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  1. #1
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    2008 Great American Beer Festival winners

    Here's the list.

    There are a lot of wins for the big boys, as there are very year.

    What impresses me most is that I've had beers that I think are excellent in a lot of the categories, but I haven't had or even heard of most of these. I think this says a lot about the current state of brewing in America.

    I'm sure there are more active breweries that before Prohibition, but the diversity of the products is probably greater than even the early 20th century. The pale lager was already king at the turn of that century. It still is now, of course, but a lot of people are making a lot of different styles.

  2. #2
    Bourbonian of the Year 2006
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    Re: 2008 Great American Beer Festival winners

    I was sad to see that BOCK (Brewers of Central Kentucky) did not win a medal in the Pro-Am like they did last year.

    I did find quite a few beers that I have had.

    Bluegrass Brewing Company in Louisville collected a gold for Kick in the Baltic Porter.

    A new favorite micro, Capt Lawrence, collected a gold and a bronze. This one is in Pleasantville, NY. Scott Vaccaro is a great brewer. I expect this year's Nor'Easter, which will be aged in recently acquired BT barrels (some from the Antique Collection),
    will be an award winner.

    I will personally use this list like a map to set up a "find the best beers in America" trip.
    Last edited by pepcycle; 10-14-2008 at 11:17.
    Colonel Ed
    Bourbonian of the Year 2006

    Comissioned by Paul Patton, 1999

    "It ain't the booze that brings me in here, it's the solace it distills"

  3. #3
    Bourbonian of the Year 2010 and Guru
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    Re: 2008 Great American Beer Festival winners

    I, too, was quite happy to see so many beers and breweries whose products I've had the pleasure of trying...but it's also quite the reminder that I really need to try harder to get my hands on some of these brewers' efforts.
    2010 Bourbonian of the Year

    As long as you have good whiskey you're not "unemployed", you're "Funemployed!!!"

    I'm no Pappyophile

  4. #4
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    Re: 2008 Great American Beer Festival winners

    Quote Originally Posted by pepcycle View Post
    I was sad to see that BOCK (Brewers of Central Kentucky) did not win a medal in the Pro-Am like they did last year.

    I did find quite a few beers that I have had.

    Bluegrass Brewing Company in Louisville collected a gold for Kick in the Baltic Porter.

    A new favorite micro, Capt Lawrence, collected a gold and a bronze. This one is in Pleasantville, NY. Scott Vaccaro is a great brewer. I expect this year's Nor'Easter, which will be aged in recently acquired BT barrels (some from the Antique Collection),
    will be an award winner.

    I will personally use this list like a map to set up a "find the best beers in America" trip.
    Capt Lawrence makes great beer, period. Well deserved. I have a bunch of Scott's stuff in my cellar.

  5. #5

    Re: 2008 Great American Beer Festival winners

    Quote Originally Posted by craigthom View Post


    I'm sure there are more active breweries that before Prohibition, but the diversity of the products is probably greater than even the early 20th century.
    I supposed it's all in the way one looks at it. In 1910 (before WWI's grain shortages and lower ABV laws, and before many states enacted state-wide Prohibition) there were 1,495 breweries in the US.

    Today, using Brewers Assoc. figures (somewhat problematic in their definitions) there are 1,463 breweries BUT (and, I think, it's a big "but") just about 2/3 of them are just brewpubs, which by law in many states can only sell beer at the brewery. So, for true "breweries", the figure is under 500.

    Also, the dominance of the top 2 brewers- A-B, MillerCoors with about 85% of the market- renders just about any comparision to the pre-Pro era useless. Subtract the ever increasing import figures (and close to 1/2 of that is from Mexican brewers and their adjunct light lagers) and ALL the craft brewers are still stuck with trying to divide up less than 5% of the market. By comparison, A-B, in the first years after Repeal was still the #1 US brewer- but they had only about 3-4% of the market at the time.


    Quote Originally Posted by craigthom View Post

    The pale lager was already king at the turn of that century. It still is now, of course, but a lot of people are making a lot of different styles.
    There's no doubt that there are many more styles of beer brewed in the US than in the pre-Pro era (heck, for that matter, there are simply many more *recognized* beer styles and sub-styles now, as well). And, most markets probably have a choice of more styles, and more brands than they would have back then. But, again, proportion-wise, the non-light lager styles are still nowhere near what they once were, even after "adjunct light lager" came to dominant US beer production.

    American Brewer magazine's "25 Years of Brewing" (a booklet put out in 1958 in recognition of the 25th anniversary of Repeal) noted that, even after Prohibition, ales made up 15-20% of malt beverage production in the US. (By '58, it was down to 5% and, less than a decade later, would be just over 1% in '67.) So, I think it's fair to say that the percentage of non-light lagers in the first decade of the twentieth century was probably even greater than 15-20%, considering that many of breweries that didn't come back after Repeal were older, less successful companies (and, thus, more likely to brew older styles) that didn't have the money to re-tool in the 1930's and, of those that did, many "streamlined" their line-up and dropped the other styles.

    Today, again based on the generous "under 5%" figure for craft brewers' market share, one would imagine that beer styles other than "light lager" and "light beer" (this modern style alone has close to 1/2 the market now) have a much smaller percentage of the market than they did 100 years ago.
    Last edited by jesskidden; 10-15-2008 at 05:14.

  6. #6
    Bourbonian of the Year 2010 and Guru
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    Re: 2008 Great American Beer Festival winners

    Quote Originally Posted by jesskidden View Post
    I supposed it's all in the way one looks at it. In 1910 (before WWI's grain shortages and lower ABV laws, and before many states enacted state-wide Prohibition) there were 1,495 breweries in the US.

    Today, using Brewers Assoc. figures (somewhat problematic in their definitions) there are 1,463 breweries BUT (and, I think, it's a big "but") just about 2/3 of them are just brewpubs, which by law in many states can only sell beer at the brewery. So, for true "breweries", the figure is under 500.
    It would be interesting to know how many of those pre-pro breweries were what we would call brewpubs or only served local draft accounts(ie. they didn't bottle their product), possibly even being a tied house brewery (where the pubs they served only served that brewery's beer).

    The widespread distribution we see today of microbrewed beer would be very unlikely due to the less widespread use of refrigeration and pasteurization.
    2010 Bourbonian of the Year

    As long as you have good whiskey you're not "unemployed", you're "Funemployed!!!"

    I'm no Pappyophile

  7. #7

    Re: 2008 Great American Beer Festival winners

    Quote Originally Posted by barturtle View Post
    It would be interesting to know how many of those pre-pro breweries were what we would call brewpubs or only served local draft accounts(ie. they didn't bottle their product), possibly even being a tied house brewery (where the pubs they served only served that brewery's beer).
    I doubt the "brewpub" as defined today (*primarily* a restaurant, that brews it's own beer for on-premise consumption) really existed in the pre-Prohibtion twentieth century. That's not to say that some brewers didn't have saloons that served food- I guess I see the difference as restaurants that brew beer vs. saloons or beer gardens (possibly owned by a brewery or tied houses) that also sold food.

    But I agree with you that a large number of those 1500 or so breweries in the US at the time (especially in larger cities with dozens of breweries) were very small, draught only affairs, supplying keg beer to a relatively small number of bars in it's immediate area.

    Of course, another difficult aspect of comparing now and 100 years ago is the dramatic change in the way beer is sold and consumed in the US, going from a market dominated by draught beer "on premise" consumption to the packaged, take-out home market today.
    Last edited by jesskidden; 10-15-2008 at 05:45.

  8. #8
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    Re: 2008 Great American Beer Festival winners

    I was there, I did the Friday night session and the AHA Member's Only on Sat. Pretty good time. I had a lot of great beer and it is over whelming to see how much is there to taste. I also had a lot of shitty beer.

    If you're looking to get your hands on beer from around the US, join Beer Advocate. There's a lot of trading that goes on and is an expensive way (buying/packing/shipping) to trade for other good beer but a lot of guys are into it.

    If I go again next year I'll probably do Thursday night and Sat afternoon...the quick turnaround between sessions was a bit rough.
    The avatar is me as a little tyke.

  9. #9
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    Re: 2008 Great American Beer Festival winners

    Did I rean that right? Hamms took a Silver??! I mean, sure I like a Hamms from time to time, but Silver Medal material, I don't think so. Something from Pabst taking a gold? Never had Lone Star. And Henry Weinhard's beat out Widmer in the Hef category? ... Kind of lost respect for the list after the first three.
    C

    "everybody defamates from miles away
    but face to face
    they haven't got a thing to say"

  10. #10
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    Re: 2008 Great American Beer Festival winners

    Category: 17 Wood- and Barrel-Aged Strong Beer - 79 Entries
    Gold: Bourbon Barrel Barleywine, Central Waters Brewing Co., Amherst, W

    Interesting product...wonder what this one tastes like....most of these products have very limited distribution.

 

 

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