Colorado Top Winning State at National Beer Competition

Colorado Top Winning State at National Beer Competition
The 2009 Great American Beer Festival shatters records despite the economy


The Great American Beer Festival (GABF) Competition, held September 24-26 in Denver, CO, continued its record setting ways, crushing last year’s entries by 16%. GABF remains the largest commercial beer competition in the world with 3,308 entries.

Colorado and California typically dominate the competition each year for the most medals won by each state, with Colorado breweries and brewpubs coming out ahead for 2009. The top five medal winning states were: CO (45), CA (39), OR (22), WA (13), PA (12).

The GABF competition attracted 132 international beer judges from ten countries. Award-winning brewers received prestigious gold, silver and bronze medals in 78 beer categories, establishing the best examples of each style in the U.S.

2009 Brewery and Brewer of the Year Awards

Large Brewing Company and Large Brewing Company Brewer of the Year
Coors Brewing Company, Golden, CO; Dr. David Ryder

Mid-Size Brewing Company and Mid-Size Brewing Company Brewer of the Year
(Sponsored by Crosby & Baker Ltd.)
Flying Dog Brewery, Frederick, MD; Robert Malone

Small Brewing Company and Small Brewing Company Brewer of the Year
(Sponsored by Microstar Keg Management)
Dry Dock Brewing Company, Aurora, CO; Dry Dock Brewing Team

Large Brewpub and Large Brewpub Brewer of the Year
(Sponsored by Brewers Supply Group)
Pizza Port Carlsbad, Carlsbad, CA; Pizza Port Brew Guys

Small Brewpub and Small Brewpub Brewer of the Year
(Sponsored by Briess Malt & Ingredients Co.)
Chuckanut Brewery, Bellingham, WA; Will Kemper

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. American Homebrewers Association member Ben Miller teamed up with Chama River Brewing Co. in Albuquerque, N.M. to win gold for Herbal Joe’s Columbarillo IPA.

2009 Great American Beer Festival Pro-Am Competition
(Sponsored by Briess Malt & Ingredients Co. and HopUnion(

Gold: Herbal Joes Columbarillo IPA, Chama River Brewing Co., Albuquerque, NM Brewmaster: Jeff Erway, AHA Member: Ben Miller

Silver: Alright Already Amber, OFallon Brewery, OFallon, MO Brewmaster: Brian Owens, AHA Member: Jim Yeager

Bronze: Time of the Season, Upslope Brewing Co., Boulder, CO Brewmaster: Daniel Pages, AHA Member: Brian Patterson

The most competitive category was American Style India Pale Ale with 134 entries. The gold medal went to Firestone Walker Brewing Co., Paso Robles, CA for Union Jack for the second straight year. The second most hotly contested category was Wood- and Barrel-Aged Strong Beer with 110 entries (up from 79 in 2008). The gold medal went to Arcadia Brewing Co., Battle Creek, MI for Cereal Killer Barleywine.

Click here for more information on the results from the 2009 Great American Beer Festival

Download the full PDF version of the GABF Winner’s List