On Friday evening, the Brewers Association held their awards ceremony for 2020 Great American Beer Festival; these screenshots show the winners for each of the 91 beer categories covering 170 different beer styles.
I have been attending GABF since 2017, and photographed the awards ceremony each time, so I have to admit I felt a little guilty not having to stay cross-legged or on my knees on a hard floor while trying to take photos of large groups of people while staying low enough to not get in the way of the people sitting in the first row of chairs for two hours. While I was definitely more comfortable at home, I would have rather been on the floor of the Bellco Theatre seeing friends. Thanks COVID.
There is no doubt COVID has put a pretty heavy strain on the craft beer industry, so it should be no surprise that the numbers were down from last year’s record entries; but 8,806 beers from 1,720 breweries is still a mighty task, especially when you have to factor in all the safety protocols that have to be implemented. 115 judges from 21 states held 35 sessions over 18 days to come up with 272 of a possible 273 winners; there was no bronze medal given in the Gluten-Free Beer category (#20).
Locally, El Segundo Brewing got a gold for Hammerland (Imperial India Pale Ale), and a bronze for Devil’s Path (Strong Red Ale); Three Weavers got gold for Deep Roots (English Mild or Bitter); and Firestone Walker’s Propagator got gold for Wookey Jack (American-Style Black Ale or American-Style Stout). Beachwood Blendery got gold for Funk Yeah (Belgian-Style Lambic or Sour Ale) while Beachwood BBQ & Brewing picked up a bronze for Barrel-Aged Full Malted Jacket (Wood- and Barrel-Aged Strong Beer).
Other Los Angeles area winners include Claremont Craft Ales who got a gold for Pepper & Peaches (Experimental IPA), and a gold for Happy Days (Strong Red Ale); Bravery Brewing who picked up a silver with Bourbon B.A. Big Game (Wood- and Barrel-Aged Strong Beer); and Highland Park Brewery got a bronze for Sugar on My Tongue (Juicy or Hazy Imperial India Pale Ale).
The big winner for Southern California (all of California, actually), is Riip Beer who picked up three medals; gold for Tangible Passion (Belgian-Style Specialty Ale), and silver for The Riizzo (Coffee Stout or Porter) and Black the Riipper (American-Style Black Ale or American-Style Stout).
All the winners of the 2020 Great American Beer Festival can be found at https://www.greatamericanbeerfestival.com/the-competition/winners/. Congratulations to all the winners, sponsors, and the Brewers Association. Cheers!
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