Infographic: Standout Styles
October marks the 35th year of the Great American Beer Festival, when tens of thousands of beer lovers will descend on Denver to celebrate and sip selections from nearly 4,000 brews across the country.
Even more will be entered into the festival’s annual competition, which featured 6,647 entries in 2015, a total more than two and a half times what it was a decade ago. But as time has shown, not all categories are created equal.
Since American-Style India Pale Ale eclipsed its hoppy predecessor, American-Style Pale Ale, by one more entry in 2002 (94 to 93), the defining modern beer style of the U.S. has rocketed upward in number of competing beers, counting 336 entries last year. The second-most-entered category in 2015, Imperial India Pale Ale, had 208.
Need a peek into what’s popular? Keep an eye on Session India Pale Ale, which got its own category last year (it was previously categorized as Session Beer) and was the fourth-most-entered with 161. It’s not all about hops, though, as Coffee Beer has gone from 28 to 149 competing beers over the last 10 years.
Whatever style might be your favorite out of more than 90 categories being judged in 2016, take a look at how last year’s top-20 most-entered categories have changed over the past decade.
Click the image below to enlarge the infographic.