Sunday, October 14, 2007

GABF Winners Announced

The Great American Beer Festival -- which just wrapped up this weekend in Denver -- has announced its honorees for 2007.

Click here to download a list.

The problem I have with this competition, year in and year out, is that some of the country's top brewers seem to be consistently absent. Looking at past winners, it's clear the same collection of breweries enters each year. Add to that the fact that some categories hover under or around 10 entries in size, and it's clear that for whatever reason (logistics, entry fees, who knows), otherwise-worthy brewers are skipping the event.

Also, I can't help but feel an involuntary twinge of dismay that the country's biggest craft beer party is annually underwritten most generously by Anheuser-Busch, Miller and Coors.

This year, A-B's Redbridge took first place (out of eight entries...) in the Gluten-Free Beer category. The cynic in me wonders how much A-B pledged to increase their sponsorship in order to have that category created for this year's competition.

Nevertheless... I have to congratulate Houston's St. Arnold Brewing Co. for grabbing gold in the Kölsch category with their Fancy Lawnmower Beer. St. Arnold, and Lawnmower particularly, have always done well at the GABF.

Another repeat winner is Steamworks Brewing Co.'s Steam Engine Lager, gold medalist in the American-Style Amber Lager category. I've had the pleasure of trying this beer on a couple occasions and I found imminently enjoyable. Plus, I've met the Steamworks people; a nicer group of beer folks there ain't.

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