by Brian Stechschulte... Oct 16, 2012

So Abraham Lincoln and a Space Chimp named Ham walked into the Great American Beer Festival (GABF). They served a few drinks, danced their butt off at the silent disco and crashed the awards ceremony. Guess who left with a bronze medal? The Space Chimp! Who happily accepted the award for Bitter American Extra Pale Ale by 21st Amendment Brewery in the Session Beer category.

Of course the crew from 21st Amendment was behind the fake beard and rubber mask. In case you don’t know, they pay homage to these great American figures on two of their beer cans. Honest Abe appears on Brew Free! Or Die IPA, while Ham is floating in space on the side of Bitter American, which is their first canned beer to receive a GABF medal.

The 21st Amendment team accepting the award from Brewers Association president Charlie Papazian.

Please congratulate the crew at 21st Amendment for this big achievement. The competition at GABF gets tougher every year. According to the Brewers Association, “winners were chosen from 4,338 competition entries from 666 breweries, hailing from 48 states, Washington, D.C. and Guam. Medals were awarded in 84 beer categories covering 134 different beer styles (encompassing subcategories), establishing the best examples of each style in the U.S.”

Although that’s the only medal Guild members received this year, it doesn’t mean San Francisco beer wasn’t well represented and didn’t receive accolades. Nine members of the San Francisco Brewers Guild served at their own booths on the festival floor. The Guild was also featured in the Support Your Local Brewery Pavilion, where we served eleven beers over four different festival sessions. The feedback about our beer and great city was exceptional. We’ll be back next year!

Here’s some highlights from the event.

The Guild’s booth prepped for the Friday Night session and thousands of GABF attendees.

21st Amendment owner and brewmaster Shaun O’Sullivan with brewer Zambo.

Speakeasy brewers Kushal Hall and Joe Smith manning their GABF booth.

Social Kitchen & Brewery served four of their beers.

Master Cicerone Rich Higgins helped us serve beer at the Guild booth.

Anchor Brewing’s finely tailored booth drew large crowds.

Anchor Brewing’s Mark Carpenter with Bryan Hermannsson of Pacific Brewing Laboratory.

Anchor Brewing served a full lineup of beer, including the new Flying Cloud Stout, the latest installment of it’s Zymaster Series.

Magnolia owner and brewmaster Dave McLean (center), with staff members Zac Brown (left) and Kevin Landwehr (right).

ThirstyBear brewmaster Brenden Dobel with Zak Davis of Shmaltz Brewing.