Great American Beer Festival Crowns Its ‘Brewery and Brewer of the Year’

by Madison Miller

It’s an honor brew and beer masters around the U.S. yearn for each year. The Great American Beer Festival takes place each year in Denver, Colorado. After hours spent sampling and crafting and tirelessly experimenting with different hops and grains, beer companies’ biggest wish is to create a brew someone out there will fall in love with.

For the Cloudburst Brewing company over in Seattle, Washington, they’ve handcrafted something judges believe is above and beyond. The small brewing company of only seven full-time employees won the honor of “The Brewery and Brewer of the Year.”

Cloudburst Brewing Company Wins

They won in the small brewery category specifically because they only pump out between 1,001 to 2,000 barrels of delicious beer a year.

According to The Seattle Times, the Cloudburst Brewing beer is mostly sold within the city. There is a hefty 95% sold in the city, specifically near Pike Place Market and in Ballard. After winning this award, however, people may go to seek out the different interesting brews from the company.

The owner and head brewer is Steve Luke, who is blown away by this prestigious honor. “It’s something you always dream of, but it’s so hard to get,” he told the publication. He also was a semifinalist for the James Beard “Outstanding Wine, Beer or Spirits Producer” in 2020.

Clearly, Luke is beyond happy regarding his recent honor, meanwhile, those hoppy beers of his may get even more popular in the Northeast and beyond. The brand garners quite the buzz from its IPA selection. That includes beers like the No Recess IPA, Grainyard Graveyard IPA, And Another one IPA, and the Bad with Directions IPA.

Carrie Underwood would likely get a kick out of the Jesus Take The Wheel IPA, too. Cloudburst Brewing has an absolutely massive list of beers on their site that will leave you scrolling for ages.

Other Breweries at the Great American Beer Festival

One of the biggest honors of the night went to one of the most popular and highly regarded breweries in the country, Allagash Brewing Co. It is based out of Portland, Maine. It won for “Barrels Brewery and Brewer of the Year” in the 15,001 to 100,000 barrels made category.

Several other beer breweries walked away with really amazing honors from the Great American Beer Festival. For example, Ghost Town Brewing won the gold for their Imperial IPA called Nose Goblin. Tucker Brewing Company out of Georgia won for their light lager called Tucker lager.

If you’re feeling in the fall mood, there was also a pumpkin beer category. Elysian Brewing out of Seattle won the gold for their Night Owl pumpkin beer.

The full list of winners is available, here. It’s a great way to check out some amazing, award-winning breweries and an opportunity to stock up that mini fridge with some of the best.