Five (5) Michigan breweries brought home a collective six (6) medals from this year’s the Great American Beer Festival (GABF) Competition in Denver, Colorado—the largest commercial beer competition in the world and a symbol of brewing excellence, presented by the Brewers Association. These breweries include:
- Founders Brewing Company, Grand Rapids
- Oktoberfest – American Amber Lager
- Porter – Robust Porter
- Silver Harbor Brewing Co., St. Joseph
- Grandma’s Favorite Recipe – Fruit Wheat Beer
- Stormcloud Brewing Co., Frankfort
- 228 Tripel – Belgian-Style Abbey Ale
- Perrin Brewing Co., Comstock Park
- No Rules – Field Beer
- Territorial Brewing Co., Springfield
- Berry, Berry, Quite Contrary – American-Style Fruit Beer
The Great American Beer Festival is the granddaddy of all U.S. beer festivals, offering the largest collection of U.S. beer ever assembled. The judging 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. Medal distinctions are as follows:
- 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.
Judges for the 34th edition of the competition evaluated 8,806 entries from 1,7i20 breweries from all 50 states plus Washington, D.C. Socially distanced judging took place in 35 sessions over 18 days, with strict safety measures in place.
GABF Competition Statistics
- 34th edition of the GABF competition
- 8,806 beers judged
- 1,720 breweries in the competition from all 50 states plus Washington, D.C.
- 115 judges from 21 states
- Average number of competition beers entered in each category: 97
- Category with the highest number of entries: Juicy or Hazy India Pale Ale (377)
- 272 total medals awarded
- 240 medal-winning breweries
- 337 first-time GABF entrants
- 19 first-time GABF winners
Formed in 1997, the Michigan Brewers Guild represents nearly 300 member breweries (a number that increases on a monthly basis). The Guild is a passionate beer community that believes in quality artisanship, bold character, fun, responsibility and pushing the boundaries. The mission of the Guild is to promote and protect the Michigan beer industry with an overarching goal to help locally brewed beer attain 20% of all beer sales in the state by 2025.
Michigan’s brewing industry contributes more than 21,000 full-time jobs and $872 million in labor income, with a total economic impact of over $2.5 billion. In terms of overall number of breweries, microbreweries and brewpubs, Michigan ranks #6 in the nation—supporting its title as “The Great Beer State.”