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Monday, August 24, 2009

Great American Beer Festival Medals Roll in for California, Colorado and Wisconsin Brewers

If you are a beer drinker in California, Colorado or Wisconsin there is pretty good chance that there is gold in your glass. Great American Beer Festival gold that is.

The three states have combined for a total of 1,116 medals since the Great American Beer Festival started handing out gold, silver and bronze awards in 1987. That's 37.6 percent of the medals handed out over the years by the professional judging panels.

Mike Wirth has worked with me during the last couple of months to pull together an interesting new infographic that helps paint a clear a picture of where the best beers and breweries are based across the United States. Mike happens to be my son-in-law and creates some interesting infographics that you can check out on his website.

Beer is a $101 billion business in the U.S. and GABF medals have been used as a marketing tool by brewers large and Receiving a GABF medal can help build a brand's reputation among beer fans.

Alaskan Smoked Porter with 17 GABF medals (7 gold, 5 silver and 5 bronze) is the most decorated American beer of all-time at the GABF, followed by New Belgium Abbey Style Ale (10) Genesee Cream Ale (10)and Samuel Adams Double Bock (9). Anheuser-Busch has won the most medals among American brewers.

While some states pile up the medals each year, West Virginia still has not had a brewery win a GABF honor. Oklahoma and North Dakota breweries have received just a single medal over the years.

The 2009 GABF kicks off exactly a month from today. It will be interesting to see if there are any breakout performances or if previous trends hold solid.

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