In the Bohemian's beer issue last month, we featured the North Bay brewers headed to the Great American Beer Festival in Denver. Over 49,000 beer-minded individuals descended upon the Mile High City for this year's GABF, where 580 U.S. breweries (nearly one-third of the nation's total) showcased their fermented offerings on the festival floor. The GABF medal winners were announced on Oct. 13, the third and final day of the event.
While this year's GABF was the most competitive in history (with more than 4,000 beers submitted for judging), North Bay brewers didn't come home empty-handed. Russian River Brewing Company received silver in the new Fresh Hop Ale category with its HopTime Harvest ale. And Bear Republic (pictured with Charlie Papazian of the Brewers Association) came home with two additional pieces of hardware to add to its collection: a bronze in the Brown Porter category for Peter Brown Tribute ale, and a silver in the über-competitive Imperial IPA category for Café Racer 15.
The off-site Alpha King Challenge, a competition of highly hopped beers that's historically been dominated by Californian breweries, went to a little-known spot in Jackson, Wyo., this year (Thai Me Up restaurant and brewery) for its 2X4 Imperial IPA.
Northern California breweries as a whole took home four gold medals, with Sierra Nevada Estate Homegrown ale, Auburn Alehouse Gold Country pilsner, Mad River Steelhead extra pale ale and Heretic Gramarye each claiming the top spot in their respective categories.