2020 GABF Winners: Pennsylvania

2020 GABF Winners: Pennsylvania

Great American Beer Festival Medals

2020 has been a challenging year (to say the least) for all kinds of events, conventions, brew fests, and other large beer related activities. Hell, Oktoberfest in Germany was cancelled this year. That alone should tell you everything you need to know about this year right there.

So the 2020 edition of GABF was not the normal (great) event it normally is. This year it went virtual (due to the pandemic) rather than being the fantastic event that brings in thousands of people and millions of gallons of beer to Colorado.

This was a rather lackluster year for awards in Pennsylvania as well. Sadly; this year, Pennsylvania only won three awards. One gold, and two silvers. Contrast that to last year’s seven awards won by Pennsylvania breweries (three gold, three silver, and one bronze). Hopefully 2021 will be a better year for Pennsylvania breweries (and not just in medalling at the GABF).

The results for Pennsylvania are below:

Great American Beer Festival GOLD


Category: Gluten-Free Beer
Brewery: Aurochs Brewing
Beer: Aurochs Hazy IPA

Great American Beer Festival SILVER


Category: English Mild or Bitter
Brewery: Wallenpaupack Brewing
Beer: English Pale Mild Ale

Category: English-Style Brown Ale
Brewery: Attic Brewing
Beer: Bloodhound Brown Ale

In 2019, Pennsylvania breweries that won included: New Trail Brewing Co, The Church Brew Works, 2SP Brewing, Free Will Brewing, Cellar Works Brewing, Swashbuckler Brewing Co, and Helltown Brewing Company.

You can read about the 2019 results here: 2019 GABF Winners: Pennsylvania.

For more information on the winners, of all of the different categories, you can read the Brewers Association press release on it, with a detailed analysis at the following link: Winners of 2020 Great American Beer Festival (Brewer’s Association Press). 272 medals were decided for 240 different breweries this year, which was the 34th edition of the event.

“Judges for the 34th edition of the celebrated competition evaluated 8,806 entries from 1,720 breweries from all 50 states plus Washington, D.C. Socially distanced judging took place in 35 sessions over 18 days with strict safety measures in place. The awards ceremony was held virtually on Friday evening, kicking off the two-day online programming portion of the Great American Beer Festival.  

“This year’s GABF competition may have looked a little different, but the beers entered into the competition were as impressive and innovative as ever,” said Chris Swersey, competition manager, Great American Beer Festival. “This has arguably been one of the most challenging years breweries have ever faced, so we hope these awards serve as a symbol not only of brewing excellence but also the resiliency of the craft brewing community as a whole.” (Brewer’s Association)

As per the above article, a quick run-down of statistics from the 2020 GABF Event:

GABF Competition Statistics

  • 34th edition of the GABF competition  
  • 8,806 beers judged 
  • 1,720 breweries in the competition from all 50 states plus Washington, D.C. 
  • 115 judges from 21 states 
  • Average number of competition beers entered in each category: 97 
  • Category with the highest number of entries: Juicy or Hazy India Pale Ale (377) 
  • 272 total medals awarded  
  • 240 medal-winning breweries  
  • 337 first-time GABF entrants 
  • 19 first-time GABF winners 

Sun King Brewery in Indianapolis, Indiana, won the most awards at this year’s event with 4 awards total. (One gold, and three bronzes.) In November, I am making a road trip out of Pennsylvania and through Western PA, Ohio, and into Indianapolis to visit the Vonnegut Museum and Library. I can definitely tell you that Sun King Brewery will be a stop for me at some point on that trip (they’ve been on my radar for quite a bit).

Cheers and here’s to hoping that 2021 is a much better year for our home state breweries in Pennsylvania. Let me know in the comments if you’ve tried any of the 2020 award winning beers. And check out the full article and let us know what you think of the results from around the country.

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-B. Kline

Great American Beer Festival Awards and Medals

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