Two brewpubs were honored for astonishing consistency when medals were handed out at the 2004 Great American Beer Festival. Elysian Brewery & Public House in Seattle won Large Brewpub of the Year for the second straight year and third time since the awards began in 1999. Pizza Port Solana Beach from Southern California captured Small Brewpub of the Year for the second consecutive year.
Widmer Brothers Brewing in Portland, Ore., made it two-out-of-three in the Mid-Size Brewing Company competition, winning three gold medals. Industry pioneer Sprecher Brewing Co. from Wisconsin won Small Brewing Company.
“For the first time ever, the competition broke 2,000 beers in the judging,” said Chris Swersey, judge director for competition. One hundred judges awarded 201 medals in 67 categories. Entries totaled 2,016 beers from 398 breweries.
Miller Brewing Co. ended a four-year run by Anheuser-Busch in competition for Large Brewing Company of the year. Miller was boosted by the nine medals Pabst Brewing Co. took for beers such as Schlitz and Old Milwaukee. Miller brews all those beers under contract.