The Great American Beer Festival wrapped up Saturday night, hours after its annual award ceremony recognized the country's top brewers and beers. Gold, silver and bronze medals are awarded in 90 categories, with more than 5,500 beers submitted for consideration.
Washington's only winner was DC Brau's the Citizen, the brewery's flagship Belgian pale ale, which placed second in the Belgian-and-French-Style-Ale category. This is the second time DC Brau has won a silver medal in that category in three years. (The limited-release Your Favorite Foreign Movie, created by the winner of a homebrew contest at Meridian Pint, took the prize in 2012.)
Maryland brewers won five medals, including a gold for the rauchbier from Gordon Biersch Annapolis. That smoky lager is currently on tap at the brewpub and costs $6.50 for a 21-ounce glass. The bar says they have just over five barrels of the beer remaining, which they estimate to be "a two week supply."
The Gordon Biersch location in Rockville won a silver medal for its Belgian IPA in the American-Belgo-Style-Ale category, and it's also currently available on tap.
Three Baltimore-area breweries were rewarded: Union Craft Brewing's Old Pro Gose took silver in the German-Style Sour Ale category; the Heavy Seas Gold Ale won bronze in the Golden or Blonde Ale category; and DuClaw's Sweet Baby Jesus! brought home a bronze medal in the Chocolate Beer category. (Sweet Baby Jesus! is currently pouring at DuClaw's bar in Bowie, while the other two winners are widely available; the Gold Ale is available at the Heavy Seas Alehouse in Rosslyn.)
Northern Virginia's only winner was Capitol City Brewing Company: The Shirlington brewery's staple Amber Waves Ale won the silver medal in the American-Style Amber/Red Ale category. This was one of the most heavily contested divisions, with 140 entries, which speaks well of brewer Kristi Mathews Griner and her team.
Further afield in Virginia, Devils Backbone – a frequent sight on local taps – continued its streak of major wins in the competition, being named the Mid-Size Brewing Company and Mid-Size Brewing Company Brewer of the Year. Devils Backbone took home the awards for the Small Brewpub and Small Brewpub Brewer of the Year at the 2012 festival, and then was named Small Brewing Company and Small Brewing Company Brewer of the Year in 2013.
Additionally, Devils Backbone won a gold medal for its Schwartz Bier, silvers for Old Virginia Dark and Turbo Cougar, and bronze for Alt Bier.
Hardywood Park in Richmond took gold in the American-Style Fruit Beer for its Raspberry Stout, while Charlottesville's Three Notch'd won bronze in the Irish-Style Red Ale for "Hydraulion" Red.
A full list of winners is available on the Great American Beer Festival's website.