The 2017 Great American Beer Festival (GABF), the largest commercial beer competition in the world, which took place last weekend in Denver, Colorado, celebrated the 36th anniversary of the festival and the 31st edition of the GABF competition. 60,000 attendees over three days and four sessions attended the event. 3,900+ beers from US 800 breweries were served in the festival hall, the biggest selection of American beers ever served. Tickets for the festival sold out in 4 hours and 15 minutes during the public ticket sale.
The competition took place in six sessions over a period of three days and was judged by 276 beer experts from 13 countries. In addition to commercial brewery entries, the judging panel also evaluated 118 Pro-Am entries.
Winners were chosen out of 7,923 competition entries from 2,217 breweries in 50 states plus Washington, D.C. , a 15 percent and 24 percent increase respectively from the 7,301 entries and 1,783 breweries in 2016.
In a ceremony at the Colorado Convention Center in Denver, award-winning breweries received prestigious gold, silver and bronze medals in 98 beer categories covering 161 different beer styles including all subcategories, establishing the best examples of each style in the country.
The competition awarded 293 medals to some of the best commercial breweries in the United States, plus three GABF Pro-Am medals to teams of homebrewers paired with professionals.
For the 15th year in a row, American-Style India Pale Ale drew the most interest with 312 entries, and the West Coast swept the style that put the Pacific states on the beer map. While bronze and silver was awarded to breweries from California, Georgetown Brewing Company from Seattle, Washington got top honors for Bodhizafa IPA.
The next GABF will take place on September 20-22, 2018 again in Denver, Colorado.