For the 34th Great American Beer Festival, 1,552 breweries from all 50 states and Washington D.C. entered 6,647 beers in the related competition (20 percent more than in 2014). From those entries, 275 medals were awarded in 90 beer categories. Gold, silver and bronze medals are awarded to the beers best meeting the style guidelines for each category and sub-category.
The only beer category to not have a Gold medal awarded was Category 6, Pumpkin Beer, a trend I sincerely hope continues.
Montana’s haul of medals was lighter this year, especially after Missoula’s Draught Works Brewery won Very Small Brewery of the Year in 2014 while winning the Gold medal for Scepter Head in the American Style Strong Pale Ale category.
Madison River Brewing Co. (Belgrade) won Gold in Category, 64 Scottish-Style Ale, with Copper John Scotch Ale, just ahead of with Kettlehouse Brewing Co. (Missoula) which took Silver for Cold Smoke.
Montana Brewing Co. (Billings) took the Bronze in Category 65, Irish-Style Red Ale, with Hooligan’s Irish Red Ale, Montana Brewing Co., Billings, MT.
Montana breweries won 6 medals in 2014, 4 in 2013 and 2 in 2012.
Not surprisingly, the most entered categories included plenty of IPAs:
- American-Style India Pale Ale (336 entries)
- Imperial India Pale Ale (208 entries)
- Wood- and Barrel-Aged Strong Beer (179 entries)
- Session India Pale Ale (161 entries)
- American-Style Pale Ale (160 entries)