Following an internal audit, organizers of the 2005 Great American Beer Festival have announced that New Glarus Brewing Co. should be honored as Mid-Size Brewing Company of the year – although another brewery originally was given the award.
“We do our best to ensure that GABF results are as accurate as possible. Ultimately, it’s about integrity,” said Nancy Johnson, Brewers Assocation Event Director. “Our results processing is complicated and technical, and takes place over a very short, hectic timeframe; sometimes we make mistakes. While it’s uncomfortable to acknowledge this, it’s our responsibility to do so, and to correct the results publicly and openly.”
Breweries entering the competition select up to eight of their beers as eligible for points in the brewery of the year classifications. There were three breweries in the running for the Mid-Size Brewery of the Year Award: Boston Beer Co., New Glarus Brewing and Sierra Nevada Brewing Co. All breweries won two gold medals among their eight eligible beers, thus creating a tie.
The tiebreaker rules for determining the brewery of the year have four levels:
1. Most points awarded as 3 for a gold medal, 2 for a silver medal and 1 for a bronze medal.
2. Most gold medals.
3. Most medals.
4. Most entries in medalled categories.
The decision for the winner of the Mid-Size Brewery of the year came down to the fourth tiebreaker, most entries in medalled categories. New Glarus Brewing Co. won gold medals in categories with a total of 126 entries. Sierra Nevada Brewing Company won their gold medals in categories totaling 79 entries, and Boston Beer won gold medals in categories totaling 32 entries.
New Glarus Brewing Co. has won a medal in every GABF competition since 1996. New Glarus also won the Small Brewing Company category award in 2003. With an increase in production, New Glarus moved into a new category this year (Mid-Size Brewery), with brewer/co-owner Dan Carey also honored.