By Sonia Isotov
Maui Brewing Company (MBC) recently received a gold medal for their Hawaii 90 Wee Heavy Scotch Ale at the Great American Beer Festival (GABF) in Denver, Colorado, earlier this month.
The Great American Beer Festival, presented by the Brewers Association, has been held every year since 1982 and is the American brewing industry’s top public tasting and competition event of the year.
Wee Heavy won in Category 59, the Scottish-Style Ale category. Competition this year was stiff with 4338 beers entered into the competition and 185 judges from 11 countries judging 84 categories of beers, covering 134 beer styles. In total, 251 medals were awarded.
Breweries enter their beers to be judged by the festival’s professional judges. Festival attendees can also sample many of the beers entered in the competition during the tasting sessions. Gold, silver or bronze medals are awarded and these are recognized around the world as symbols of brewing excellence. These awards are among the most coveted in the industry.
Five different three-hour judging sessions take place over the three-day period during the week of the festival. Judges are assigned beers to evaluate in their specific area of expertise and never judge their own product or any product in which they have an interest.
The GABF awards criteria is as follows:
- Gold: A world-class beer that accurately exemplifies the specified style, displaying the proper balance of taste, aroma and appearance.
- Silver: An excellent beer that may vary slightly from style parameters while maintaining close adherence to the style and displaying excellent taste, aroma and appearance.
- Bronze: A fine example of the style that may vary slightly from style parameters and/or have minor deviations in taste, aroma or appearance.
Maui Brewing Company founder Garrett Marrero and his wife, Melanie, operate a 7-barrel brewpub at the Kahana location as well as a 25-barrel production brewery and canning facility in Lahaina.