The 38th annual Great American Beer Festival has come and gone, but not before an untold number of beer samples were enjoyed by the thousands of attendees who crammed the Colorado Convention Center for the Mile High City’s most beloved three-day bender.
The story again this year was the juicy and hazy beers, a variety of ales that are less bitter and more citrus- or fruit-forward then their counterparts and which dominated the competition categories once again. This year, the festival’s Juicy or Hazy India Pale Ale category received the most entries of any at the festival at 348, though that number actually represented a decrease from last year’s number of 414 entries.
However, the American Style IPA category, which consists of IPAs that are pale golden or reddish amber in color and more flavorful and aromatic than the more bitter English IPAs, also held strong with 342 entries. The American IPA category had previously received the most entries of any category at the festival for the last decade before the Juicy or Hazy IPA category overtook it last year.
The other trend that was evident at this year’s festival was the rise of breweries specializing in beers that contain little or no alcohol and are meant to cater to those who aim to live a more active and healthy lifestyle. Among those breweries is Connecticut’s Athletic Brewing Co., which was founded by a brewer who found he no longer wanted to drink alcohol but still liked to be able to enjoy an occasional beer and night out.
But while those trends stood out this year, this year’s festival lived up to its reputation by offering a sip for every palette. A roundup of the festival’s big winners will be published on Eater Denver later today. But first, enjoy these photos that offer a sample of some of the sudsy fun that was had last weekend.
- The 5 Wackiest Brewery Names at the 2019 Great American Beer Festival [EDEN]
- Great American Beer Festival [Official]
- Athletic Brewing Co. [Official]