Minnesota Breweries Represent at the 2016 Great American Beer Festival

The craft beer scene continues to expand and Minnesota breweries are among the best breweries in the nation. This year, 5 Minnesota breweries won medals at the Great American Beer Festival (GABF) – 2 gold and 3 bronze medals! We’re excited for these breweries and the continued success of the Minnesota beer scene as a whole. We’re going to shine a spotlight on this year’s winners but before we do let’s learn a little bit about the GABF itself.

What is the Great American Beer Festival


According the GABF Website, the Great American Beer Festival is the premier beer festival and commercial beer competition in the nation. The GABF was founded in 1982 and each year the GABF serves up the single largest collection of U.S. beer in a public beer festival and combines the event with a private beer competition. Basically, it’s the who’s who and what’s what of the commercial U.S. craft beer scene and the competition covers 96 beer categories across 161 recognized beer styles. This year 1,752 breweries from across the U.S. [10 from Minnesota] submitted 7,227 entries. That’s a lot of beer!

The festival is held at the Colorado Convention Center in Denver. Tickets are extremely hard to get and will typically go on sale at the beginning of August. Check out this link to see when the 2017 festival tickets go on sale.

Related: Local Breweries Win Big at 2015 GABF

Minnesota Breweries Win at the GABF

Category 8: Chili Beer – 112 Entries: Bronze Medal – Vengeance! Jalapeno Cream Ale, Jack Pine Brewery, Baxter, MN
Description: Dead Branch Cream Ale infused with fresh-cut jalapenos. Bright pepper flavor and aroma with just enough lingering heat to make you want more. (4.6% ABV)

Category 14: Rye Beer – 81 Entries: Bronze Medal: Runaround Rye Ale, Roundhouse Brewery, Brainerd, MN
Description: German-style rye ale brewed with malted barley and rye, for a dry, spicy flavor, dark malts for color and malt flavor, with mild banana and clove flavors contributed by the yeast, and Hallertauer hops for a mild bitterness. (5.4% ABV)

Category 29: Wood- and Barrel-Aged Strong Stout – 131 Entries: Gold Medal: Barrel-Aged Darkness, Surly Brewing Co., Brooklyn Center, MN
Description: Russian imperial stout brewed with pale ale, golden promise, crystal, dark crystal, oats, black, chocolate, and roast malts, as well as Amarillo, Columbus, and Simcoe hops; aged in rye whiskey barrels. (10.6% ABV)

Category 51: Golden or Blonde Ale – 115 Entries: Bronze Medal: German Blonde Ale, Bemidji Brewing Co., Bemidji, MN
Description: Light, crisp, and refreshing German Blonde Ale. (5.0% ABV)

Category 54: Classic English-Style Pale Ale – 38 Entries: Gold Medal: Extra Pale Ale, Summit Brewing Co., Saint Paul, MN
Description: With caramel, biscuity malts superbly balanced with an earthy hop bite and juicy citrus. (5.2% ABV)

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