Minnesota-Made Beer Gets Its Due: State Record 12 Medals at National Competition

Minnesota-Made Beer Gets Its Due: State Record 12 Medals at National Competition

Eleven Minnesota craft breweries won 12 awards at the 2018 Great American Beer Festival—by far the highest number of collective wins for Minnesota companies since 2000.

The Minnesota craft brewery scene got some national love this weekend as 11 breweries won a total of 12 awards at the 2018 Great American Beer Festival (GABF) on Saturday. The annual event, hosted in Denver, is the nation’s top beer festival and competition and Minnesota’s medal haul this year was the state’s highest yet with Steel Toe Brewing leading the pack.

“Minnesota craft beer fans know that our breweries are making some of the best beers in the country and we are excited to see that the judges for the prestigious GABF awards agree,” said Lauren Bennett McGinty, executive director of the Minnesota Craft Brewers Guild, in a statement.

The Great American Beer Festival, which is both a public tasting event and a private competition in which the best drinks in the business are declared, was founded in 1982. Since the Minnesota Craft Brewers Guild was founded in 2000 and has thus been tracking Minnesota breweries’ success at the event, Minnesota companies have gotten more and more acknowledgement over the years.

Over the last decade, Minnesota beer makers have typically taken home three to six honors each year. What’s more, 2018’s medal count is almost double that of the previous record – seven medals won by Minnesota breweries in 2015.

The 12 medals Minnesota companies took home this year spanned 12 categories, with Steel Toe Brewing of St. Louis Park leading the pack with two honors: Gold in the “Export Stout” category for its Dissent dark ale, and silver in the “English Style Summer Ale” category for its Provider beer.

The remaining award recipients from Minnesota are as follows:

Other gold medal winners:

  • Duluth-based Bent Paddle Brewing, for its Saison offering in the Classic Saison category
  • Minneapolis-based Lakes & Legends Brewing Co., which won in the Field Beer category for its drink called “Cool for the Summer”
  • St. Paul-based Summit Brewing Co., which won the Kellerbier or Zwickelbier category for its Keller Pils creation

Minnesota Silver Medals:

  • Minneapolis-based Eastlake Craft Brewery: “Kirby Pucker No. 21” — Fruited American-Style Sour Ale category
  • Minneapolis-based Insight Brewing Co.: “Sunken City” — Specialty Saison category
  • Annandale-based Spilled Grain Brewhouse: “False Hope” — Other Strong Beer category

Minnesota Bronze Medals: 

  • Minneapolis-based The Freehouse: “No. 3 Brown” — English-Style Brown Ale category
  • Minneapolis-based Modist Brewing Co.: “First Call” — Coffee Beer category
  • St. Paul-based Tin Whiskers Brewing: “Wheatstone Bridge” — Herb and Spice Beer category
  • Minneapolis-based Utepils Brewing Co.: “Alt 1848” — German-Style Altbier category

The full list of 2018 GABF winners can be found here.