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Sunday, October 8, 2017

making HEADlines:

FLORIDA BREWERIES EARN MEDALS AT 2017 GREAT AMERICAN BEER FESTIVAL


DENVER, CO:   The nation's premier beer festival and competition event, Great American Beer Festival (GABF), took place October 5-7, 2017 at the Colorado Convention Center. Each year, tens of thousands of beer enthusiasts attend the three-day festival to sample beers from across the country. This year, attendance was estimated at 60,000, according to figures released from the Brewers Association. More than 800 breweries served an estimated 3900 beers, and the event was staffed with over 4300 volunteers. 


Brewers submit entries in a number of style categories set by the Brewers Association in the hopes of earning a Gold, Silver or Bronze Medal in the prestigious competition. On the last day of the festival each year, the medalists are announced in a three-hour ceremony.

This year, 293 medals were awarded to 266 breweries. Awards also include brewery and brewpub of the year medals, based on size of production.  Brewers submitted entries in 98 categories, which covered 161 beer styles and substyles. Judging occurred over a three-day session, with 276 beer experts from 13 countries making the determinations. As far as popular styles go, once again, the American IPA was the most-entered category, with 408 entries this year, passing last year's count of 312.  The Imperial IPA category was the second highest, with 221 entries. Brewers -- 2,217 to be exact --  in all 50 states and Washington, DC submitted over 7900 entries overall.  

Seven Florida breweries earned medals, and Brew Hub of Lakeland, won two gold medals. In order of style category announcements, the Florida medalists are: 

Silver: Big Top Brewing, Sarasota: Ringmaster Raspberry Berliner (Berliner Style Weisse category)

Gold: Six Ten Brewing, Tampa: Mischievous Black (Dark Lager category)

Gold: LauderAle, Fort Lauderdale: C Porter (Field Beer category)

Silver: Funky Buddha Brewery, Oakland Park: No Crusts (Field Beer category)

Bronze: Walking Tree Brewery, Vero Beach: Duke Snider's Imperial Stout (Imperial Stout category)

Gold: Brew Hub, Lakeland: Three Tun (Ordinary or Special Bitter category)

Gold: Brew Hub, Lakeland: Rome City IPA (Session IPA category)

Silver: Pinellas Ale Works, St. Pete: Milk Bone (Sweet Stout/Cream Stout category)

If you are looking ahead to the 2018 GABF, mark next year's dates of September 20-22. Tickets go on sale at the beginning of August (pre-sale to Brewers Association and American Homebrewers Association members the day before general public sales), and usually sell out within the hour. In addition to the beer festival tastings, a number of additional events are held over the course of the three days, including presentations by speakers, food pairings, and talks by brewers. 

For a look at my personal experience at the 2015 GABF, click here. This site has published several articles about visits to  Walking Tree Brewery (which also earned medals at Best Florida Beer earlier this year),  Funky Buddha BreweryBrew Hub and LauderAle.

Congratulations to the Florida medalists!

Cheers,
Linda Johnson,
Certified Cicerone®