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Monday, October 13, 2008
GABF 2008---a few numbers to ponder
As everyone recovers in this week after GABF, I'm running some numbers and it looks as if a mere 230 medals were awarded to 142 different breweries/brewpubs across 81 categories, including the Pro-Am and brewery/brewpub of the year categories. One category did not award a gold, and one only awarded a silver; the controversy continues. Some interesting notes from Iron Hill, Lost Abbey, and Flossmoor Station provide insight into a brewery's preparation for this annual festival. For starters, an interesting note: least amount of entries in a category (10, up 2 from last year; Gluten Free Beer) and most (104, down 16 from last year; American Style IPA) Most awards by organization (at least 4) 8 to MillerCoors 8 to Lost Abbey/Pizza Port 8 to Rock Bottom 6 to Firestone Walker 6 to Iron Hill 5 to AleSmith 5 to Anheuser-Busch 4 to Alaskan 4 to Pabst 4 to Pyramid 4 to The SandLot Number of awards to groups of restaurants/brewpubs 8 to the Lost Abbey/Pizza Port group 8 to the Rock Bottom group 6 to the Iron Hill group 3 to the CB & Potts group 2 to the BJ's Restaurant group 2 to the RAM Restaurant group Some other quick stats: 17 from the greater Philadelphia region (6 Iron Hill; 3 Dogfish; 2 Tröegs; 1 Flying Fish; 1 Nodding Head; 1 Sly Fox; 1 Stewart's; 1 Victory; 1 Allentown/Bethlehem Brew Works) You might say, huh? Sly Fox with only one award? (or we could say that for other breweries listed here as well, the argument could go on...) I'd agree with you, but then, check out their gold and the category that it is in...Smoke Flavored Beer beating out 30 other entries including the perennial (and most-decorated beer ever) winner, Alaskan Smoked Porter. Very nice indeed! Within a further shouting distance from the Philly region, these guys deserve notice as well: Penn in Pittsburgh (2), Clipper City in Baltimore (2), and Bullfrog in Williamsport (1). A bunch of my favorites from neighboring New York also took home hardware, like Captain Lawrence, Ithaca, Ommegang, and Six Point. Check out the full list over at the Brewers Association's website. One last statistic is for Elk Grove in California. Fortunately, they picked up yet another two GABF medals, this year for their Brown and their Bock. Unfortunately, as perhaps one of the earliest signs of the times for the craft brewing industry, Elk Grove is closing up citing financial difficulties. Congratulations and best wishes for the future to the folks at Elk Grove.