2018 Great American Beer Festival Competition Winners Announced in Denver

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2018 Great American Beer Festival competition awards
The 2018 Great American Beer Festival competition awards were handed out Saturday, Sept. 22. (Brewers Association)

Hundreds of American breweries have some new heavy medal to show off after Saturday’s 2018 Great American Beer Festival competition ceremony in Denver.


Beers are judged according to style and GABF competition is stiff with 8,496 entries in 102 beer categories this year.

The 2018 GABF competition is the first time in more than a decade and half that American-Style IPA was not the most-entered beer category. The new Juicy or Hazy India Pale Ale style category was the most-entered with 391 entries. American-Style IPA had 311. Here are the breweries that took home medals in those top two categories:

Category 63: Juicy or Hazy India Pale Ale

  • GOLD: Alarmist Brewing – Le Jus, Chicago, IL
  • SILVER: Kros Strain Brewing Co., Fairy Nectar London Double Dry Hopped – La Vista, NE
  • BRONZE: Eris Brewery and Cider House, Foiken Haze – Chicago, IL

Category 62: American-Style India Pale Ale

  • GOLD: Root Down Brewing Co. – Bine, Phoenixville, PA
  • SILVER: Appalachian Mountain Brewery, Portsmouth, Not an IPA (P.S. it’s an IPA) – Portsmouth, NH
  • BRONZE: Green Cheek Beer Co. – West Coast IPA is Dead! – Orange, CA

(READ: BA Responds to Comedian Jim Gaffigan’s Criticism of Craft Beer)

This is the 32nd GABF competition, and it posts impressive stats:

  • 293 judges from 13 countries
  • 2,404 breweries in the competition from 49 states plus Washington, D.C. (no Mississippi)
  • 537 first-time GABF entrants

You can see all the award-winning beers at the Great American Beer Festival’s website and learn more about the Brewery and Brewer of the Year Awards at BrewersAssociation.org.

Jess Baker walked into a beer fest in 2010 and realized beer had come a long way from what her dad had been drinking since the 70s. She served as editor-in-chief of CraftBeer.com from spring 2016 to spring 2020, bringing you stories about the people who are the heartbeat behind U.S. craft brewing. She's a runner, a die-hard Springsteen fan, a mom who is always scouting family-friendly breweries, and always in search of a darn good porter.

CraftBeer.com is fully dedicated to small and independent U.S. breweries. We are published by the Brewers Association, the not-for-profit trade group dedicated to promoting and protecting America’s small and independent craft brewers. Stories and opinions shared on CraftBeer.com do not imply endorsement by or positions taken by the Brewers Association or its members.