11 October 2016
(COOPERSTOWN, NY) Cooperstown, New York’s beautiful Brewery Ommegang is having quite the year. After winning numerous medals plus the top award for mid-sized breweries at the 2016 World Beer Cup SM in May, the brewery also won a gold medal at the Great American Beer Festival this weekend. Ommegang’s Witte Wheat Ale won top honors in the Belgian-style Witbier category. GABF’s annual competition was held in Denver, CO on Saturday, October 8.
In its 30th year, GABF awarded more than 280 medals to beers from 254 breweries. Witte was one of 85 beers judged in its category this year, and this is the third time Witte has won a medal at the event; it also won silver in 2014 and gold in 2011. This medal is Ommegang’s eighth in GABF history which includes the three medals for Witte plus gold for Cave-Aged Hennepin in 2004, bronze for Hennepin in 2006, bronze for Rare Vos in 2008, and bronze for Three Philosophers in 2010 and 2013.
“Witte is one of the earliest beers we brewed at Ommegang, and it’s still one of the favorites,” says Phil Leinhart, Ommegang’s Brewmaster. “2016 has been quite a year for our brewery and I’m incredible proud of our entire team, especially our brewers and members of the packaging, maintenance, quality, and warehouse teams.”
According to the Brewers Association, which presents the festival, “GABF is the largest commercial beer competition in the world and a symbol of brewing excellence.” The Brewers Association is a not-for-profit trade group that protects and promotes America’s small, independent craft brewers. This year’s GABF competition boasted 7,227 beers judged in 96 categories, and the beers were from 1,752 breweries from all 50 states and Washington, D.C. Judging was completed over the course of five different three-hour judging sessions and by nearly 260 judges from 12 countries plus 170 competition volunteers.
Brewery Ommegang’s sister brewery Firestone Walker from Paso Robles, CA also had a winning day, taking home a gold medal for DBA (Double Barrel Ale) in the Ordinary or Special Bitter category. The full list of GABF award winners can be found here.