list of the winners.

To accommodate growth, this year’s GABF competition saw its biggest panel of judges ever, with 201 beer experts from 11 countries evaluating 4,809 entries, with assistance from more than 130 competition volunteers.

Award-winning brewers received prestigious gold, silver and bronze medals in 84 beer categories covering 138 different beer styles (encompassing subcategories), establishing the best examples of each style in the U.S. Winners were chosen from 4,809 competition entries from 745 breweries, hailing from 49 states, plus Washington, D.C.

2013 Brewery and Brewer of the Year Awards

Very Small Brewing Company and Very Small Brewing Company Brewer of the Year

  • Baker City Brewing Company
  • Marks Lanham and Eli Dickison

Small Brewing Company and Small Brewing Company Brewer of the Year Sponsored by Microstar Keg Management

  • Devils Backbone Brewing Company – Basecamp
  • Jason Oliver

Mid-Size Brewing Company and Mid-Size Brewing Company Brewer of the Year Sponsored by Brewers Supply Group

  • Firestone Walker Brewing Company
  • Matt Brynildson

Large Brewing Company and Large Brewing Company Brewer of the Year Sponsored by Beer Institute

  • Sandlot
  • John, Tom, Bill & Addison

Small Brewpub and Small Brewpub Brewer of the Year Sponsored by Briess Malt & Ingredients Co.

  • Gella’s Diner & Lb Brewing Company
  • Gerald Wyman

Mid-Size Brewpub of the Year

  • Beachwood BBQ & Brewing
  • Julian Shrago and Ian McCall

Large Brewpub and Large Brewpub Brewer of the Year Sponsored by Brewers Supply Group

  • Pelican Brewing Company
  • Darron Welch and Steve Panos

Brewpub Group and Brewpub Group Brewer of the Year Sponsored by Brewers Supply Group

  • Rock Bottom Brewery
  • Team Rock Bottom

Overall Competition Highlights

Reflecting craft brewing’s increasing popularity nationwide, across state and regional borders, overall competition highlights include:

Twenty-four first-time entering breweries won awards. During the registration process, 230 breweries self-identified as first-time entrants.

There was a tie for most gold medals won, three each for Left Hand Brewing Co. (Longmont, Colo.) and for Firestone Walker Brewing Co. (Paso Robles, Calif.).

New Jersey topped the list of ratio of medals to entries by state, with one medal won among seven entries, a 14.3% ratio. Delaware had a 13% winning ratio, with three medals won among 23 entries. California, the state with the highest number of beer entries—at 885—won 52 medals for a 5.9% ratio of medals to entries.

Style Categories

Since 2001, the most-entered category has been American-Style India Pale Ale (IPA), which saw 252 entries in 2013.

The top five entered categories were:

  • American-Style India Pale Ale (252 entries)
  • Imperial India Pale Ale (149 entries)
  • Herb and Spice Beer (134 entries)
  • American-Style Pale Ale (124 entries)
  • American-Style Strong Pale Ale (120 entries)

The winners in the most-entered (that is, the most competitive) categories were:

American-Style India Pale Ale

  • Gold: Barley Brown’s Brew Pub, Pallet Jack IPA
  • Silver: Firestone Walker Brewing Co., Union Jack
  • Bronze: La Cumbre Brewing Co., Project Dank: Operation Pharoah’s Return

Imperial India Pale Ale

  • Gold: Fat Heads Brewery, Hop Juju
  • Silver: Three Floyds Brewing Co., Permanent Funeral
  • Bronze: Smartmouth Brewing Co., Notch 9 Double IPA

Herb and Spice Beer

  • Gold: Namaste Brewing at the Whip Inn, Bitterama
  • Silver: Yak & Yeti Restaurant & Brewpub, Chai Milk Stout
  • Bronze: Black Star Co-op Pub and Brewery, Elba

American-Style Pale Ale

  • Gold: Lumberyard Brewing Co., Lumberyard American Pale Ale
  • Silver: Cannonball Creek Brewing Co., Featherweight Pale
  • Bronze: Joseph James Brewing Co., Citra Rye Pale Ale

American-Style Strong Pale Ale

  • Gold: Monkey Paw Brewing Co., Bonobos
  • Silver: Four Peaks Brewing Co., Hop Knot
  • Bronze: Pizza Port Ocean Beach, Kung Fu Elvis

The 2013 GABF competition featured two new categories: Grodzisz, with seven entries, and Adambier (no entries). There were three categories in which one of the three possible medals was not awarded:

  • American-Style or International-Style Pilsener—No gold awarded
  • American-Style Amber/Red Ale—No silver awarded
  • Imperial Red Ale—No gold awarded

2013 Great American Beer Festival Pro-Am Competition Sponsored by Briess Malt & Ingredients Co., Country Malt Group, Hopunion and White Labs

Gold, silver and bronze medals were also awarded in the GABF Pro-Am competition, which pairs amateur brewers with professional brewers, who scale up the award-winning homebrew recipes. The medal winners, including the winning professional brewers and American Homebrewers Association (AHA) member homebrewers are:

  • Gold: Poblano, Cigar City Brewing
  • Brewmaster: Wayne Wambles, Cigar City, and AHA member Jeff Gladish
  • Silver: Charlie’s Brown, New Belgium Brewing Co.
  • Brewmaster: Peter Bouckaert/Grady Hull, New Belgium Brewing Co., and AHA member Mike Formisan
  • Bronze: Oatmeal Stout, Upslope Brewing Co.
  • Brewmaster: Alex Violette, Upslope Brewing Co., and AHA member Derek Ordway

Summary: 2013 Great American Beer Festival Statistics

  • 624 breweries in the festival hall
  • More than 3,100 beers served at the festival/li>
  • 49,000 attendees
  • More than 2,800 volunteers
  • 745 breweries in the competition from 49 states, plus Washington, D.C.
  • 4,809 beers judged (includes 100 Pro-Am competition entries), a 12 percent increase over 2012
  • 84 style categories judged, plus the Pro-Am competition
  • 201 judges from 11 countries
  • Average number of competition beers entered in each category: 51
  • Category with highest number of entries: American-Style India Pale Ale: 252

2013 Great American Beer Festival Official Sponsors

  • Chillsner by Corkcicle
  • DRAFT Magazine
  • Microstar Keg Management
  • Snyder’s of Hanover
  • Yard House Restaurants
  • KBCO 97.3
  • 103.5 The FOX
  • AM 760
  • Additional GABF sponsors are recognized on the festival website.

About the Brewers Association

The Brewers Association is the not-for-profit trade association dedicated to small and independent American brewers, their craft beers and the community of brewing enthusiasts. The Brewers Association (BA) represents more than 70 percent of the brewing industry, and its members make more than 99 percent of the beer brewed in the U.S. The BA organizes events including the World Beer Cup┬«, Great American Beer Festival┬«, Craft Brewers Conference & BrewExpo America┬«, SAVORÔäá: An American Craft Beer & Food Experience and American Craft Beer Week┬«. The BA publishes The New Brewer magazine and its Brewers Publications division is the largest publisher of contemporary and relevant brewing literature for today’s craft brewers and homebrewers.

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