We were at GABF. We’re working up some features on the event right now as our hangover subsides. Until then, here are all the winners. The 2017 Great American Beer Festival (GABF) competition awarded 293 medals to some of the best commercial breweries in the United States, plus three GABF Pro-Am medals to teams of homebrewers paired with professionals. Presented by the Brewers Association (BA), GABF is the largest commercial beer competition in the world and the premier symbol of brewing excellence.
View all the 2017 winners right here.
Overview: Great American Beer Festival competition
In a ceremony at the Colorado Convention Center in Denver, award-winning breweries received prestigious gold, silver and bronze medals in 98 beer categories covering 161 different beer styles (including all subcategories), establishing the best examples of each style in the country.
Winners were chosen out of 7,923 competition entries from 2,217 breweries in 50 states plus Washington, D.C. (a 15 percent and 24 percent increase respectively from the 7,301 entries and 1,783 breweries in 2016). The competition took place in six sessions over a period of three days and was judged by 276 beer experts from 13 countries, including the U.S. In addition to commercial brewery entries, the judging panel also evaluated 118 Pro-Am entries. The competition was made possible with the help of 365 volunteers.
2017 Brewery and Brewer of Year Awards
Very Small Brewing Company and Brewmaster of the Year | <1,000 bbls
On Tour Brewing Co., Chicago, and Mark Poffenberger & Mark Legenza
Small Brewing Company and Brewmaster of the Year | 1,000-14,999 bbls
Sunriver Brewing, Sunriver, Ore., and Sunriver Brewing Team
Mid-Size Brewing Company and Brewmaster of the Year | 15,000-6,000,000 bbls
Saint Arnold Brewing Co., Houston, Texas, and Saint Arnold Brew Crew
Small Brewpub and Brewmaster of the Year | <750 bbls
Rockford Brewing Co., Rockford, Mich., and Rockford Brewing Co.
Mid-Size Brewpub and Brewmaster of the Year | 750-1,500 bbls
Moon River Brewing Co., Savannah, Ga., and Moon River Brewing Co.
Large Brewpub and Brewmaster of the Year | 1,500+ bbls
The Austin Beer Garden Brewing Co., Austin, Texas, and Amos Swifty Kim
Large breweries or multiple location breweries
Brewery Group and Brewmaster of the Year
Melvin Brewing, Alpine, Wyo., and Melvin Brewing
Overall competition highlights
Most medals won by a single brewery: Saint Arnold Brewing Co. (3)
Top three states by ratio of medals to entries by state:
- West Virginia — 12 entries, 2 medals
- Wyoming — 46 entries, 5 medals
- Connecticut — 39 entries, 4 medals
First-time GABF competition entrants (self-identified during the registration process) numbered 584. Of those first-time entering breweries, 36 won medals.
Since 2002, the most-entered category has been American-Style India Pale Ale (IPA), which saw 408 entries in 2017 compared to 312 entries in 2016. The top five entered categories and number of entries per category were:
- Category 60 American-Style India Pale Ale (408 entries)
- Category 61 Imperial India Pale Ale (221 entries)
- Category 58 American-Style Pale Ale (199 entries)
- Category 59 American-Style Strong Pale Ale (182 entries)
- Category 29 Wood- and Barrel-Aged Strong Beer (175 entries)
The winners in the most-entered (that is, the most competitive) categories were:
Category 60 American-Style India Pale Ale (408 entries)
- Gold: Prairie Madness, Hailstorm Brewing Co., Tinley Park, Ill.
- Silver: Gold Digger IPA, Auburn Alehouse, Auburn, Calif.
- Bronze: Breakside IPA, Breakside Brewery & Taproom, Milwaukie, Ore.
Category 61 Imperial India Pale Ale (221 entries)
- Gold: Manta Ray, Ballast Point Brewing Co., San Diego
- Silver: Lupulin River, Knee Deep Brewing Co., Auburn, Calif.
- Bronze: Chux, Danville Brewing Co., Danville, Calif.
Category 58 American-Style Pale Ale (199 entries)
- Gold: Monterey Street, Central Coast Brewing Co., San Luis Obispo, Calif.
- Silver: Mosaic Pale Ale, Lynnwood Brewing Concern – Production Facility; Raleigh, N.C.
- Bronze: Triple Tail, SweetWater Brewing Co., Atlanta
Category 59 American-Style Strong Pale Ale (182 entries)
- Gold: Hubert MPA, Melvin Brewing, Alpine, Wyo.
- Silver: Wolfback Ridge, Headlands Brewing Co., Mill Valley, Calif.
- Bronze: Breakside Stay West, Breakside Brewery + Beer Hall, Portland
Category 29 Wood- and Barrel-Aged Strong Beer (175 entries)
- Gold: Hurly Burly Port Barrel Aged Barleywine, Out of Bounds Brewing Co., Rocklin, Calif.
- Silver: Woods Monk, Odyssey Beerwerks, Arvada, Colo.
- Bronze: Barrel Aged Barleywine, Charleville Vineyard & Microbrewery, Sainte Genevieve, Mo.
2017 Great American Beer Festival Pro-Am Competition
Gold, silver and bronze medals were also awarded in the GABF Pro-Am competition, which pairs homebrewers 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: Just Another Pretty Face, Denver Beer Co., Denver; Brewmaster: Jason Buehler and Denver Beer Co. Brewing Team; Homebrewer: Doug Thiel
- Silver: Lichtenhainer, Black Bottle Brewery, Fort Collins, Colo.; Brewmaster: Black Bottle Scuba Squad; Homebrewer: Daniel Tomkins
- Bronze: Eluxansis, Odell Brewing Co., Fort Collins, Colo.; Brewmaster: Odell Brew Team; Homebrewer: Mark Boelman
2017 Great American Beer Festival and competition stats
36th anniversary of the festival; 31st edition of the GABF competition
- Over 800 breweries in the festival hall
- 3,900+ beers served at the festival
- 60,000 attendees
- 4,308 volunteers (festival and competition combined)
- 2,217 breweries in the competition from 50 states plus Washington, D.C.
- 266 medal-winning breweries
- 293 total medals awarded
- 7,923 beers judged (not including 118 Pro-Am competition entries)
- 98 beer categories covering 161 different beer styles judged, plus the Pro-Am competition
- 276 judges from 13 different countries
- Average number of competition beers entered in each category: 81
- Category with the highest number of entries: American-Style India Pale Ale
- A gold medal was not awarded in the Fruited American-Style Sour Ale category