286 Medals Awarded to 254 Brewers

Boulder, CO • October 8, 2016—In its 30th year, the 2016 Great American Beer Festival (GABF) competition awarded 286 medals to some of the best commercial breweries in the United States, plus three GABF Pro-Am medals to teams of amateur homebrewers paired with professionals. Presented by the Brewers Association, GABF is the largest commercial beer competition in the world and a symbol of brewing excellence.

View the 2016 winners or download a PDF list of the winners.

Overview: Great American Beer Festival Competition

In a ceremony at the Colorado Convention Center in Denver, prestigious gold, silver and bronze medals were awarded to winning breweries in 96 beer categories covering 161 different beer styles (including all subcategories), establishing the best examples of each style in the country. Neither a gold nor a silver medal were awarded in the Pumpkin/Squash Beer category.

Winners were chosen from 7,227 competition entries (nearly 9 percent more than the 6,647 entries in 2015 and surpassing all previous participation records) from 1,752 breweries hailing from 50 states plus Washington, D.C.

The competition also saw its biggest-ever panel of judges, with 264 beer experts from 12 countries, including the U.S., and 170 competition volunteers. The panel also evaluated 88 Pro-Am entries, which were judged in three rounds over four days.

2016 Brewery and Brewer of the Year Awards

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

Sponsored by Brewers Supply Group (BSG)

  • Brown Truck Brewery, High Point, N.C.
  • Team Brown Truck

Small Brewing Company and Small Brewing Company Brewer of the Year

Sponsored by O-I

  • Überbrew, Billings, Mont.
  • Über Cru

Mid-Size Brewing Company and Mid-Size Brewing Company Brewer of the Year

Sponsored by MicroStar Logistics

  • Karl Strauss Brewing Co. – San Diego, San Diego, CA
  • Team Karl

Large Brewing Company and Large Brewing Company Brewer of the Year

Sponsored by Beer Institute

  • Pabst Brewing Co., Los Angeles, Calif.
  • Gregory Deuhs

Small Brewpub and Small Brewpub Brewer of the Year

Sponsored by Briess Malt & Ingredients Co.

  • ZwanzigZ Brewing, Columbus, Ind.
  • Mike Rybinski and Trent Fleener

Mid-Size Brewpub of the Year

Sponsored by Brewers Supply Group (BSG)

  • Boxing Bear Brewing Co., Albuquerque, NM
  • Justin Hamilton and Dylan Davis

Large Brewpub and Large Brewpub Brewer of the Year

Sponsored by Country Malt Group

  • The Austin Beer Garden Brewing Co., Austin, Texas
  • Amos Swifty Kim

Overall Competition Highlights

  • Most medals won:
    • Four (4) medals were won by Überbrew, Billings, Mont. (2 gold, 1 silver, 1 bronze)
    • Three (3) medals were won by each of the following breweries:
    • Karl Strauss Brewing Co. – San Diego, San Diego, Calif. (2 golds, 1 bronze)
    • Brown Truck Brewery, High Point, N.C. (1 gold, 2 silver)
    • Fat Head’s Brewery & Saloon, North Olmsted, Ohio (1 gold, 1 silver, 1 bronze)
  • Top three states by ratio of medals to entries by state:
    • Wyoming (.111) with 45 entries and 5 medals
    • Hawaii (.107) with 28 entries and 3 medals
    • Virginia (.07) with 200 entries and 14 medals
  • First-time GABF competition entrants (self-identified during the registration process) numbered 464. Of those first-time entering breweries, 41 won medals.

2016 Great American Beer Festival Winners

Style Categories

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:

  • American-Style India Pale Ale (312 entries)
  • Imperial India Pale Ale (211 entries)
  • American-Style Strong Pale Ale (169 entries)
  • Coffee Beer (168 entries)
  • Wood- and Barrel-Aged Strong Beer (159 entries)

In 2015, the top-five entered style categories included Session India Pale Ale and American-Style Pale Ale, which did not make the top five this year. New in the top five in 2016 compared to last year are American-Style Strong Pale Ale and Coffee Beer.

The average number of competition beers entered in each category was 75—up from 72 in 2015— making the 2016 Great American Beer Festival competition the most competitive ever.

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

American-Style India Pale Ale (312 entries)

  • Gold: Bodhizafa IPA, Georgetown Brewing Co., Seattle, Wash.
  • Silver:  Super Cali IPA, Riip Beer Co., Huntington Beach, Calif.
  • Bronze:  Breaking Bud, Knee Deep Brewing Co., Auburn, Calif.

Imperial India Pale Ale (211 entries)

  • Gold: Humulus Insani, Überbrew, Billings, Mont.
  • Silver: Nobility, Noble Ale Works, Anaheim, Calif.
  • Bronze: Hop JuJu Imperial IPA, Fat Head’s Brewery, Middleburg Heights, Ohio

American-Style Strong Pale Ale (169 entries)

  • Gold: Good Green, Highland Park Brewery, Los Angeles, Calif.
  • Silver: Rippin, Sunriver Brewing, Sunriver, Ore.
  • Bronze: HFS, Alpine Beer Co., San Diego, Calif.

Coffee Beer (168 entries)

  • Gold: Gusto Crema, Georgetown Brewing Co., Seattle Wash.
  • Silver: Dusk ‘til Dawn – SC, Pizza Port San Clemente, San Clemente, Calif.
  • Bronze: Zumbar Chocolate Coffee Imperial Stout, New English Brewing Co., San Diego, Calif.

Wood- and Barrel-Aged Strong Beer (159 entries)

  • Gold: Silent Warrior, TAPS Fish House and Brewery – Corona, Corona, Calif.
  • Silver: Mélange À Trois, Nebraska Brewing Co. – Papillion, Papillion, Neb.
  • Bronze: 15th Anniversary Ale, Island Brewing Co., Carpinteria, Calif.

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)

2016 Great American Beer Festival Pro-Am Competition

Sponsored by Briess Malt & Ingredients Co., The Country Malt Group, Yakima Chief-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: Just Rye’te, Panther Island Brewing Co., Fort Worth, Texas
  • Panther Island Brewing and AHA member Clifton Ellis
  • Silver: Vernal Equinox, Starr Hill Brewery, Crozet, Va.
  • Starr Hill Brewing Team and AHA member Gary Layton
  • Bronze: The Kolsch Experiment, Altitude Chophouse and Brewery, Laramie, Wyo.
  • Jesse Brown and AHA member Shawn Miller

2016 Great American Beer Festival Winners

Summary: 2016 Great American Beer Festival Statistics

  • 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

2016 Great American Beer Festival Official Sponsors

  • Carhartt
  • DRAFT Magazine
  • MicroStar Logistics
  • Red Robin Gourmet Burgers and Brews
  • CraftBeer.com

Additional GABF sponsors are recognized on the festival website. Photos for media use are available on the GABF website.

 

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Mississippi Beer Distributor Paul J. Bertucci to Lead Association’s Efforts on Behalf of America’s More Than 3,000 Licensed, Independent Beer Distributors

ALEXANDRIA, VA – The National Beer Wholesalers Association (NBWA) is proud to announce its Board of Directors officers for the 2016-2017 term. Paul J. Bertucci, executive vice president of F.E.B. Distributing Company, Inc. in Gulfport and Capital City Beverages, Inc. in Jackson, Mississippi, takes the helm as chairman of the Board. He assumed the position and its responsibilities during NBWA’s 79th Annual Convention held September 25 – 28 in Chicago, Illinois.

Other officers of NBWA’s Board of Directors include:

  • Vice Chairman Jim Matesich, president and CEO of Matesich Distributing Co. in Newark, Ohio
  • Treasurer Michael Schilleci, executive vice president of Supreme Beverage Company, Inc. in Birmingham, Alabama
  • Secretary Brian Gelner, president of Premium Beverage Sales in Springfield, Missouri
  • Immediate Past Chairman Travis Markstein, president of Markstein Beverage Co. in San Marcos, California

As chairman, Bertucci will help lead the association as it works to advocate for licensed, independent beer distributors and educate elected officials, regulators, media and the public about the importance of effective state-based alcohol regulation and the regulatory, economic and commercial value of independent beer distributors.

“Paul has devoted years of service to NBWA’s Board of Directors, giving him a full background and working knowledge of the association’s goals and agenda,” said NBWA President & CEO Craig Purser. “In his years of service as a state director for Mississippi and in every elected officer position, Paul has proven to be a dedicated and results-oriented leader.”

“I look forward to working closely with Paul to engage members, invest in the next generation, continue to build meaningful relationships with state associations and industry partners, communicate the value of independent beer distributors and advance the association’s goals in the year ahead,” Purser said.

Bertucci, his brother Frank and his cousin Frank Drennan are the third generation to own and manage the day-to-day operations of the family business that was started in 1934. Today, F.E.B. Distributing and Capital City Beverages service 22 counties along the Mississippi Gulf Coast and Central Mississippi, representing more than 100 brands of domestic, imported and craft beer. The companies employ more than 200 people in Mississippi.

NBWA and America’s beer distributors support a robust and competitive system of independent beer distribution, which provides access to market and a level playing field for brewers of all sizes. Beer distributors serve as the critical link in the American beer distribution system, sourcing products from brewers and importers and delivering products to state-licensed retailers. This effective system is driven by consumer choice – enabling American consumers to choose from the widest selection of products in the world – and works to ensure that only safe, fresh beer reaches American consumers of legal drinking age.

Download high-res photo of Paul J. Bertucci >>

 

Press Release: Beer Industry Partnerships Highlighted at NBWA’s 79th Annual Convention

September 27, 2016

  CHICAGO, IL – Today, Paul J. Bertucci, executive vice president of F.E.B. Distributing Company, Inc. in Gulfport and Capital City Beverages, Inc. in Jackson, Mississippi, assumed the position of 2016-2017 chairman of the Board of Directors for the National Beer Wholesalers Association (NBWA) at the association’s 79th Annual Convention in Chicago, Illinois. As chairman, Bertucci […]

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Press Release: NBWA 79th Annual Convention Celebrates “Golden Age of Beer” and Open and Independent Beer Distribution System

September 26, 2016

CHICAGO, IL – The National Beer Wholesalers Association (NBWA) kicked off the first full day of its 79th Annual Convention today at the Hyatt Regency Chicago in Chicago, Illinois. NBWA’s outgoing Chairman of the Board Travis Markstein reflected on beer industry developments over the past year and the state of the American beer industry saying, “Our […]

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Press Release: Allagash Brewing Company Named Brewer Partner of the Year at NBWA Annual Convention

September 26, 2016

KettleHouse Brewing Co. and Port City Brewing Company Also Recognized by National Beer Wholesalers Association CHICAGO, IL – The National Beer Wholesalers Association (NBWA) is pleased to announce that Allagash Brewing Company of Portland, Maine, is the recipient of the second annual NBWA Brewer Partner of the Year Award. The award was presented today during […]

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Press Release: America’s Beer Distributors Commemorate Constitution Day, 21st Amendment’s Role in Establishing Today’s System of Alcohol Regulation

September 16, 2016

ALEXANDRIA, VA – On September 17, America’s beer distributors will join citizens throughout the country in commemorating Constitution Day, which celebrates the formation and signing of the U.S. Constitution on September 17, 1787. National Beer Wholesalers Association (NBWA) President & CEO Craig Purser issued the following statement: “NBWA raises a glass in celebration of our […]

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Press Release: National Study Highlights Quality Jobs in America’s Beer Distribution Industry This Labor Day

September 1, 2016

ALEXANDRIA, Va. – As Americans prepare to celebrate Labor Day, the National Beer Wholesalers Association (NBWA) is recognizing the men and women of the beer distribution industry whose work positively impacts the nation’s economy. NBWA President and CEO Craig Purser said, “From truck drivers to fork lift operators, and from graphic artists to sales representatives, […]

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Press Release: America’s Beer Distributors Applaud Continued Growth for Craft Beer

July 26, 2016

ALEXANDRIA, Va. – The National Beer Wholesalers Association (NBWA) – which represents the interests of America’s more than 3,000 licensed, independent beer distributors – applauds America’s craft brewers for their continued growth and entrepreneurial spirit, which adds energy and excitement to the American beer industry. The Brewers Association (BA) released data today showing that production […]

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Press Release: America’s Independent Beer Distributors Kick Off Summer Beer Selling Season

May 26, 2016

ALEXANDRIA, Va. – As Memorial Day weekend approaches, America’s more than 3,000 independent beer distributors are helping retailers stock up for the start of the summer beer selling season by delivering an unprecedented variety of beer brands. “Over the course of the year, beer distributors across the United States deliver nearly 3 billion cases of […]

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Press Release: America’s Beer Distributors Celebrate Craft Beer Week

May 16, 2016

ALEXANDRIA, Va. – America’s more than 3,000 licensed, independent beer distributors are celebrating the excitement that new, entrepreneurial brewers bring to the beer industry and consumers across the country during American Craft Beer Week, May 16-22, 2016. During the week, the culture and contributions of local breweries across the United States will be highlighted. According […]

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