All About Beer Magazine - Volume 37, Issue 6
January 13, 2017 By Bryan Roth

To see the power of local beer communities, look no further than 2016’s Great American Beer Festival. Breweries from across the country brought home hardware from the annual competition, but California once again reigned, with Golden State companies bringing home 68 medals across 44 cities. Out of the state’s 479 incorporated municipalities, 9 percent won a GABF medal in 2016.

As those awards pile up, they can help drive more drinkers to a brewery’s taproom. After the beer won a bronze medal in 2015’s inaugural Session India Pale Ale category, Anaheim’s Noble Ale Works saw a spike in demand for Nose Candy, its 4.4% session IPA. Evan Price, head brewer at Noble Ale Works, says he had to triple production of the beer to keep his own taproom and local accounts stocked as more people asked for the beer after its recognition.

“The reaction from the public and our accounts was immediately crazy,” Price says. “It was a crowning achievement for us.”

Where might people flock to for 2016’s big winners? This heat map highlights areas of the country that brought home medals from the most recent competition. —Bryan Roth

GABF Hot Spots Infographic