Washington breweries brought home 14 medals from the Great American Beer Festival (GABF) this year. Winners were announced yesterday in Denver. The competition is generally considered the nation’s most important beer-judging event. I share the list of Washington winners below. See the complete list of all winners here. (Above: Seattle’s Ghostfish Brewing won two medals this year.)
Over 9,200 beers from 2,033 breweries were entered in the competition this year. In a field of so many beers, winning is not easy, especially in some of the more popular categories, like Juicy or Hazy India Pale Ale (365 entries), West Coast-Style India Pale Ale (301 entries), and German-Style Pilsener (228 entries). Special congratulations to Uprise Brewing of Spokane for winning a medal for its West Coast IPA! Not an easy feat in such a crowded field.
Here are some quick facts about the 2023 edition of the GABF:
- This year, three Washington breweries won two medals each: Cloudburst Brewing, Ghostfish Brewing, and Kulshan Brewing.
- There were 303 medals awarded to 263 breweries.
- Beers were judged in 99 beer categories across 175 beer styles (including all subcategories).
- The competition took place in three phases over nine days and was judged by 250 beer experts from 10 countries, including the U.S.
- In all, 9,298 beers were entered in the competition — from all 50 states plus Washington, D.C., and Puerto Rico.
- California brewers earned 75 medals this year. The state has at least twice as many breweries as any other state (over 1,100), but it is still an impressive number.
- Colorado captured 39 medals. Brewers in that state make great beer but also enjoy a home-field advantage because of the beer they do not need to ship the beer across the country: the GABF takes place in Denver.
- Oregon brewers brought home 23 medals, which is not surprising. They make great beer and are always well-represented at GABF.
- Texas earned 19 medals. This number, I presume, will continue to grow in the coming years as craft brewing itself continues to grow in the very large state of Texas.
- Ohio brewers snagged 19 medals, which is impressive. Let’s call Ohio an up-and-comer.
Washington 2023 GABF Winners
Now, let’s get to the list of winning beers from Washington brewers. Remember, we do not know who did and did not enter beer in the competition; we only know the winners. Your favorite IPA from your favorite brewery might not have been in the competition.
Category 9: Coffee Beer – 69 Entries
Gold: Cuppa Joe Coffee Brown Ale, Kulshan Brewing Co., Bellingham, WA
Category 16: Session India Pale Ale – 82 Entries
Gold: Only Good Vibes, Halcyon Brewing Co., Seattle, WA
Category 23: Gluten-Free Beer – 47 Entries
Gold: It Came From The Haze, Ghostfish Brewing Co., Seattle, WA
Silver: Lander Lager, Ghostfish Brewing Co., Seattle, WA
Category 34: Kellerbier or Zwickelbier – 70 Entries
Silver: Chasing Trains, Formula Brewing, Issaquah, WA
Category 42: Other Hoppy Lager – 68 Entries
Bronze: Day Beer, Trap Door Brewing – Whistle Stop Pub, Washougal, WA
Category 48: Dortmunder or German-Style Oktoberfest – 134 Entries
Bronze: Dorty Work, Cloudburst Brewing, Seattle, WA
Category 66: West Coast-Style India Pale Ale – 301 Entries
Bronze: Bright Side IPA, Uprise Brewing Co., Spokane, WA
Category 69: American Amber/Red Ale – 130 Entries
Silver: Night Sky Red Ale, Sound2Summit Brewery, Snohomish, WA
Category 70: Strong Red Ale – 50 Entries
Silver: Say Hi To Your Dad For Me, Cloudburst Brewing, Seattle, WA
Category 81: German-Style Altbier – 48 Entries
Silver: Altbier, Four Generals Brewing, Renton, WA
Category 83: South German-Style Hefeweizen – 158 Entries
Silver: Kulshan Hefeweizen, Kulshan Brewing Co. – K2, Bellingham, WA
Category 87: Specialty Saison – 63 Entries
Bronze: 1710 Saison, Figurehead Brewing Co., Seattle, WA
Category 93: Robust Porter – 62 Entries
Silver: Robust Porter, Reuben’s Brews – Production Brewery, Seattle, WA