You could liken the Great American Beer Festival (GABF) to our team’s personal Super Bowl. There’s competition, the fans, and, not unlike America’s football holiday, lots and lots of beer. Put on annually since 1982 by the Brewers Association, GABF is the nation’s premier beer competition and festival of enormous proportions (62,000 attendees this year, to be exact). The 2018 competition had 2,404 breweries participate and an overall number of 8,496 beer entries submitted in its 100+ judging categories.
California received the most medals of all the states (70 medals), followed by Colorado (30), Oregon (22), Texas (18) and Washington (17). Even more exciting was that many Art of Beer Invitational alum took home a lot of those medals.
FiftyFifty Brewing Co. from Truckee received top honors with three medals and the “Brewer Group and Brewery Group Brewer of the Year” award. Other past AOB participants who medaled include Sudwerk Brewing Co., Drake’s, 21st Amendment, New Helvetia Brewing Co. and Firestone Walker, Karl Strauss, and Founder’s.
One of the newest breweries in Sacramento also won big: Alaro Craft Brewery took home the gold medal for their Castillo IPA in the English-Style IPA. Alaro opened at the former Rubicon Brewing Co. space in June 2018.