It looks like I picked a good year to miss the Great American Beer Festival as Idaho breweries were shut out in the medal competition in 2010.
Even can’t-miss prospects like the Ram’s Tail Dragger IPA and a former gold medal winner like Grand Teton Brewing Co.’s Bitch Creek didn’t medal this year.
Lessons learned from this? It’s hard to win a medal, every set of judges is different, and the American craft brewing industry is producing more great beers than ever before. That’s it.
Check out the entire list of GABF medal winners here to see how your favorite breweries did in the 75 different medal categories.
I have to give some props to Barley Brown’s Brew Pub in almost nearby Baker City, who scored three medals, including the gold in one of 2010’s marquee contests — the American Style India Black Ale, for their Turmoil black IPA, where they beat out 52 other breweries for the top honor.
Barley Brown’s also won silvers in the American-style stout and wheat beer categories for their Disorder Stout and Shredder Wheat. Good for them.
(In case anyone from Barley Brown's is reading this post, can you please improve your website? It's been "under construction" for like two years now. Thanks)
I’d also like to point out that Deschutes Brewing Co. won a gold medal for their iconic Mirror Pond Ale in the classic English-style Pale Ale category. Seriously, there is no better brew to introduce newbies into the craft beer universe than Mirror Pond.
Actually, there is never a good year to miss the GABF, by far the coolest convention ever created. You get to sample as many of the best beer produced in the US (over 2,000 available for tasting), with thousands of like minded beer nuts, at four different sessions.
I had to miss this year for a variety of reasons and I have to say I missed it in a pretty major way. I’ll be back next year and hopefully bring a little luck to our worthy Idaho brewers who enter beers in the competition.