The Great American Beer Fest Winners Are In For Best Brew Across The Nation

Festival staff holding sign
Festival staff holding sign - Doug Pensinger/Getty Images

The results are in for the 2023 Great American Beer Festival. Breweries all the way from Atlanta to Washougal took home medals in 99 different categories. It might be hard to imagine that there are that many distinct types of beer, but what's even more amazing is that many of those categories also included subcategories. (That's a lot of beer for the judges to taste.)

Some of the most interesting categories that were included in the festival were Honey Beer, Dessert Stout, and Smoke Beer. The usual types were there too, of course, with plenty of competition for lagers, pilsners, and traditional German-style ales.

All in all, there were 263 winners. Together, they were awarded a total of 303 medals. You won't find any Sam Adams or Anheuser-Busch on the list of winners, either. Medalists hail from micro and craft breweries from across the nation. The competition is limited to American-made beers, though judges from 10 different countries lent their palates to the contest.

Read more: 10 Of The Healthiest Beers You Can Drink

The Big Winners

Beer tasters being poured
Beer tasters being poured - Doug Pensinger/Getty Images

Craft beer is big in the west, as evidenced by just how many winners come from that side of the country. Californian breweries left the competition with a whopping 73 medals. Meanwhile, Colorado brewers were awarded 40 medals and Oregon brewers won 23. Washington State rounded out the pack with 14 medals.

Quite a few individual breweries took home multiple medals. Washington-based Ghostfish Brewing dominated the gluten-free category with a gold medal for its It Came from the Haze and silver for its Lander Lager. Fat Head's Brewery took home three gold medals. The Ohio beermaker won the top awards in the German Wheat Ale, South German-style hefeweizen, and American-style India Pale Ale categories. Oregon's Deschutes Brewery — which is well-known for its Black Butte Porter and Mirror Pond Pale Ale — also left with three medals. It won gold in the Munich-Style Helles category, a silver in German-Style Doppelbock or Eisbock, and a bronze in Brett Beer.

Ohio's Third Eye Brewing Co. led the pack with gold medals in the Chocolate Beer and the Herb and Spice Beer categories, as well as a silver in Pumpkin Beer. The brewery also placed silver in the Collaboration Competition and won the Brewery and Brewer of the Year award for producers in the 1,001–2,000 barrels range. Oregon's Breakside Brewery wasn't far behind — with three golds and one silver.

Fun Facts About The Great American Beer Fest

Festival beer tasting glasses
Festival beer tasting glasses - Doug Pensinger/Getty Images

The Great American Beer Festival is an annual event that began in 1982 with a mere 24 breweries entering 47 beers into the competition. Originally held in a Boulder hotel, the festival has grown exponentially — so much so that it has had to change venues a few times since. It was finally moved to the Colorado Convention Center in Denver back in 2000, where it continues to this day.

The competition even went on in 2020 — though it was moved online due to the COVID-19 pandemic. It just goes to show how dedicated beer lovers really are.

The festival began as a part of an annual conference held by the American Homebrewers Association. It has since blossomed into a full-fledged festival, complete with a variety of food trucks. For non-beer drinkers, there are also now ciders and hard seltzers available as well. Unlike many beer festivals, this one is not a family affair — you've got to be at least 21 to get in.

Read the original article on Daily Meal.