Another year and another Great American Beer Festival is in the bag. For those unfamiliar with this event (commonly known as GABF), it is an annual event held in Denver, CO where thousands of craft beer lovers can taste various fermentations from around the United States, AND serves as the World Series of craft beer competitions for the breweries. Judges award Gold, Silver, and Bronze medals for excellence in 75 beer-style categories. The criteria? Those beers that best represent their selected category in taste, aroma, and appearance. Sounds like a good panel to be a judge on!
Well one thing you can be sure of, its that there is a pretty good correlation with the number of medals a state’s breweries bring home and the quality of that state’s local craft beer scene. Based on that logic, I’m confident to say that the craft beer scene here in Indiana is very healthy (as if tasting the beer around here wasn’t enough)! This year Indiana placed tied for 11th place with a total of 7 medals (list below in alpha order):
Silver in Belgian-Style Abbey Ale | Beer: Sanitarium
Mad Anthony Brewing Co
Gold in Fruit Wheat Beer | Beer: Ruby Raspberry Wheat
RAM Brewery Indy
Silver in Field Beer or Pumpkin Beer | Beer: Anaheim IPA
Sun King Brewing Co
Gold in Barley Wine-Style Ale | Beer: Johan the Barleywine
Silver in Wood-and Barrel-Aged Strong Beer | Beer: Pappy Van Muckle
Three Floyds Brewing Co
Bronze in American-Style Pale Ale | Beer: Zombie Dust
Upland Brewing Co
Gold in Belgian-Style Lambic or Sour Ale | Beer: Sour Reserve
The seven medals for this year is a slight drop from last year, but is due mainly to the change in rules. The thing to take note of here though, is that Indiana has been steadily bringing home medals since the late 90’s, with the last two years being our biggest years ever. Check out this page from GABF that lets you see the history of medal winners dating back to 1983: GABF Medal Winners.
So, join me in congratulating this year’s Indiana medal winners; hats off to you for representing our great state, and for continuing to create great beer we love to drink.
PS: For anyone that is new to Indiana, visit this link from the Brewers of Indiana Guild to find a brewery close to you: Indiana Local Breweries