2012 Great American Beer Festival

October 11-13th, 2012

The Brewers Association will be puting on their 3st edition Great American Beer Festival on October 11-13th at the Colorado Convention Center  in Denver, CO. This craft beer event will showcase over 450 breweries from around the United States competing against each other to earn a gold medal for their brewery.

About the Beer Competition:

The Great American Beer festival is not only about sampling quality beer but is also a beer competition. Breweries enter their beers to be judged by the festival’s Professional Judge Panel. Festival attendees can also sip the beer entered in the competition during the tasting sessions. The Great American Beer Festival invites industry professionals from around the world to sit together in small groups and, without knowing the brand name, taste beers in each specified style category. The ultimate goal of the Great American Beer Festival Judge Panel is to identify the three beers that best represent each beer-style category as described and adopted by the Great American Beer Festival. The Professional Judge Panel awards gold, silver or bronze medals that are recognized around the world as symbols of brewing excellence. These awards are among the most coveted in the industry and heralded by the winning brewers in their national advertising. Five different three-hour judging sessions take place over the three-day period during the week of the festival. Judges are assigned beers to evaluate in their specific area of expertise and never judge their own product or any product in which they have a concern. – www.greatamericanbeerfestival.com

Participating Breweries:

Check out Brandons’s recap of GABF 2011 and stay tuned to more coverage about GABF 2012 over the next few months leading up the event.

New for 2012

Brewpub Pavilion

  • GABF will feature a Brewpub Pavilion, located in the central area of the festival hall.
  • The Brewpub Pavilion will include approximately 24 breweries representing all regions of the country.
  • The Pavilion will be set up to recreate the brewpub atmosphere that craft beer enthusiasts from all over enjoy, with seating and bite-sized snacks.
  • Brewpubs are worthy of celebration as they make up about half of U.S. breweries, numbering well more than 1,000 across the country.

More breweries

  • With some changes to the festival floor plan, GABF will have 110 more breweries pouring their beers in the hall this year, which is a 23 percent increase over 2011.

New 2012 competition category

  • Fresh Hop Ale—Brewers are increasingly looking for ways to brew beers in sync with the harvest season, and this new category showcases ales which are hopped exclusively with fresh, undried, “wet” hops. This brewing technique adds nuances of green, almost chlorophyll-like character.

GABF Awards Philosophy:

The Great American Beer Festival awards gold, silver and bronze medals for excellence in 75 beer-style categories but does not necessarily award medals to the top three finishers in a particular category. When judges decide a category contains three excellent examples of the style, they award gold, silver and bronze medals for the first, second and third place beers, respectively.

Gold: A world-class beer that accurately exemplifies the specified style, displaying the proper balance of taste, aroma and appearance.

Silver: An excellent beer that may vary slightly from style parameters while maintaining close adherence to the style and displaying excellent taste, aroma and appearance.

Bronze: A fine example of the style that may vary slightly from style parameters and/or have minor deviations in taste, aroma or appearance.

If judges believe that no beer in the category meets the quality and style-accuracy criteria, they may elect not to award a medal. Judges may award a beer with a silver or bronze medal and yet not award a gold medal. www.greatamericanbeerfestival.com

Beer Styles:

The 2012 Great American Beer Festival will judge 84 different beer categories based on parameters unique to each beer style. Judges evaluate the beers in each category based on those parameters and award medals accordingly. Below is the list of 2012 judging categories.

Hybrid/Mixed Styles

  1. American-Style Wheat Beer
    1. Subcategory: Light American Wheat Ale or Lager without Yeast
    2. Subcategory: Dark American Wheat Ale or Lager without Yeast
  2. American-Style Wheat Beer With Yeast
    1. Subcategory: Light American Wheat Ale or Lager with Yeast
    2. Subcategory: Dark American Wheat Ale or Lager with Yeast
  3. Fruit Beer
  4. Fruit Wheat Beer
  5. Field Beer or Pumpkin Beer
    1. Subcategory: Field Beer
    2. Subcategory: Pumpkin Beer
  6. Herb and Spice Beer
  7. Chocolate Beer
  8. Coffee Beer
  9. Specialty Beer
  10. Rye Beer
    1. Subcategory:RyeAle or Lager with or without Yeast
    2. Subcategory: German-StyleRyeAle with or without Yeast
  11. Specialty Honey Beer
  12. Session Beer
  13. Other Strong Beer
    1. Subcategory: Other Strong Ale or Lager
    2. Subcategory: American-Style Imperial Porter
    3. Subcategory: American-Style Wheat Wine Ale
  14. Experimental Beer
  15. Fresh Hop Ale
  16. Indigenous Beer
  17. Gluten-Free Beer
  18. American-Belgo-Style Ale
    1. Subcategory: Pale American-Belgo-Style Ale
    2. Subcategory: Dark American-Belgo-Style Ale
  19. American-Style Sour Ale
    1. Subcategory: American-Style Sour Ale
    2. Subcategory: Fruited American-Style Sour Ale
  20. American-Style Brett Ale
  21. Wood- and Barrel-Aged Beer
    1. Subcategory: Wood- and Barrel-Aged Pale to Amber Beer
    2. Subcategory: Wood- and Barrel-Aged Dark Beer
  22. Wood- and Barrel-Aged Strong Beer
  23. Wood- and Barrel-Aged Strong Stout
  24. Wood- and Barrel-Aged Sour Beer
    1. Subcategory: Wood- and Barrel-Aged Sour Beer
    2. Subcategory: Fruited Wood- and Barrel-Aged Sour Beer
  25. Aged Beer
  26. Kellerbier or Zwickelbier
    1. Subcategory: Unfiltered German-Style Lager
    2. Subcategory: Unfiltered German-Style Ale
  27. Smoke Beer
    1. Subcategory: Bamberg-Style Rauchbier
    2. Subcategory: Smoke Porter
    3. Subcategory: Other Smoke Beer
  28. American-Style or International-Style Pilsener
    1. Subcategory: American-Style Pilsener
    2. Subcategory: International-Style Pilsener
  29. German-Style Pilsener
  30. Bohemian-Style Pilsener
  31. Munich-Style Helles
  32. Dortmunder or German-Style Oktoberfest
    1. Subcategory: Dortmunder/European-Style Export
    2. Subcategory: German-Style Oktoberfest/Wiesen
  33. American-Style Lager, Light Lager or Premium Lager
    1. Subcategory: American-Style Light (Low Calorie) Lager
    2. Subcategory: American-Style Low-Carbohydrate Light Lager
    3. Subcategory: American-Style Lager
    4. Subcategory: American-Style Premium Lager
  34. American-Style Specialty Lager or Cream Ale or Lager
    1. Subcategory: American-Style Ice Lager
    2. Subcategory: American-Style Malt Liquor
    3. Subcategory: American-Style Cream Ale or Lager
  35. Vienna-Style Lager
  36. German-Style Märzen
  37. American-Style Amber Lager
    1. Subcategory: American-Style Amber Lager
    2. Subcategory:CaliforniaCommon Beer
    3. Subcategory: American–Style Märzen/Oktoberfest
  38. European-Style Dunkel
  39. American-Style Dark Lager
  40. German-Style Schwarzbier
  41. Bock
    1. Subcategory: Traditional German-Style Bock
    2. Subcategory: German-Style Heller Bock/Maibock
  42. German-Style Doppelbock or Eisbock
    1. Subcategory: German-Style Doppelbock
    2. Subcategory: German-Style Eisbock
  43. Baltic-Style Porter
  44. Golden or Blonde Ale
  45. German-Style Kölsch
  46. English-Style Summer Ale
  47. Classic English-Style Pale Ale
  48. English-Style India Pale Ale
  49. International-Style Pale Ale
  50. American-Style Pale Ale
  51. American-Style Strong Pale Ale
  52. American-Style India Pale Ale
  53. Imperial India Pale Ale
  54. American-Style Amber/Red Ale
  55. Imperial Red Ale
  56. English-Style Mild Ale
    1. Subcategory: English-Style Pale Mild Ale
    2. Subcategory: English-Style Dark Mild Ale
  57. Ordinary or Special Bitter
    1. Subcategory: Ordinary Bitter
    2. Subcategory: Special Bitter or Best Bitter
  58. Extra Special Bitter
    1. Subcategory: English-Style Extra Special Bitter
    2. Subcategory: American-Style Extra Special Bitter
  59. Scottish-Style Ale
    1. Subcategory: Scottish-Style Light Ale
    2. Subcategory: Scottish-Style Heavy Ale
    3. Subcategory: Scottish-Style Export Ale
  60. Irish-Style Red Ale
  61. English-Style Brown Ale
  62. American-Style Brown Ale
  63. American-Style Black Ale
  64. German-Style Altbier
  65. German-Style Sour Ale
    1. Subcategory: Berliner-Style Weisse
    2. Subcategory: Leipzig-Style Gose
  66. South German-Style Hefeweizen
  67. German-Style Wheat Ale
    1. Subcategory: South German-Style Kristal Weizen
    2. Subcategory: German-Style Leichtes Weizen
    3. Subcategory: South German-Style Bernsteinfarbenes Weizen
    4. Subcategory: South German-Style Dunkel Weizen
    5. Subcategory: South German-Style Weizenbock
  68. Belgian-Style Witbier
  69. French- and Belgian-Style Saison
  70. Belgian and French-Style Ale
    1. Subcategory: Belgian-Style Blonde Ale
    2. Subcategory: Belgian-Style Pale Ale
    3. Subcategory: French-Style Bière de Garde
    4. Subcategory: Other Belgian- and French-Style Ale
  71. Belgian-Style Lambic or Sour Ale
    1. Subcategory: Belgian-Style Lambic
    2. Subcategory: Belgian-Style Gueuze Lambic
    3. Subcategory: Belgian-Style Fruit Lambic
    4. Subcategory: Belgian-StyleFlandersOud Bruin or Oud Red Ale
    5. Subcategory: Other Belgian-Style Sour Ale
  72. Belgian-Style Abbey Ale
    1. Subcategory: Belgian-Style Dubbel
    2. Subcategory: Belgian-Style Tripel
    3. Subcategory: Belgian-Style Quadrupel
    4. Subcategory: Other Belgian-Style Abbey Ale
  73. Belgian-Style Strong Specialty Ale
    1. Subcategory: Belgian-Style Pale Strong Ale
    2. Subcategory: Belgian-Style Dark Strong Ale
    3. Subcategory: Other Belgian-Style Strong Specialty Ale
  74. Brown Porter
  75. Robust Porter
  76. Classic Irish-Style Dry Stout
  77. Foreign-Style Stout
  78. American-Style Stout
  79. Sweet Stout
  80. Oatmeal Stout
  81. Imperial Stout
    1. Subcategory: British-Style Imperial Stout
    2. Subcategory: American-Style Imperial Stout
  82. Scotch Ale
    1. Subcategory: Traditional Scotch Ale
    2. Subcategory: Peated Scotch Ale
  83. Old Ale or Strong Ale
    1. Subcategory: Old Ale
    2. Subcategory: Strong Ale
  84. Barley Wine-Style Ale
    1. Subcategory: British-Style Barley Wine Ale
    2. Subcategory: American-Style Barley Wine Ale

2012 GABF Style Descriptions – www.greatamericanbeerfestival.com