The Great American Beer Festival (GABF), hosted by the Brewers Association, is one of the marquee annual events in the craft beer world. And, while the festival didn’t take place in person this year, the event’s annual competition, which happens to be the largest beer competition in the world, went off without a hitch. Judges awarded a total of 290 medals in gold, silver, and bronze categories across 175 different beer styles.

Even with the challenges of the past year and a half, the Brewer’s Association was upbeat about this year’s proceedings.

“Despite being forced to cancel the festival portion of GABF, our brewing community rallied together to make this year’s GABF competition one for the books — our largest competition judged to date,” said Chris Swersey, competition director, in a press release. “Judges continue to be impressed with the quality and innovation of all entries they evaluated. The Brewers Association is proud to honor this year’s deserving winners. We look forward to celebrating in person together next year.”

The Winners of the GABF 2021 Competition

A total of 9,680 beers were submitted this year from 2,192 different breweries with entries from all 50 states (and Washington, D.C. and Puerto Rico). Unsurprisingly, trendy styles like hazy IPA, American-style IPA, and fruited sours were the categories with the most entries.

Below are the winners of the three most-entered categories.

Category 64: Juicy or Hazy India Pale Ale (427 entries)

  • GOLD: DeadHead IPA Series: TourBus – DESTIHL Brewery, Normal, IL
  • SILVER: Art is Hard – North Park Beer Co., San Diego, CA
  • BRONZE: Blissed – Attitude Brewing Co., San Diego, CA

Category 63: American-style India Pale Ale (404 entries)

  • GOLD: Volatile Substance – Von Ebert Brewing – Pearl, Portland, OR
  • SILVER: JAF IPA – JAFB Wooster Brewery, Wooster, OH
  • BRONZE: Bullitt – All Season Brewing Co., Los Angeles, CA

Category 25: Fruited American Sour Ale (249 entries)

  • GOLD: Sherbet Drip – Fall River Brewing Co., Redding, CA
  • SILVER: Tropical Hurt Locker – Short Fuse Brewing Co., Schiller Park, IL
  • BRONZE: Rasmine – Lynnwood Brewing Concern, Raleigh, NC

In addition to the individual category winners, the Great American Beer Festival delivered various brewery of the year awards. Here were the winners:

0 – 250 Barrels Brewery and Brewer of the Year
Radiant Beer Co., Anaheim, CA; Andrew Bell & Radiant Beer Co. Team

251 – 500 Barrels Brewery and Brewer of the Year
Main & Six Brewing Co., Jacksonville, FL; Dennis Espinosa & Alex Leuthold

501 – 1,000 Barrels Brewery and Brewer of the Year
Moontown Brewing Co., Whitestown, IN; Cody Peczkowski

1,001 – 2,000 Barrels Brewery and Brewer of the Year
Cloudburst Brewing, Seattle, WA; Steve Luke & Zach Kornfeld

2,001 – 5,000 Barrels Brewery and Brewer of the Year
Short Fuse Brewing Co., Schiller Park, IL; Brian Lagro & Craig Kofod

5,001 – 15,000 Barrels Brewery and Brewer of the Year
Sudwerk Brewing Co., Davis, CA; Team Sudwerk

15,001 – 100,000 Barrels Brewery and Brewer of the Year
Allagash Brewing Co., Portland, ME; Team Allagash

With a total of three medals, Moontown Brewing Co. based in Whitestown, IN was the competition’s most medaled brewery. They earned:

  • SILVER: Moonlite – 40: American Cream Ale
  • BRONZE: 40th Parallel – 44: Bohemian-Style Pilsener
  • BRONZE: Skool House Bock – 51: Bock

Check out the full list of winners here.


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