|At the recently-concluded 2007 Great American Beer Festival, more than 100 judges labored for three days to evaluate 2,793 beers. (For those of you who don’t consider this labor—it truly is). An impressive 222 medals were awarded in 75 beer style categories; top breweries and brewers were then named based on the total number of medals won. Brewers covet Great American Beer Festival medals as the highest recognition of their brewing talents and beer quality. Each year brewers send their beers to Denver to be evaluated by the festival’s Professional Judge Panel which looks to select the top three beers that best represent each style. Winners can tout their awards to customers and distributors to help build their reputations and sales.Among the 75 categories, American-style India Pale Ale continued to lead with the most entries; but there was explosive growth in the Fruit and Vegetable Beer category and impressive growth in the Wood-Barrel-Aged Beer category. The new category of Gluten-Free beer, with just 8 entries, is expected to grow dramatically as brewers recognize the size of the market of beer lovers with wheat allergies. This year, California brewers took the top prizes. Firestone Walker Brewing Company of Paso Robles was chosen as best Mid-Size Brewing Company and The Lost Abbey of San Marcos, brewed by Port Brewing, the best Small Brewing Company.||
The Lost Abbey 10 Commandments Ale
|It is worth visiting LostAbbey.com just to read their philosophy and contemplate the beers (“Judgment Day, “Devotion” and others). If you live in one of the 25 states into which it is legal to ship beer, you can become a Patron Saint and order a Lost Abbey sampler pack. The rest of us need to petition our state representatives to repeal legislation that protects a few beer distributors and penalizes consumer craft beer enthusiasts. For a full list of winers in each of the 75 style categories, visit Beertown.org. Read more about craft beer in THE NIBBLE’s Beer Section.|
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