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Creative Loafing - Georgia Breweries Represent at the 2014 Great American Beer Festival

Press Items

Creative Loafing - Georgia Breweries Represent at the 2014 Great American Beer Festival

Chris Herron

Georgia breweries represent at the 2014 Great American Beer Festival

by Austin L. Ray

Each year since 1982, beer geeks have made their annual pilgrimage to Denver, piling into the Colorado Convention Center by the thousands for the Great American Beer Festival. There, they spend three days sampling beers from all over the country, meeting and chatting up the people who make them, attending spectacular beer-based events all over the Mile-High City, and inexplicably yelling every time someone drops their plastic tasting glass on the convention-center floor.

Also each year, GABF judges award gold, silver, and bronze medals to beers sorted by various styles. This year, more than 200 judges tasted and evaluated more than 5,500 different brews across 90 categories. ("Behavior that might seem odd to outsiders, like sniffing the skin on one's forearm to re-calibrate olfactory senses, is completely normal,"All About Editor John Holl wrote in a fascinating essay about his first-time judging this year.) Three Georgia breweries brought 2014 medals back to the Peach State:

* Savannah's Coastal Empire Beer Co. won bronze in the Herb and Spice Beer category for its Dawn Patrol Breakfast Stout.

* Athens' Creature Comforts Brewing Co. won bronze in the American Style Brett Beer category for its Curiosity No. 2.

* Atlanta's Monday Night Brewing won gold in the Wood and Barrel-Aged Beer category for its Bourbon Barrel Drafty Kilt.

All three breweries are first-time GABF winners. Three is the most medals Georgia's won at GABF, and that's happened five times now: 2014, 2011, 2009, 2002, and 2000. This year marks the first GABF since 2007 where SweetWater or Terrapin didn't bring home a medal. Interestingly, the most-decorated Georgia beer, SweetWater's Exodus Porter (three silvers and a gold), was retired by the brewery last year.

Below is a list of all GABF medals won by Georgia brewers since Lawrenceville's Friends Brewing Co. and Athens' Wild Boar Brewing Co. (both now defunct) brought home the first two in 1989:

2014: 
Coastal Empire's Dawn Patrol Breakfast Stout, bronze, Herb and Spice Beer (150 entries in category)
Creature Comforts' Curiosity No. 2, bronze, American Style Brett Beer (44 entries in category)
Monday Night's Bourbon Barrel Drafty Kilt, gold, Wood and Barrel-Aged Beer (64 entries in category)

2013:
SweetWater's LowRyeDer, gold, Rye Beer (63 entries in category)
Terrapin Beer Company's Tree Hugger, gold, German-Style Altbier (32 entries in category)

2012: 
SweetWater's Exodus, silver, Brown Porter (44 entries in category)

2011:
Max Lager's IMOS, bronze, Imperial Stout (56 entries in category)
SweetWater's SchWheat, gold, American-Style Wheat Beer (20 entries in category)
SweetWater's Crank Tank, bronze, Rye Beer (36 entries in category)

2010:
Moon River Brewing Co.'s Rosemary Swamp Fox, gold, Herb and Spice Beer (91 entries in category)
Terrapin's Beer Gone Good, bronze, German-Style Sour Ale (23 entries in category)

2009: 
Atlanta Brewing Company's Red Brick Anniversary Ale 15, bronze, Wood and Barrel-Aged Beer (33 entries in category)
Atlanta Brewing's Numbers Ale, bronze, Ordinary or Special Bitter (45 entries in category)
SweetWater's Motorboat ESB, silver, Extra Special Bitter or Strong Bitter (47 entries in category)

2008:
SweetWater's Motorboat ESB, silver, Extra Special Bitter or Strong Bitter (43 entries in category)

2007:
Atlanta Brewing's Red Brick Blonde, gold, Golden or Blonde Ale (48 entries in category)

2006:
none

2005:
Moon River's Claire de Lune, silver, German-Style Kölsch/Köln-Style Kölsch (39 entries in category)

2004:
Hops Grillhouse and Brewery's Hops 15th Anniversary Bock, silver, Bock (15 entries in category)

2003:
Dogwood Brewing Co.'s Decadent Ale, silver, American-Style Brown Ale (32 entries in category)
SweetWater's Exodus, silver, Brown Porter (33 entries in category)

2002:
SweetWater's 420 Extra Pale Ale, silver, Golden or Blonde Ale (47 entries in category)
SweetWater's Exodus, gold, Brown Porter (33 entries in category)
Terrapin's Rye Pale Ale, gold, American-Style Pale Ale (93 entries in category)

2001:
SweetWater's Sweet Georgia Brown, gold, English-Style Brown Ale (44 entries in category)

2000:
Buckhead Brewery & Grill's Renegade IPA, bronze, English-Style India Pale Ale (27 entries in category)
Buckhead's Winter Ale, gold, Strong Scotch Ale (19 entries in category)
SweetWater's Exodus Porter, silver, Brown Porter (38 entries in category)

1999:
none

1998:
SweetWater's Flying Armadillo Porter, silver, Brown Porter (no data on entries)

1997:
SweetWater's SweetWater Ale, silver, English Style Bitter (no data on entries)

1992-1995:
none

1991:
Friends Brewing Co.'s Helenboch Oktoberfest, gold, European Dark/Munchner Dunkels (no data on entries)

1990:
Wild Boar Brewing Co.'s Wild Boar Special Amber, gold, Amber/Viennas (no data on entries)

1989:
Friends' Helenbock Beer, silver, Muenchers (no data on entries)
Wild Boar's Wild Boar Special Amber, bronze, European Ambers (no data on entries)