2016 GABF Winners

The largest commercial beer competition in the world concluded this weekend, as the Great American Beer Festival awarded 286 medals to 254 breweries from 37 states, competing in 96 categories of beer styles.  I’ve completed my annual analysis of the winners across a variety of categories.  Here are a few interesting stats…

  • 34 breweries won multiple medals, almost the same as last year (36)
  • California won 1 more medal than last year, still accounting for 24% of the total
  • San Diego (11) and Portland (10) remained on top
  • Fat Heads and Karl Strauss were the only 2 brewery families to win 3 medals or more in 2015 and 2016
  • American-Style India Pale Ale remained the most competitive category with 312 entries, down from 336 last year
  • Another 18 categories saw more than 100 entries each, with an average of 75 entries per category
  • 1,752 of the nation’s 4,269-ish breweries entered the competition, with 780 in Denver pouring beer at the festival
  • 464 breweries entered GABF for the first time, winning 41 medals
  • Montana’s Uberbrew was the big winner, the only single-location brewery to win 4 medals, and they took home the prize for Small Brewing Company of the Year
  • Wyoming and Hawaii almost tied for best “winning percentage,” winning 5 medals on 45 entries and 3 medals on 28 entries, respectively
  • I’ve visited 107 of the winning breweries

(This takes a lot of data crunching, please notify me if you find any errors. My numbers include medals from the Pro-Am category.)




Breweries with More than 2 Medals



The following chart is by the Brewer’s Association Craft Brewery categories, which go like this:

  • Regional: annual production between 15,000 and 6 million barrels
  • Brewpub: less than 15,000 barrels, more than 25% on-site sales
  • Microbrewery: less than 15,000 barrels, less than 25% on-site sales


Master List; Sortable, Filterable (click on a cell and scroll to the right to see the beer name, category, and number of entries).