It was another good year for Michigan craft brewers at the 28th Annual Great American Beer Festival (GABF) Competition, held September 24-26, in Denver, CO.
“Michigan breweries continue to hold their own in this national competition,” says Scott Graham, Executive Director of the Michigan Brewers Guild. “We consistently bring home medals, reinforcing our claim that Michigan is the Great Beer State.”
Seven members of the Michigan Brewers Guild received honors this year, including:
• Arcadia Ales, Battle Creek
Cereal Killer Barleywine – Wood- & Barrel-Aged Strong Beer (110 entries)
• Big Rock Chop House & Brewery, Birmingham
Red Rock – Belgian-Style Lambic or Sour Ale (29 entries)
• Shorts Brewing Co., Bellaire
Bloody Beer – Experimental Beer (32 entries)
• Redwood Brewing Co., Flint
Cream Stout – Sweet Stout (27 entries)
• Bastone Brewery, Royal Oak
Saison Du Bastone – French- and Belgian-Style Saison (56 entries)
• Jolly Pumpkin Artisan Ales, Dexter
Bam Bier – Session Beer (27 entries)
• Kuhnhenn Brewing Co., Warren
4th Dementia Old Ale – Old Ale or Strong Ale (29 entries)
The Great American Beer Festival invites industry professionals from around the world to sit together in small groups and, without knowing the brand name, taste beers in each specified style category. The ultimate goal of the judging panel is to identify the three beers that best represent each beer-style category as described and adopted by the GABF.
Five different three-hour judging sessions take place over the three-day period during the week of the festival, with judges assigned to evaluate beers in their specific area of expertise. Breweries are awarded points, which are tabulated to arrive at the top three place medals in each category. The judging panel awards gold, silver or bronze medals that are recognized around the world as symbols of brewing excellence. These awards are among the most coveted in the industry and heralded by the winning brewers in their national advertising. Medal distinctions are as follows:
• GOLD: A world-class beer that accurately exemplifies the specified style, displaying the proper balance of taste, aroma and appearance.
• SILVER: An excellent beer that may vary slightly from style parameters while maintaining close adherence to the style and displaying excellent taste, aroma and appearance.
• BRONZE: A fine example of the style that may vary slightly from style parameters and/or have minor deviations in taste, aroma or appearance.
The Great American Beer Festival is the granddaddy of all U.S. beer festivals, offering the largest collection of U.S. beer ever assembled. Sponsored by The Brewers Association, the festival features more than 1900 different beers from 400 breweries throughout the country. A highlight of the festival is that many of the beers are served by their makers, allowing aficionados the chance to meet many of their beer heroes. The 2010 dates for GABF are September 16-18 in Denver.
Michigan’s thriving brewing industry contributes over $24 million in wages with a total economic contribution of more than $133 million. In terms of overall number breweries, microbreweries and brewpubs, Michigan ranks #6 in the nation – thus supporting its claim as “The Great Beer State.”
The Michigan Brewers Guild exists to unify the Michigan brewing community; to increase sales of Michigan-brewed beer through promotions, marketing, public awareness and consumer education; and to monitor and assure a healthy beer industry within the state. Each year, the Guild hosts four annual craft beer festivals, with the next – Michigan Harvest Beer Festival – scheduled for October 24 (1-6pm) at Eastern Market in Detroit.
For more information about the Michigan Brewers Guild, including a dates of upcoming events and a list of member micro-breweries, log on to www.michiganbrewersguild.org.