GABF – Local Winners

Beer DrinkerSaturday is the last hurrah for the GABF, but what a hurrah it is. It begins with the announcement of the Gold, Silver and Bronze awards for all the brew styles and special awards for best brewery and brewmaster of a variety of sizes.

cool,” you think. And it is. But if you also think you are going to walk away with a list of winning beers to try on the floor at the convention hall you will be sadly mistaken, 1) because many winners only submitted competition entries and are not attending the festival, or 2) the beers are so good they have already been consumed by the thirsty hordes on Thursday and Friday nights.



Still, 275 medals were awarded to 242 different breweries scattered over more than 40 states. California was the big winner with 67 medals, but then they entered the most beers.

Here are the WA winners. Chuckanut, Reuben’s and Ghostfish each won two medals this year. First time winners Lucky Envelope, Wander, Three Magnets and Two Beers Brewing join previous year winners Fish Brewing, Silver City Brewing and Flyers Restaurant & Brewery in the state’s bragging rights for medals.



Medal Beer Name Brewery
Gold Chuckanut Kolsch Style Chuckanut Brewery
Gold Watchstander Stout Ghostfish Brewing Co.
Gold Gose Reuben’s Brews Taproom
Gold Old Scrooge Silver City Brewery
Gold Immersion Amber Ale Two Beers Brewing Co.
Gold Wild Warehouse Wander Brewing
Silver Spitfire Best Bitter Flyers Rst & Brewery
Bronze Chuckanut Dunkel Chuckanut Brewery
Bronze Boulder Bend Dunkelweizen Fish Brewing Co.
Bronze Ghostfish Grapefruit IPA Ghostfish Brewing Co.
Bronze Helles Lager Lucky Envelope Brewing
Bronze Dry Stout Reuben’s Brews
Bronze Old Skook Three Magnets Brewing

Do you know who has won the most GABF medals from Washington state? The answer is at the end of this story.

Here is a link to all the winners and all the categories from the 2015 competition.

More about the festival

The Saturday sessions start off with an AHA members-only session. Generally it is less crowded and some brewers bring out “extra special” brews just for the homebrewer crowd. I made it a point this year to focus on some famous breweries and try everything they poured. I was not disappointed. It was a special treat to have my Beer for Breakfast poured by none other than Dogfish Head owner/founder Sam Calagione and a delicious coffee porter from Brooklyn Brewery poured by author/brewmaster Garrett Oliver himself. I had everything from Dogfish Head. Several times. Higher Math is fantastic. I so wish we could get it out here.

Two Beer Servers

I made sure to taste everything from Alaskan Brewery, Southern Tier Brewing and Russian River Brewing. I also made sure I stopped by Bell’s Brewing, New Belgium, Sun King and Three Floyds. Sam Adams poured their 27% ABV Utopias to the delight of all. The line for Pliney the Elder was inexplicably long. To me it is an over-hopped, over-hyped brew well left at the store. Oh well. Different strokes, I guess.

DSCN0405I paid a bit of attention to the patronage at the “sellout” breweries who are no longer considered “craft” by definition. Elysian, and Goose Island seemed to have decent lines. Even Pabst and Budweiser had a few curious onlookers. But then, just because it isn’t “craft” doesn’t mean it has to taste bad.

The final session was Saturday night. I did not physically attend that session, but my understanding it that is was yet another glorious explosion of craft beer frenzy as people raced to taste their favorites before the kegs blew. And blow they did!

Yet another successful GABF in the books. It is amazing how this movement is growing all over the country.

So much great beer. So little time. And in some cases, so little availability outside of an event like the Great American Beer Festival.


Answer – Which WA brewery has won the most medals at GABF?

Big Time Brewery – Seattle – University District – 22 medals

  • Gold – 11
  • Silver – 2
  • Bronze – 9

Bob Shoemaker

Grew up in Renton, WA. Writer. Photographer. Homebrewer. Woodworker. Beer lover. UW grad. - 14 years in Marketing and Advertising communications - 16 years in technical product support, quality, loyalty, support analyst - 12 years as communications business owner