The granddaddy of all beer festivals came to a close this past weekend in Denver, CO. The brewers have trickled back into San Francisco from the Great American Beer Festival (GABF) and are now recuperating from three days of beer filled sessions and awards ceremony stress. San Francisco was well represented on the festival floor, and a few of our members claimed awards.
21st Amendment Brewery, Almanac Beer, Anchor Brewing, Cerveceria de MateVeza, Headlands Brewing, Magnolia Brewery, ThirstyBear Brewing, and Speakeasy Ales & Lagers served beer to some of the nearly 50,000 attendees. Their beer was also among the 4,809 entries that were submitted to competition portion of the event. 201 judges doled out gold, silver and bronze medals in 84 categories.
Speakeasy Ales & Lagers collected the first festival award on Friday for best brewery booth design. They won the award by literally bringing a piece of San Francisco with them to GABF. They replicated the look and feel of their brewery tap room by using reclaimed wood, lush red fabric, raising a corrugated roof, and capping it off with a colorful cutout sign that featured Speakeasy brand characters. The Speakeasy staff even dressed for the occasion by wearing period clothing.
On Saturday, the Speakeasy crew had even more cause for celebration when Prohibition Ale won a gold medal in the American-style Amber/Red Ale category. This is the first GABF award for Speakeasy and head brewer Kushal Hall, who’s been with the brewery since 2007. He’s come a long way from scrubbing brewery floors and working on the packaging line to make great beer!
Rounding out the awards for San Francisco breweries, 21st Amendment kept their GABF streak alive by proving stouts can be session beers. Their MCA Stout won a silver medal in the session beer category. According to head brewer David Szamborski (aka Zambo) the beer is dedicated to Beastie Boys legend Adam Yauch (aka MCA), who passed away when the beer was first created.
Here’s a few more photo highlights from the weekend:
Headlands Brewing made the trip to GABF for the first time this year. They enjoyed chatting with festival goers and received many accolades from fellow brewers.
This was also the first GABF for Almanac Beer. Their all barrel-aged lineup attracted a steady line of festival attendees.
The Magnolia Brewery booth team. From left to right: Zac Brown, Nick Fisher & Alex Csernay.
Among their numerous classics, Anchor Brewing featured their new Zymaster Series No. 5: Harvest One American Pale Ale. From left to right: Longtime brewmaster Mark Carpenter, Belle Wang-Rosin and Jason McKibben.
ThirstyBear Brewing came back to GABF this year after a long hiatus. Their Panda Bear beer was a festival favorite. Left to right: Owner and head brewer Ron Silberstein with brewmaster Brenden Dobel.
Photos © Brian Stechschulte